School Program

Purpose: 
This Infection Prevention School Program designed to train students, faculty, and staff members to be more “Hand Aware” in order to prevent the spread of respiratory and gastro-intestinal diseases within the school.  The goal is to create a partnership in Infection prevention in your school by instituting this Program. A school will see a decrease in the incidence of absenteeism due to illness if they maintain the partnership with this Program. A healthy student is a better learner.

Method:
Who:    The Infection Prevention Tool Kit makes it simple for anyone to teach the Hand Awareness program. Teachers, school nurse, educational assistants, parents, wellness committee members, college or high school students, and community members are encouraged to teach this program.  The School Program is self explanatory and is based upon the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness, which were endorsed by the AMA and the AAFP in 2001. Establishing a partnership in Infection Prevention with Dr. Will Sawyer and Henry the Hand Foundation.

We recommend that each school have a “Champion” to oversee the implementation of the program.  This could also be anyone who is interested in seeing the program implemented throughout the school to achieve its greatest impact.  They do not need to be the one to teach all the students, but simply to help organize those who will be teaching the students and staff.

What:   Dr. Will Sawyer, International Infection Prevention Expert, and his team created the Hand Awareness School Program that utilizes the Infection Prevention Tool Kit.  The program is based on principles and strategies to effectively and sustainably change human behavior.

Hand Awareness is defined as hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and cross contamination awareness.  The program is not limited to handwashing.  It is about Hand Awareness, which is also described as knowing where your hands are and what they are doing at all times.  This science based multi-media and multi-sensory behavior modification program will benefit the health of every student and staff in the school.

How:     Implementing the innovative techniques and tools of this Program into a school's culture will help develop the life long practice of the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness.

  • The Infection Prevention Tool Kit utilizes Henry the Hand as the change agent which makes teaching Hand Awareness (hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and cross contamination) simple, fun and memorable with very effective demonstrations and reinforcement tools.
  • Another attribute is its simplicity.  Anyone can present and demonstrate the Program. Repetition is the key to achieving effective behavior change.
  • The teaching demonstrations can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the level of detail and explanation.
  • To achieve the best results, this program should be taught to the whole school community 3 or more times each school year and use the simple reinforcement tools often.
    • September – “Back to School” during International Clean Hands Week
    • December – National Handwashing Awareness Week before the holidays
    • March – Patient Safety Week
  • The Classroom Handwashing Chart serves as a great reinforcement tool and friendly competition instrument both in and between classrooms.

Remember: a presentation, without demonstration, is merely a conversation

The Infection Prevention Tool Kit will satisfy the School of up to 300 students.  Additional supplies are available for larger schools.  Another great option is to implement the Program in an individual Classroom up to 30 students. The Tool Kits are available for purchase here.

The Henry the Hand posters and mirror static clings should be placed throughout the school for continual reinforcement.

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