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Hygiene rules and dress codes in clinical environment

Within Region Skåne, all health service staff who have contact with patients (examination, care and treatment) must follow the rules below to reduce the risk of spreading infection and thus improve patient safety.

Work clothes / Uniform

Work clothes are supplied by the employer and include all visible items of clothing except shoes and socks. If a headscarf is worn, it must be fastened up. The headscarf must be changed daily. Work clothes must be short-sleeved and be changed daily, or more often as required. Lab coats or jackets with rolled-up sleeves do not count as short-sleeved clothing. This means that lab coats and jackets are not acceptable clothing for examination, care or treatment.

Jewellery, nails and hair

Hands and forearms must be free of watches and jewellery.

Nails must be cut short and not varnished. Artificial nails, nail extensions and nail jewellery are not permitted.

Long hair must be fastened up.

Protective clothing

Protective clothing must be used when there is a risk of contamination of the work clothes. Examples include duties that entail a risk of splashing or contact with bodily fluids, personal care, or handling contaminated objects, such as when making beds or for invasive examinations and treatments.

Preferably, use a disposal, patient-specific plastic apron Otherwise, use a protective gown that is patient-specific and changed daily

Splash protection

Wear a mask and safety goggles or a visor in situations where there is a risk of splashes towards the face.


Disposable gloves must be used if there is a risk or likelihood of contact with bodily fluids/secretions.

Gloves must be patient-specific and be disposed of directly after use.

The outside of gloves becomes contaminated and they therefore spread infections in the same way as unprotected hands.

In order to avoid the spread of infection when performing alternately dirty and clean work, gloves must be changed between different tasks for the same patient.

Hand disinfection

Hands must be disinfected with disinfectant:

  • before and after each patient
  • before clean work and after dirty workbefore and after use of gloves

Hand washing

Hands must be washed with liquid soap and water:

  • if they feel or are visibly dirty
  • after care of a patient with diarrhoea and/or vomiting

After hands are washed, they must be dried thoroughly and then disinfected.

The above rules are based on

National Board of Health and Welfare. Regulations on basic hygiene in the Swedish health service, etc. (SOSFS 2007:19). For more information, please see Vårdhandboken's website.

Vårdhandboken's website

Measures if the rules are not followed

If the above rules are not followed, the line manager is to hold a conversation with the employee to point this out. Such conversations are to be documented. In the event of repeated negligence, the employer can take disciplinary measures against the employee in accordance with Section 11 of the AB collective agreement. In the event of repeated and serious negligence, the employer can consider terminating the employee’s employment. The human resources service must always be contacted for support and advice in these matters.