Sunday, March 11, 2012

On Washing Hands

The essay "On Washing Hands" was about the importance of washing your hands. It takes place in the hospital that the author, Atul Gawande, works at. The problem that is occuring in the hospital is that "we doctors and nurses wash our hand one third to one half as often as we are supposed to" (Gawande, pg 207). Because of this, doctors and nurses spread infections and diseases to patients when they do not wash their hands when they move from patient to patient. Several different strategies have been used to reduce the spread of infection by having doctors and nurses wash their hands more often. But a lot of the doctors and nurses cannot break their bad habit so the problem continues. As an EMT, we have to do the same thing, including sterilizing our truck and equipment between each transport to protect both us and the patients from any possible infections. Some of the older EMTs don't follow the rules as strictly because they developed the habit of not doing it and they are stuck in their ways. New EMTs, like myself, have had it drilled into our minds that we HAVE to do this. Even though it seems like we are OCD with the process of cleaning, sterilizing, and going constantly using hand sanitizer, and going through sheets and blankets like crazy, it is a habit that will protect our patients and help stop the spread of infections to other patients.

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