July 10, 2024 4 min read

In 2019, A Current Affair reporter Alex Bernhardt was hospitalised with septic bursitis in her elbow — an inflammation of the bursa caused by an infection. She was forced to spend three days in hospital on intravenous antibiotics. The cause? A small cut from her last manicure. 

Alex’s experience encouraged other people to come forward with their salon horror stories, like Stella Falcone, who lost part of her finger after a manicure in Melbourne. And Sydney-sider Kim Stubbings, who needed two rounds of surgery after her finger became infected. 

When it comes to healthcare and beauty therapy, cleanliness is non-negotiable. A strong hygiene culture ensures the wellbeing of your clients and staff while delivering high-quality, beautiful results. 

In this guide, we'll explore how you can create a culture that prioritises good hygiene. From putting policies in writing to training your staff, every step plays a crucial role in building a healthy hygiene culture.

 

What is hygiene culture?

Hygiene culture in clinics and salons is a set of practices, standards, attitudes and values that prioritise cleanliness, sanitation and infection control. It's about creating an environment where everyone — from staff to clients — understands the importance of maintaining a hygienic space. 

A clinic with a good hygiene culture will:

  • Clean surfaces, equipment, tools and facilities regularly and thoroughly. This includes disinfecting high-touch areas and sterilising tools between uses.
  • Teach proper handwashing techniques and provide hand sanitisers to their clients.
  • Use appropriate PPE, such as gloves, masks and aprons, to protect their clients and staff from cross-contamination.
  • Sterilise all reusable instruments using validated methods to kill any bacteria.
  • Implement infection control protocols recommended by state health authorities or the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
  • Train and educate their staff on the latest hygiene practices and infection control measures.
  • Adhere to local health and safety regulations and standards to ensure their clinic meets legal requirements.
  • Use evidence-based, single-use barriers for all shared surfaces, such as our FaceShield and BodyShield.

 

How to create a hygiene culture in your clinic in 5 steps

Step 1: Put it in writing

The foundation of any hygiene culture begins with clear and concise policies. Start by communicating your expectations to your staff through written guidelines and protocols, and encourage everyone to practice hygiene etiquette as the new norm.
 
Post signs throughout the facility to reinforce proper protocols. And don’t forget to regularly review and update your policies to ensure they reflect the latest standards and best practices.

 

Step 2: Create a cleaning schedule

Creating a cleaning schedule that is easy to follow will help you and your team create a strong hygiene culture in your clinic. Do this by:

  1. Assessing your cleaning needs. Evaluate the specific requirements of your clinic based on client contact, surface types, equipment, hand contact frequency and potential contamination.
  2. Planning the frequency. Determine how often your team will clean and disinfect different areas and surfaces. High-traffic areas, like treatment rooms, and high-touch points, such as door handles, will require more frequent cleaning.
  3. Investing in quality supplies. Choose high-quality cleaning supplies that meet your clinic's needs. Look for products that are non-toxic, easy to use, environmentally friendly and have a wide antimicrobial range.
  4. Creating an approved product list. Write a master list of approved cleaning products. Keep it simple by keeping the number of products low.

Make sure your team knows the clinic's essential cleaning requirements and which staff member is responsible. It is important to assign specific cleaning duties to individual staff members to ensure they are carried out consistently and efficiently, and to avoid any confusion or oversight.

 

Step 3: Put infection control measures in place

Putting proper infection control measures in place will stop the spread of pathogens within your clinic and create a stronger hygiene culture. Control the spread of infection in your clinic by:

  • Providing staff with masks, gloves and gowns.
  • Disposing of single-use sharp tools immediately.
  • Following government and manufacturer guidelines for cleaning reusable tools.
  • Use single-use, recyclable products like FaceShield and BodyShield on therapy beds to minimise cross-contamination.
  • Using clean towels and sterile razors for clients. Read The Trouble With Treating Towels to learn how to clean your towels properly.
  • Ensuring staff wear clean gowns and gloves, and practice hand hygiene during all their treatments.

    Learn more about salon hygiene guidelines in our blog, Everything You Need to Know About Salon Hygiene: A Complete Guide.

     
    Step 4: Train your staff

    Training your staff to have hygienic values is the key to building a healthy hygiene culture. Follow these steps to teach your staff about hygiene:

    • Develop materials. Create comprehensive training materials covering hygiene practices and infection control.
    • Schedule training sessions. Plan regular, focused training sessions for new and existing staff.
    • Demonstrate procedures. Show proper cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation techniques.
    • Offer hands-on practice. Provide supervised practice opportunities for staff to apply learned techniques. You can even create real-life scenarios to prepare staff for emergencies.
    • Take on a leadership role. Lead by example and actively participate in training sessions.
    • Education and development. Enrol your staff in hygiene education webinars and seminars.

      Step 5: Teach your clients

      Creating a hygiene culture in your clinic doesn’t stop at you and your team — your clients also need to get involved. Here’s how to embed a hygiene culture into the mindset of your customers:

      • Provide posters, brochures or digital displays in the waiting or reception area, highlighting the importance of hygiene for both clients and staff. Include information on hand hygiene, infection control and your clinic's cleanliness procedures.
      • Train your staff to communicate with clients about hygiene practices in a friendly and non-judgmental manner.
      • Ensure hand sanitising stations are readily available and visible in high-traffic areas. Consider demonstrating proper handwashing techniques in restroom facilities or providing visual cues for clients to follow.
      • Be transparent with clients about your clinic's hygiene protocols and procedures. Share information about equipment cleaning, instrument sterilisation and other measures to maintain a clean environment.
      • Offer access to a hand-washing basin or hygiene products, like hand sanitisers, tissues or disposable face masks, for clients to use during their visit.
          Incorporating a solid hygiene culture into your clinic is not just about meeting regulatory standards — it's about prioritising the health, safety and comfort of your clients and staff. Take the next step towards a cleaner, safer clinic with Purifas. Browse our range of hygiene solutions and elevate your clinic today.


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