Monday, February 27, 2012

On Washing Hands

Gawande is very passionate as he goes through his essay, "Washing Hands" and tells the reader about all the diseases that people have and also all of the problems there are in a hospital. Many people feel that a hospital is a place to get well and treated at, but many do not realize how dangerous a hospital really is. Gawande states in his essay, "Each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, two million Americans acquire an infection while they are in the hospital". I think this quote stands out the most to me because when someone thinks about a hospital they really think of getting well, not getting sick. The whole purpose of most people that go into a hospital is the idea of getting treated for something that is wrong with them.
People get so used to their habits that it can almost be the death of them. For someone to change a habit that they do is very difficult and it is for many reasons. We just do the same things over and over again. Our lives are very repetitive. When we get into the habit of doing something there is something in our brain that tells us to keep doing that and keep doing it the way you started. That is why it is so hard to change the way that we wash our hands. We could even link this into the addictions that many people have today. Smoking is a good example of this. I have worked with a very nice lady for almost 5 years now. She was a smoker and has smoked her whole life. About two years ago she got Leukemia and was off work for almost two years. She recieved many treatments and is now in remission. They are not sure exactly how she got it. She never did stop smoking through all the time she had cancer. Now she wonders if it is going to come back again. Smoking may not only be a habit, because there are chemicals involved in smoking, but it is defintely partly a habit. Someone is so used to smoking that breaking that chain of smoking everyday is hard because they get so used to doing it. Even if we know that something we are doing is harming us, we continue to do it. Most people know that if they stop smoking or wash their hands more often that they can become healthier, but they keep doing it.

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