Hands at Oakland University: Are They as Clean as You Think?

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, “Hand washing is critical to help prevent the spread of illness and disease.” There are a few readily identified simple steps involved in properly washing your hands. First, wet hands with warm water and thoroughly scrub the entire hand for about 20 seconds. Next, rinse your hands and dry with a paper towel or air dryer. Do not touch the dirty faucet to turn off the water with your clean hands; instead, use a paper towel. Hands should be meticulously washed before and after a variety of different activities: preparing food, eating food, using the toilet, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing and touching animals (CDC, 2010). The primary aim of this research was to affirm my opinion that not enough people wash their hands, and in failing to do so, are instrumental in spreading potentially harmful microorganisms around Oakland University’s campus. This project’s secondary aim is connected with the use of social media in research. The personal goals of my research were to provoke both staff and students into developing better hand washing habits. An argument for this is that if enough people become more 7 knowledgeable about the negative effects of bad hand hygiene and change their hand washing habits, it should significantly help control the spread of harmful pathogens on and around campus. This paper will assess whether the research I compiled and posted onto a Facebook page impacted hand hygiene habits or not, and it will consider the role of social media in such socially specific research.



Washing, Hands, Hygiene, Germs, Infection, Microorganisms