Scrub Club! School Nurse Uses Creative Strategies and ‘Clean Hands Up’ Materials to Energize Handwas

March 09, 2011 | Written By:

Step 1: Wash hands with warm water! Step 2: Apply soap! Step 3: Now wash for 20 seconds! Step 4: Don’t forget those fingernails! Step 5: Rinse the bacteria away! Step 6: Dry hands with paper towel or warm air dryer!

These are the six steps to proper hand washing from the Scrub Club’s Handwashing Song. The Scrub Club, an initiative of National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International, is a hand washing club that inspires and teaches kids to wash their hands to stop the spread of germs, while giving them the tools to teach their fellow students the techniques.

In the 2008-2009 school year, school nurse Luisa Ramirez, RN, from Lily Lake Grade School in Maple Park, IL created her own incentive program at her school using the ideas and steps from the Scrub Club’s Handwashing Song. About 70 percent of the student population participated and the proper hand-washing techniques were taught in health class.

“Students learned the steps of how to wash their hands properly and they were able to see if they washed their hands properly using the glow germ lotion and light,” said Ramirez. “The light really drove home how we do not wash our hands properly.”

Students took home a Scrub Club Handout and on the back Ramirez created a form for students to share with the idea that each student would teach the handwashing steps to five other people. 

“They could be family or friends.  The family or friend signed the form, attesting they had received the training. They had a two week window to return their signed forms,” said Ramirez. “Kids had fun being the teacher at home. Parents were happy to see and learn from their children.”

When students returned their completed forms, they received a Scrub Club Sticker [pdf] to solidify their membership in the Scrub Club and were allowed to sign their names on the Scrub Club poster outside of the principal’s office. The class that returned the highest percentage of completed forms received a celebration.

Rarmirez has been using promotional and informational materials from Rubbermaid’s Clean Hands Up program to keep the students interested and engaged in the Scrub Club. She is putting the Clean Hands Up posters around the school as a resource and a way to keep students on track. 

“The Rubbermaid posters give a fresh new look to our posters that encourage hand washing.  They are water resistant and colorful,” said Ramirez.

Kudos to Luisa for her leadership and success with the Scrub Club! To learn more about starting your own Scrub Club and learn the Handwashing Song, click here!

Plus! Check out Rubbermaid’s video about the Clean Hands Up program and resources:

Rubbermaid Commercial Products is a member level sponsor of HSC's Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools! Be sure to check out the free guide for more great handwashing resources and tips to help your school go green!

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