Brookhaven Retreat Celebrates National Handwashing Awareness Week

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Brookhaven Retreat, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, celebrates National Handwashing Awareness Week by increasing awareness of its infectious disease control procedures.

Cold and flu season has arrived, and viruses spread rapidly in a communal setting, making the promotion of hand washing both crucial and timely for Brookhaven Retreat. As part of National Handwashing Awareness Week, from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8 Brookhaven Retreat will focus on increasing staff awareness of the importance of its hand washing procedures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, correct hand washing technique is the single most effective method to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Brookhaven Retreat’s Infection Control Committee is tasked with implementing safety procedures that prevent the spread of the flu, common cold and other, more serious, infectious diseases. Correct hand washing is one of these procedures.

Hand washing with soap and water increases contact time, creates greater friction and dissolves dirt that alcohol rubs do not, making it a more effective infection control technique. Brookhaven Retreat requires all staff to wash their hands for one to two minutes whenever needed to prevent the transmission of pathogenic organisms among its clients, employees and visitors.

Hand washing awareness is part of a much larger effort to continue to maintain the highest quality of safety in patient care. Other efforts led by Brookhaven Retreat’s Infection Control Committee include daily sanitizing and disinfecting of doorknobs, keyboards, telephones and work surfaces; placement of hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility; latex glove use when handling any type of biohazard material; monitoring of hand washing techniques; routine tuberculosis testing and recommendation of flu vaccinations.

Dec. 2 through Dec. 8 staff will be reminded of hand washing awareness and the procedures put in place to maintain the highest quality of patient safety. Proper hand washing is a small but critical aspect to the safety and quality of care provided to clients at Brookhaven Retreat.

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.

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Amy Massaglia
Brookhaven Retreat
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