Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Project – Full Written

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Candice Rome


For many years public health organizations, such as The World Health Organization (WHO) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have stressed the need for proper hand hygiene. Proper hand hygiene requires a prescribed process to rid the hands of potentially infecting organisms by using soap and water (handwashing) or hand sanitizer (sanitizing). These processes need to be performed at critical times to promote infection prevention. Many studies have shown that hand hygiene is a learned behavior that becomes habitual over time, and behavior change mechanisms in addition to education are needed to affect a long-term change in hand hygiene habits. This project, performed in a small community setting, offered education and support for behavior change to create improved hand hygiene habits. Recognizing behavior change as a key to sustained practice, the project asked participants to identify persons who provided encouragement and support for behavior change and barriers to performing hand hygiene in a pre-education survey. The education provided focused on the best methods for performing hand hygiene, identified critical times to perform hand hygiene, identified barriers that inhibit performance, and methods for overcoming the barriers. After receiving the education, participants were able to discuss personal barriers to performing hand hygiene and troubleshoot solutions in a virtual group setting. The project results indicated that education and support can influence a behavior change. Before receiving education, 46% of participants performed hand hygiene at least 10 times per day; 4-weeks after the education 65% of participants washed at a higher daily frequency. Project results also indicate more intentional hand hygiene techniques that included washing between fingers, under nails, and around wrists. The majority of 3 participants indicated support of a significant individual contributed to the change in behavior.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License