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Published on December 13, 2011

CKHS Infection Control Professionals Produce Play About Hand Washing 

With the leadership and input of four Crozer-Keystone Health System Infection Control employees, the Delaware Valley chapter of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) received a grant to produce an educational play about hand washing. The play, “Hand Washing is Fun,” was presented to students from Elwyn, a school for children with intellectual disabilities in Elwyn, Pa.

The employees – Christine Young, MBA, infection control coordinator at Crozer-Chester Medical Center; Patricia Evans, MS, infection preventionist at Crozer; Delores Porri, RN, infection prevention and control coordinator at Taylor; Suzanne McAndrew, RN BSN, infection preventionist at Taylor – are all members of APIC’s Delaware Valley chapter and have served in leadership positions within the chapter. The chapter was one out of seven nationwide chapters selected to receive a $2,500 grant. The grant celebrates APIC’s 25th anniversary and APIC’s participation in International Infection Prevention Week. The grant was created to encourage greater chapter participation and to promote new and creative ideas for raising public awareness about infection prevention.

The idea to produce a play was inspired by the chapter’s success with one their previous campaigns, “Wash Your Hands.” “Wash Your Hands” is a video that shows children how to properly wash their hands. Since the program was a success with elementary school children, CKHS employees felt that it would be beneficial to create a similar campaign for children with intellectual disabilities, who often have trouble

APIC’s Delaware Valley chapter partnered with Giruzzi Productions to create an original script and music for the play. The play aimed to educate students about how to prevent the spread of infection, mainly through handwashing. The actors musically incorporated examples, such as when people should sanitize their hands vs. washing them, and techniques about how to properly cover up a cough. The play interactive included singing, acting, music, costumes and special lighting.

“Musical theater enables the audience to become part of the show. This unique event, and the lessons learned, will be remembered and hopefully practiced with a smile,” Young says.

The play aimed to help make students so knowledgeable about handwashing that they will be “Super Washers.” In fact, students received capes at the end of the program to officially give them this title.

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