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Provider Focus

JohannesHD2016SmallTonya Johannes, ARNP-BC

Tonya Johannes, ARNP-BC, is a Family Nurse Practitioner at MHP who treats patients of all ages and has a special interest in skin care. 

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Teaching Handwashing

MHP Teaches Preschoolers how to properly Wash Hands

Mahaska Health Partnership Infection Control Coordinator Kim Rutledge, RN, BSN, spent the day with Oskaloosa Preschoolers teaching proper hand washing techniques.

 

“Good hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of many illnesses, from the common cold to more serious illnesses such flu and even diarrheal diseases and pneumonia,” Rutledge said. “However, children typically don’t wash their hands properly.”

When kids come into contact with germs, they can unknowingly become infected simply by touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Rutledge said that once they're infected, it's usually just a matter of time before the whole family comes down with the same illness.

Children learn through their senses and because germs can’t be seen, heard or even tasted, Rutledge said it is important to make them tangible so children understand. “Mahaska Health Partnership recently purchased GlitterBug, an educational product that makes hand hygiene fun and memorable.”

GlitterBug Potion, the illuminating way to teach hand washing, was placed on children’s hands. It looks like a lotion but bright spots show hard-to-clean cracks and crevices where germs like to hide or areas where proper hand-washing wasn’t completed.

“The children washed their hands and then placed them under the GlitterBug Hand Show, which makes areas of the hands that were not washed properly fluorescent under a special lamp. The children were surprised and fascinated as they viewed the ‘germs’ left on their hands after washing them.”

Rutledge then taught children proper hand washing techniques. She demonstrated how to clean hands thoroughly and stressed that they should wash their hands long enough to sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” two times.

“We had a lot of fun, but more important, I believe we got through to some of the children and they will be better at washing their hands and reducing the spread of germs that cause serious illness.”