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Pray, Let Us Wash Our Hands

Pfefferkorn Blanche
AJN The American Journal of Nursing: March 2013
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000427882.10548.0e
From the AJN Archives: PDF Only

Editor's note: From its first issue in 1900 through to the present day, AJN has unparalleled archives detailing nurses' work and lives over the last century. These articles not only chronicle nursing's growth as a profession within the context of the events of the day, but they also reveal prevailing societal attitudes about women, health care, and human rights. Today's nursing school curricula rarely include nursing's history, but it's a history worth knowing. To this end, From the AJN Archives will be a frequent column, containing articles selected to fit today's topics and times.

Getting nurses to consistently practice good hand hygiene has been a struggle for many years, as the plea in the title of this 1932 article illustrates. Another fascinating aspect of this article, published here in its entirety, is that it is essentially a multisite, multistate observational study—a wonderful early example of nursing research with a conclusion similar to that in the observational study of hand hygiene in this issue, both of which suggest that the “pressure of work” and the availability of “facilities for washing the hands” are important factors to consider when trying to improve hand hygiene practices.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.