Another Guinness World Record

Glasgow Caledonian University nursing students attempt record breaking hand wash on European Antibiotic Awareness Day For more details see press release Pic Peter Devlin
Glasgow Caledonian University nursing students attempt record breaking hand wash on European Antibiotic Awareness Day Pic Peter Devlin


After the huge success of last year’s world record, it was decided that we should try for another record, still within the theme of hand hygiene since this is the most effective way of reducing the risk of infection in healthcare and the transmission of infection in the wider community.

All student nurses are taught hand hygiene in year one of their nursing programme at Glasgow Caledonian University GCU and so it was felt that student nurses from year 1 and 2 of the programme would be the ideal participants in a world record for “The most participants in a hand sanitising relay”, in partnership with Glasgow City of Science and Health Protection Scotland.

The previous record had been set in May 2014, with 277 participants at the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital. This World Record was beaten by GCU student nurses on November 18, 2015, European Antibiotic Awareness Day, an annual public-health initiative to raise awareness about the threat of antibiotic resistance and the importance of prudent antibiotic use.

417 student nurses undertook the challenge with Professor Fiona McQueen, Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer, and Glasgow City Council’s Liz Cameron in attendance.

This world record attempt fitted with the SHIP (Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention) research work streams; research on antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial resistance and evidence for infection prevention and control. Every participant, in turn, had to complete the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) six-step hand-hygiene technique with hand sanitising gel and then pass this on to the next person in the relay. One of our most recent studies on hand hygiene technique provided the first evidence for this WHO six-step hand-hygiene technique and will be posted on the blog in the next post.


Hand Hygiene World Record. Image: GCU

During the event there was a talk about Antimicrobial Resistance by Professor Jacqui Reilly and participants were entertained with music from the GCUkes (our in-house Ukele band) playing “loosely-based” hygiene and  hand related songs.

The attempt could not have been successful without the help of everyone involved. This included independent stewards and witnesses who volunteered from the wider community and all “hands on deck” from staff within the University.

Professor of Infection Prevention Jacqui Reilly said: “Hand hygiene is one of the most important measures we can all use to prevent infection. By reducing these infections we can reserve the use of antibiotics to those infections which cannot be prevented and support the control of antimicrobial resistance.”

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