Nursing: Hand Washing Techniques


Teaching in nursing comprises of theories, methods and systems. In today’s world, it is not easy to come up with an effective learning environment especially in nursing education (Young & Paterson, 2007). This is partly because the nursing students are extremely diverse. Therefore, the nurse educators should understand the different learning needs of the students and respect the knowledge and different experience that these students may have.

The educators should also apply the best teaching strategies and theories in order to ensure effective learning. Effective learning in nursing is achieved by development good learning strategies, good nursing experience and the creative and dynamic way in which the nurse teachers presents information. This research paper will explain how hand washing techniques can be taught effectively by a nurse educator.

Goals and learner outcomes for the lesson

  • To help the students understand the hand washing techniques by using teaching process that will involve use of concepts, theories and clinical knowledge.
  • To ensure proper and effective learning for the nursing students through the use of the best theories and models in teaching.
  • By the end of the course the students should have clearly understood the techniques used in hand washing.
  • The nursing student should be in a position to practically demonstrate the hand washing techniques to other students.

Teaching models

Changing of behavior is the aim of learning. Learning theories include cognitive, humanistic and behavioral. In teaching nursing, behaviors and attitudes are the target of this change. Behavioral change takes place when there is change of behavior while cognitive change occurs when information is integrated in to the intellectual structure of a person. On the other hand, humanistic change involves the integration of feelings, interests and attitudes as well as ensuring cognitive and behavioral changes (Billings & Halstead, 2005).

One of the methods that the nurse educationist will use in teaching hand washing techniques to the students is andragogy. This method will help the students to be part of the teaching process rather than just being a recipient. In this model of teaching, the teacher will guide the students to find some information about the hand washing techniques rather than the teacher supplying all the answers. The model will allow the teachers to supply directed information to the students when it is necessary.

The andragogy method of teaching is effective because it emphasizes on scientific approaches. A partnership will be formed between the educator and the students and the educator should be prepared to learn together with the students (Novotny & Quinn, 2006). The students will learn the content of the of the topic, while the teacher on the other hand will try to understand the types of students to be taught, their attitudes towards the topic and how long the different students take to understand a concept. The teacher will search information about the students and this will help him know the strategies to use in passing information and knowledge to all his nursing students successfully.

The nursing educator will also use lecture method of teaching. This will involve giving lectures, examples and demonstrations in order to help the nursing students assimilate and understand the hand washing techniques. After the teacher explains the techniques of washing hands comprehensively to the students, then he should make a summary in order to stress on the important points. Students are then supposed to write down the necessary points about the topic.

In this method of teaching, students are guided by writing down their notes which are based on the important points from the teachers lecture. This method will encourage questions from the students in order for the teacher to identify the areas that the students did not understand properly. The teacher will also ask the students some question in order to evaluate whether the students have understood the content of the topic.

In nursing, teachers can also use textbook method in teaching. The teacher will prescribe certain books which explain the hand washing techniques. The students will be provided for with a guidance which will help them to summarize the chapters and make important notes from the prescribed books.

Completion of content outline

The teacher will organize the lecture by briefly writing down what will be covered in order to help the nursing students achieve their goals. The teacher should define some of the nursing terms in the outline. The outline should be prepared in a way that it will help the students analyze the topic and also explain how demonstration on hand washing techniques will be done.

After the completion of the outline, the teacher will be required to flesh out the content. He should ensure that the content flows in a logical order which relate to the objectives set. In order to enhance, the content, a teacher should use word pictures.

Instructional methods to be used for delivery

When delivering the knowledge about the hand washing techniques, the educator should ensure that he clearly articulates his points and speaks loudly. If the students are so many, a microphone should be used. This is important because it will help the students get all the point and prevent them from straining to listen (Young, 1990).

The teacher should also talk in a pace that will give the student time to write notes and at the same time listen. The same pace should be used throughout the topic without overloading the students. If the students ask some questions about the topic, the teacher should first answer before continuing. He should then recover the lost time later. A teacher should use situations which are humorous while teaching rather than making jokes which are not related to the topic. Finally, a teacher should close his lesson with an example which will help to stress the important points.

Instructional materials and resources to be used


The teacher should provide the students with handouts besides the lecture notes given in class (Ewan & White, 1997). These will help the students understand the hand washing techniques properly. The printed handout should be very professional, it should also be neat and properly constructed. When constructing the handout, the teacher should have in mind that it has important information which the student will keep for long time. The teacher should ensure that whatever is in the handout is necessary to the students. It should not have contradicting notes from those given in class by the teacher in order to avoid confusing the students.


A teacher can use computer programs slides or even projections in order to convey information. In order to ensure proper convey of message, the teacher should take time in preparing or rather ask for the technician’s assistance (Ewan & White, 1997). The lessons will be in computer programs and the student will be required to interact with the computer. Computer is used as a teaching aid and thus students can learn at their own time and understand a topic properly before proceeding to another one.

Radio and television

Adoption of radio and television method of teaching is important because it will help in avoiding the problem of overcrowding in classes and also the shortage of teachers. This method is also important because it can be used when a teacher has not properly prepared himself and also in cases where there is misunderstanding of materials taught because of abstract verbalization. Incase there are mixed groups who have different cultures, many radio and video cassettes should be prepared (Ewan & White, 1997).

Evaluation methods

Since the goal of teaching in nursing include affective objectives, high-level cognitive and psychomotor, different evaluation methods should be used in order to assesses the achievements of the students (Gaberson & Oermann, 2010). Exams can be used at the end of the course in order to measure the achievements of the students’ goal. The teacher should construct a good test which will help in measuring the cognitive skills of the student. The teacher can also use observational method of evaluation where the students will be required to practically show the hand washing techniques used. The teacher can also give assignments where the students are supposed to apply the theories and concepts learnt in class (Ewan & White, 1997).


Teaching in nursing should be done in a way that the goals set are achieved. In order to achieve this, the teaching goals should be set in order to show what is expected at the end of the course (Ewan & White, 1984). The teacher should then come up with the best methods to convey information to the nursing students. The teachers should also prepare the teaching materials and resources to be used and finally the best evaluation method should be identified in order to test whether the goals set have been achieved.

Reference list

Billings, D. M., & Halstead, J. (2005) Teaching in nursing: a guide for faculty. New York. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Ewan, C., & White, R. (1984). Teaching nursing: a self-instructional handbook. Boston. Routledge.

Ewan, C., & White, R. (1997). Clinical Teaching in Nursing. Chicago. Nelson Thornes.

Gaberson, K., & Oermann, P. (2010). Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing. Chicago. Springer Publishing Company.

Novotny, J., & Quinn, M. (2006). A nuts-and-bolts approach to teaching nursing. Chicago. Springer Publishing Company.

Young, S. (1990). Teaching nursing. Michigan. Addison-Wesley Nursing.

Young, L., & Paterson, B. (2007) Teaching nursing: developing a student-centered learning environment. Chicago. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.