Massachusetts Association of Public Health
Hand Sanitizers Spread Message to Avoid Spreading Germs
The Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses has a simple message: Wash your hands.
They find very creative ways to make the message stick.
"Anytime we do something on human pest infestation, the audience is scratching after 10 minutes," said Kitty Mahoney. "It doesn't take long for scabies to infect a communal facility (such as a shelter or prison) and bed bugs can be anywhere. Whenever we host a program on cough etiquette, the same education transfer takes place. A member of the audience will cough into their sleeve while in the class. It is infectious knowledge and it is communicable! We tell 10 people who tell 10 people…..."
When Mahoney travels, she carries small bottles hand sanitizer spray with her. The giveaways, made possible through an in-kind grant by 4imprint's one by oneSM program, are extremely popular with audiences who've just learned about the spread of bacteria, viruses and other infectious diseases.
"We can't just put them out in a basket on the counter or they'd be gone in a week," she said.
Instead, she hands out the sprays to audiences who have heard the hand-washing message loud and clear.
Presentations to medical professionals on hand-washing to prevent Pertussis (whooping cough) are one example. Students studying health careers are another.
To make her message stick, Mahoney dusts a notebook or pen with a fictional infection (such as cornstarch) and then passes it around the room. Next, she passes around a blacklight so students can see how easily the faux-germs are passed from person to person. With the creepy-crawlies fresh on students' minds, lessons on hand-washing, hand-sanitizer gels and sprays stick.
After programs like this, the small spray bottles of hand sanitizers, emblazoned with the Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses logo, are quickly snapped up.
"They all want them by the time we're done."