The healthcare industry is one of the more exciting to have a profession in. every day, you’re saving people’s lives or you’re helping to improve them in one way or another. It’s truly a selfless act to be a nurse, doctor, surgeon or consultant, which are the roles that have you in regular contact with sick or dying patients. It also means, that you’re in an industry whereby you’re surrounded by risks all the time. Being vigilant of your actions and making sure to not make things worse is not a thought that is common in other industries and fields. However, when you’re dealing with people that are vulnerable to germs, bacteria and you’re touching open wounds, it’s vital that you are constantly aware of every little action you make. Infections are still a high cause of death in hospitals, which is a big problem for the industry. Germs tend to build up and spread in confined spaces, especially where there is a lot human traffic that can pass them around. It’s so easy to become a carrier, and not even realize the danger you’re putting yourself and others in. if each person working in hospitals and doctor surgeries took a few simple steps to be more safe, the dangers and damage caused could be greatly limited.
Drying hands and catching germs
Unfortunately, not everyone is very prudent and thoughtful of others in the toilets. Yes, even in hospital toilet rooms, some people have a rather lax attitude to the spreading of germs. Urine and feces are commonly spread throughout places of healthcare, and we can’t always pin the blame of careless patients. Professional staff are sometimes also guilty of not washing hands, not being thorough enough, and not properly washing or cleaning their private parts. Something simple as this, surely shouldn’t be happening but it does. Germs get everywhere, and truly, they get everywhere.
For some years now there has been a debate that has centered around jet hand dryers. The only reason why you would even use them, is to dry your hands after washing them. However, as aforementioned, some people simple do not properly wash and make sure to get every crevice in their hands. In a recent study, jet hand dryers have been found out to host ‘superbugs’ that don’t die so easily at the hands of cleaning products. Therefore, antibacterial soap isn’t going to be enough either. It turns out that paper towels are better at not only absorbing dirty water on our hands, but also effectively stopping the chain of contamination. So if you are a healthcare professional, stick to drying your hands with paper towels instead of sticking your hands underneath a jet hand dryer.
It’s all in your head
Operating rooms are incredibly intense. Even when there are operations going on for 8 or 10 hours, the situation is high-strung and everybody needs to pay attention to what is going on. The surgeon especially, is under a lot of pressure and it’s easy to make mistakes. Therefore the staff around him or her, needs to be supportive and obey orders to the exact specifications of the person holding the scalpel. The surgeon will avoid any needless things happening and make sure that his or her work is extremely professional. This means, avoiding cutting tissue that doesn’t need to be, and limiting blood loss to the absolute maximum. During situations where there is a region of the patient’s body that is going to be cut open, blood splatters can occur. Drops of blood can be tiny and others larger. The smaller drops can be unnoticed and not even stain your protective clothing.
However, it has been noted that hair is one of the primary risk factors for spreading germs around hospitals. Even if your hands a clean, a strand of hair that is shedding, but has infectious germs on it can lead to massive problems. One of the solutions is a disposable scrub hair cap, which you can learn more about and read the three most notable reasons for. For one, you can toss them into the trash, right after you have dealt with a patient, therefore you’re making a clean start each time you visit a new patient. They can be worn tightly and due to the stitching, your hair is supported while pushed upward, leaving no hanging strands or clumps hanging out.
Switch your shoes
Hospitals do get a bad rap about being dirty and causing more harm than good sometimes. It’s not right to always palm the blame onto the hospital staff or the building itself. Even with regular cleaning, harmful germs will find a way in. And what better host than the human being? Healthcare professionals are recommended to have a change of shoes at work. A study in 2017 has revealed that you’re more likely to bring germs into the hospital through your footwear than perhaps anywhere else on your clothing. Public pavements can be filthy, with dog feces, spit, phlegm, dirty gutter water and more lying around everywhere.
You can’t avoid every single one of these things, so you will at some point in your career bring in harmful germs to the place you work. But, rather than going around, doing your rounds with these shoes on, you should switch them in the changing rooms. Then, thoroughly wash your hands that touched the shoes to make a double-effort to stop any clinging groups of germs still left on your hands. Never touch your outside clothes with your indoor clothes. This goes for nurses, doctors, surgeons and pretty much everyone else that has some kind of interaction with patients and medical equipment. Working both ways, you should leave your work clothes at work and not bring them home as you can actually bring home germs from inside the hospital to inside your own home.
Create a barrier between home and work, by having multiple changes of clothes ready at work in the changing rooms. Wear a disposable scrub cap so no germs can find their way into your hair. Even though jet hand dryers can seem convenient, they may be doing more harm than good, so use a paper towel to dry your hands instead.