Why Hygiene Is so Important for Healthcare Workers | Career Training | The Salter School
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Why Hygiene Is so Important for Healthcare Workers

Category(ies): Student Life

personal hygiene 5 tips clanliness healthcare job5 Tips for Cleanliness on the Job

Personal hygiene is a necessity of life. Staying clean helps us to build relationships, stay healthy, and raises our self-esteem. Practicing a hygienic lifestyle means washing and maintaining all parts of the body that affect appearance and smell with regular bathing, brushing teeth, and the washing of hair.

In a healthcare job, it is especially important to stay clean and take care of your personal hygiene. After all, staying clean helps maintain a healthy environment for your patients. In fact, poor hygiene can lead to the spread of diseases.

Here are 5 tips for your personal upkeep as a healthcare professional:

1. Bathe before every work shift

Bathing before every work shift should be part of your basic personal hygiene routine. Bathing helps prepare you for a busy day at work where you need to be clean for your patients’ health. When you bathe, it’s best to use unscented soaps. Any lingering scent or perfume could trigger an allergic reaction in patients. Bathing and washing your hair will help prevent the spread of germs and diseases in everyday interactions with your patients. It will also help you feel clean and more prepared for your work shift.

2. Wash your hands

Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands throughout the work day. Many infections, like the common cold, are caught when unwashed hands that contain germs and bacteria, touch items shared with others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wash your hands and wrists with warm water and soap while rubbing for 15 seconds. Remember to wash after each meal and when you come into contact with each patient. If you need to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, rub your hands until they are dry. Washing your hands will make you feel cleaner and ready to tackle your daily duties.

3. Clean your work outfit

Your work outfit (usually scrubs) will get dirty on many occasions. Spills, bodily fluids, and other matter can get on your clothes when you’re working with patients. When you get home from your shift, wash your clothes to kill germs and get rid of stains. Washing your clothes right away will help keep your home germ free, limit the spread of germs to your patients, and keep your appearance tidy.

4. Brush your teeth

Brushing teeth twice a day will benefit your personal appearance and health. Remember to brush teeth before your work shift to maintain clean teeth and good breath. Since you’re interacting closely with patients, their families, and co-workers all day you’ll need to be presentable. Smiling is an important social skill that can help patients feel better. You’ll want to show them those pearly whites, not yellow ones!

5. Trim your Nails

Long nails can get in the way of working and they can quickly become unsanitary. Avoid wearing long acrylic nails. They could get in the way when handling tools or helping patients. Instead, make sure your nails are trimmed and presentable. Patients and their families may feel more comfortable and confident with someone who takes care of their appearance. Short, well-kept nails will also help your hands fit into gloves!

You represent your healthcare facility so it’s necessary to look your best. Taking care of yourself can show your patients that you know how to care for others. Plus, staying hygienic will aid in the healthcare of your patients. If you feel good about yourself, you may also feel more confident at your job!


The Salter School provides career advice in our weekly blog. We have four campuses located in Massachusetts and offer healthcare career training programs like Professional Medical Assistant, Massage Therapist, or Health Claims Specialist. Contact us today to learn more about our programs. If you’re already enrolled, take advantage of our Career Services Department.

The Salter School Malden campus is no longer accepting new enrollments.