Monday, February 27, 2012

Old Habits

For the two essays to write about I decided to write about On Washing Hands. In this short essay, the author explains the dire need for hospital employees and in the big picture, our society, to wash our hands. A part of the writing that stood out to me the most was the section about childbed fever. "Out of three thousand mothers who delivered babies at the hospital where Semelweis worked, six hundred or more died of the disease each year -- a horrifying 20 percent maternal death rate. Of mothers delivering at home, only 1 percent died." This passage stunned my thoughts about hospitals almost immediately. All my life I thought hospitals were probably one of the most safe places for a mother to deliver her baby. I had known from previous research that hospitals contained more germs and bacteria than most people thought to be true, but to have something like this was utterly unfathomable. From having nurses or doctors not wash their hands properly, they had caused over 600 infancy deaths. I'm sure none of this was meant to be on purpose, but could it really be from not washing your hands? Reading further into the essay I realized the transfer of bacteria was critical in this process. If they had washed their hands it could've been prevented. I believe that changing habits for humans is difficult because we won't like to be subject for change. Most people in life accept change depending on what it is. The difficult thing with this particular situation is that it was a change that burdened people and ultimately made it so they didn't want to do it. I know that I wouldn't want to spend 20 minutes of every hour washing my hands, but if I knew that it could save someone's life I think personally I would do it. This change would have to be something conscious and something that they would have to remember, it's almost too easy to forget. This is why I believe it's hard for people to change even if they want to. I think that one can change as long as they think about it often and consciously. One situation that I have tried to over come would be trying to not bite my nails. I'm sure everyone has their little habit and their reasons they do it, but I feel as if I only did this because from a child till now it has become such a habit. For a while my parents thought it would just be something I would do when I'm nervous, but I don't even do it when I'm nervous. It's a habit that has started to become unconscious thought, because I'll do it without even realizing it. My way to overcome this was to enforce negative sanctions when ever I caught myself doing it. I would wear a rubber band and I'd snap the rubber band when ever I found myself biting or even think about biting my nails. Over time this has helped because when I think of biting my nails I now think of the sting from the rubber band. OUCH!

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