High-Touch and Low-Touch Areas
High-touch areas are surfaces that are frequently touched by healthcare providers and clients. Examples of high-touch areas include: door handles, light switches, alcohol-based solution dispensers, sink taps, call bells, and bed rails, to name a few. It is essential to frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces to prevent and control the spread of infection.
Low-touch areas are surfaces that have minimal contact with the healthcare providers’ and clients’ hands. For example, the floor, walls, ceiling, ceiling fixtures, mirrors, window sills, artwork on the wall, and surfaces not regularly accessible (e.g., under the bed or chair).
The following images identify various high touch areas located in healthcare settings.
Identify the high-touch areas at your healthcare setting. Be sure to clean these areas routinely, follow your healthcare setting cleaning policies, and maintain routine practices including hand hygiene to decrease the risk of spreading infections.
Other ways to reduce exposure to microorganisms is to keep nails trimmed short and to keep hair tied back if it is longer than your shoulders. Avoid wearing jewellery, nail polish, or artificial nails as they can harbour microorganisms. You should also consider your own health and safety as you provide care to clients. Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, gowns, goggles, and face shields can prevent you from contact with microorganisms.
This page was remixed with our own original content and adapted from:
Physical Examination Techniques: A Nurse’s Guide by Jennifer Lapum, Michelle Hughes, Oona St-Amant, Wendy Garcia, Margaret Verkuyl, Paul Petrie, Frances Dimaranan, Mahidhar Pemasani, and Nada Savicevic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.