This blog takes a look at how we create hygiene awareness in medical facilities, where hygiene practices are of critical importance to keep patients and staff safe.
First, do no harm. Hygiene awareness in medical facilities
I recently found myself in the unfortunate position recently of having a close family member require an emergency medical procedure, and I processed a number of emotions after I received the news.
First, there was some shock and disbelief that someone that seemed 100% healthy a minute ago was no longer so. Then there was denial; did the surgeon really assess the situation properly? I then moved onto emotional preparation, in order to support my family in the best way possible. And then there was the day of the actual procedure, anxiously spent sitting next to the phone, waiting for news. And finally, daily check-ins to find out about progress, expert opinions, and whether there was anything further I could do to help.
While visiting my relative in the high-care unit of the hospital it struck me that we put a lot of faith in – and focus on – good hygiene practices in healthcare environments. These hygiene practices are of critical importance to keep patients – who may have just gone through life saving procedures – safe, but they also keep our specialists, nurses, surgeons, and ourselves healthy and well.
Sitting in the waiting area I reviewed one of our recent posts on the evolution of hygiene practices and how far we’ve come. Although our medical professionals can’t guarantee a speedy recovery for everyone, good hygiene practices have helped the profession save more lives post-operatively than was ever possible – by reducing cross contamination.
The Importance of hygiene awareness in medical facilities
Working for Initial, I’ve become acutely aware of my own hygiene practices and those of the people around me. It’s not just about washing one’s hands properly or sanitising to prevent the spread of germs. For me, the conversation has evolved to include things like; where are the hand sanitiser stations placed; how often did I see the designated High Care medical professional wash his hands properly, was there sufficient paper close to the basin so that water didn’t drip on the floor, what was the last touch point before the patient was touched, and were the medical professional’s hands disinfected at that stage?
(Yes, I’m probably overreacting, but this is what a world class hygiene provider trains you to be aware of, and you can’t forget about it even in personal, stressful situations. If anything, the obsession intensifies).
I am happy to report that in this specific hospital the hygiene standards were impeccable and the level of awareness and hygiene training was clearly evident in the way that every member of staff conducted themselves. As a family member, this provided me with comfort and reassurance that patients were being cared for and that there was a genuine interest in their recovery.
How to prevent cross contamination in hospitals
If you haven’t been exposed to the hygiene aspect of healthcare facilities or would like to improve your personal hygiene practices I would like you to consider the following;