One Point Lesson: How to Wash Your Hands

By Jon Miller Updated on March 1st, 2020

This is a public service announcement with a touch of Lean learning. One of the best ways to avoid infection from the novel corona virus known as COVID-19 is to wash our hands. Should we be exposed to the virus, proper hand-washing can prevent it from being transferred into our bodies or to expose other people. It is believed that the virus survives for 14 days on surfaces, so we need to be vigilant in cleaning our hands as go from place to place.

Many businesses and public buildings offer sanitizer dispensers. People splash it on their hands as they come and go, rubbing their hands for five or ten seconds until the sanitizer evaporates. While this is better than nothing, it may not be enough. The recommended method is to wash with soap and water for at least twenty seconds, with specific attention to each part of our hands.

Here is a one-point lesson on the proper way to wash hands.

Normally, it’s recommended to create these by hand instead of digital artwork. Rather than rely on my limited drawing skills, the artwork is borrowed from the World Health Organization website.

Why not simply use a pre-made poster, such as the one from the WHO, rather than taking the time to create a one-point lesson by hand? The idea of using the OPL is not to put up a pretty poster. A poster is passive and easily ignored. Instead, the OPL is used during a morning meeting or team huddle as a brief lesson or reminder. An OPL is brief lesson delivered by a colleague. It is an opportunity for active learning and strengthening group commitment to an idea or practice.

One-point lessons are typically on a large flip chart, prepared by the team leader or team member and hand-drawn. People tend to support what they have a hand in creating. The points of emphasis may vary by workplace such as industrial, healthcare, food service or office. Hand-drawing causes us to reflect on the picture we are drawing and the key points of importance.

The hand-washing one-point lesson above is a bit wordy. There is a lot that needs to happen in twenty seconds. A two-step approach may be to have a simpler OPL explaining the importance of proper hand-washing, and a more detailed one-page procedure or poster. In this day and age, a QR code of a brief mobile phone video may be a good supplement to the paper OPL.

For those new to One-Point Lessons, this short article may be of interest.

I encourage everyone to consider reinforcing the importance of proper hand-washing, with family, friends and colleagues.

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