Hand Washing Task

Click here to download the teacher resource for "Hand Washing Task."

Course: Health Science Education and all other Health Science courses

Class Period Length: One hour

Hand Washing

Task Description


Students will:

  1. Watch: Infection Control: Break the Chain (4:30) and on the attached document, identify each time an infection is spread.
  2. Read Show Me the Science on the CDC website, and answer guided reading questions from sections 1-5.
  3. Watch: CNA Skill 1 Handwashing (2:19) video and record the steps in the step by step task form
  4. Students will film themselves correctly demonstrating handwashing by following the CNA hand washing skill check off list.

 Health Science Education, Stds 10 & 11

10) Define chain of infection and provide strategies for how to break each part of the chain to prevent the spread of infection. Conduct a short research project on the effects of practices of sanitation and disinfection on health and wellness, examining the implications for public health. Synthesize findings in a written, oral, or digital presentation, citing evidence from the investigation.

11) Understand the principles of and successfully perform the following skills to prevent or curtail the spread of pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms: a. Hand washing b. Gloving

 Content Understandings

Extending Understandings

Upon successful completion of these tasks students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Explain how infection is spread by contact transmission
  2. Demonstrate the steps in hand washing
  3. Give rationale for the steps in hand washing


To move students towards deeper understanding, they should be given opportunities to:

  • Align a pathogen such as COVID-19 to the chain of infection and explain the efficacy of hand washing to mitigate the spread.
  • Research community based outbreaks and relate findings to chain of infection principles.

Support Strategies

If students are struggling to access this task, additional supports and strategies could be employed as students are engaging with the task.

Key Terms

Sentence Frames

Scaffolded Questions



Hand hygiene

  1. The goal of hand washing is to remove __________, or disease causing germs, from the surfaces of the hands.
  2. When the CNA finished washing her hands, she turned off the water without using a paper towel, so her hands were ________________.
  3. The most effective way to prevent the spread of infection is good ____________.
  1. Describe the chain of infection.
  2. What part does hand washing play in the chain of infection?
  3. Why is hand hygiene different in the hospital?
  4. What mode of transmission is facilitated by hands?

Additional Resources

CDC- Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives

CDC- Handwashing Fact Sheets

Student Resource

Click here to download the student resource for this lesson. 

Video: Infection Control: Break the Chain

  1. Pay careful attention to the male HCW’s handwashing technique. How did he do? What could he have done better?
  2. Make a note of every time the infection spreads from one person or surface to another:_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings: Show Me the Science

Read each section and answer the following questions about hand hygiene in the healthcare setting:

Is There Such a Thing as Too Clean? :

  1. Compare where the good germs and the bad germs live on your skin.
  2. What is the preferred way to keep your hands clean in the health care setting?

Washing with Soap and Water: 15 vs. 20 Seconds

  1. Describe how long you should wash your hands.
  2. Why do you think it is more important to clean all areas of your hands vs. washing for a specific amount of time?

Which One? Soap and Water vs. Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

  1. List three reasons alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the preferred method for cleaning your hands in the health care setting when they are not visibly dirty.

Areas Frequently Missed When Cleaning Your Hands

  1. List the areas most often missed by healthcare providers when using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Glove Use is Not a Substitute for Cleaning Your Hands

  1. What is the first thing you should do after removing gloves?
  2. When should you change your gloves?

List video time stamp and steps

Describe what is happening during the step

Explain the rationale or the “why” for each step












































CNA Hand Washing Check-off List

1) Knocks on door.

2) Introduces self to the resident.

3) Turns on water.

4) Wets hands.

5) Applies soap to hands.

6) Rubs hands together using friction.

7) Rubs hand together for at least 20 seconds.

8) Interlaces fingers pointing downward.

9) Washes all surfaces of hands and wrists with soap.

10) Rinses hands thoroughly under running water with fingers pointed downward.

11) Dries hands on clean paper towel(s).

12) Turns off faucet with a clean dry paper towel(s). (Does not use a previously used paper towel to turn off the faucet.)

13) Discards paper towels into trash container as used.

14) Does not re-contaminate hands at any point during the procedure.