"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Saturday, April 19, 2008

NHS infection prevention

Three times a week, I walk into town to do my voluntary counselling and pass the local hospital. I have become used to seeing nurses, still in their uniforms, standing on the pavement beside the busy road smoking. I am often passing around the middle of the day when it's likely to be their break-time and, as the policy in Wales now is that no smoking is allowed on work premises (and in the case of this hospital, that is taken to include the grounds), for those who are smokers, there is nowhere else to go.
My issue is really with the fact that hospital staff now seem to be allowed to go anywhere in their uniforms and seeing them standing beside a busy road, with all the traffic fumes, dust, dirt and general pollution, does not inspire me with confidence as to how well protected their patients are from infection when they go back to their wards.
I could go on at length about the five months of nursing I did back in 1966, when staff were never allowed out of the hospital grounds in uniform and were not even allowed off the ward in their aprons but at least in those days, there was no threat from MRSA etc.
But today, on my way to my course, I was astounded to pass a doctor, in theatre greens, stethoscope round his neck, walking along the same busy, polluted road outside the hospital.
I just hope I never need an operation in there!

11 comments:

Jay said...

Ah, you should hear my mother on this subject! She is now in her eighties and trained in the days of 'Matron' and glass syringes with non-disposable needles and they had far, far less hospital acquired infections than they do today. I remember meeting her from work sometimes in the sixties - she finished in the afternoon and I'd sometimes meet her after school and we'd travel home together. Never, ever in her uniform. They had lockers and she had to change before leaving work. And if they needed even to walk between hospital buildings, they had to wear an outdoor coat, no matter how hot it was.
My step father died of MRSI following a routine back op, so we do both feel rather bitter about it all.

Pyreneen Vue said...

When you were a nurse did you wear black stockings or fishnet?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Sorry - Pyreneen Vue is my brother's gites in southern France. Perhaps you and Keith could have a break there? Fly down to Carcassone or Toulouse, hire a car... just a thought. Was the uniform cotton or white PVC?

Jennyta said...

Well, YP and brother, the uniform was cotton and stockings just ordinary flesh coloured and length of uniform was strictly determined. Sorry to be so boring. ;)
YP, I have just visited your brother's blog and emailed him about a holiday there in July. Does he have to give you a cut if he gets a customer through you?

Jennyta said...

Jay, my mother was a nurse too and I know her experiences were just like your mother's. I think it's scandalous that people are dying in our hospitals needlessly because of carelessness over hygiene and I can understand how difficult it must be for you knowing that your dad was a victim of this.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Jennyta - No I don't take any kind of cut. If you want to ask me any questions about the gites and the area I will be happy to respond - in a totally honest and independent way. I have stayed at Pyreneen Vue a couple of times. It's a peaceful, little visited area of France far from the sea. If you fancied a couple of days at the Med coast before or after Pyreneen Vue, I would recommend the Hotel Plage des Pins at Argeles sur Mer. We stayed there last year - smashing.

Silverback said...

Judithta, I think I've blundered into an episode of "Wish You Were Here"

Ian

Jennyta said...

Come in and welcome, Ian. We'll have a party!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Silverback - ever considered a clifftop caravan at Mablethorpe or Morecambe? I am sure you'd have a great time there. Why not go out cockle picking in the bay?

Silverback said...

YP, it seems to me that properties that are currently on a clifftop can soon end up in the bay anyway !

Ian

Jennyta said...

Play nicely, you two!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails