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The Hand-Washing Error

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  • The Hand-Washing Error

    Well this isn't so much of a pharmacy error than a pharmacist's error.

    As everyone probably already knows, the hot topic nowadays about hand washing with alcohol gel and reducing spread of infections in hospitals.

    A stickler for rules, I diligently wash my hands upon entry and exit from wards and bays, and between patients, even going as far out as walking in and out of the bays to use the alcohol gel dispensers outside. (My ward doesn't have dispensers by the patient's bedside, and I don't have a personal one.)

    Just one of the VERY rare times preoccupied me popped into a bay, forgetting to wash my hands, I got caught by an irate sister who told me off. I apologized and explained that it was a slip of mind and that I understood clearly the importance of hand washing. Still, she reported me to the higher-ups - and I got a phone call.

    So I've been quite careful about washing all the time. And yet -

    I had some sheets of paper in my hand as I entered a bay. I tried to wash my hands best I could without getting gel all over my papers (which was a fax from a patient's GP) - and got caught by a hand-washing auditor on-site, who reported me to the sister and failed the ward because I didn't wash my hands properly. (This happened on a different ward.)

    So now I'm anxiously waiting for a phone call and an email, possibly telling me I will not be allowed to go on the wards again until I demonstrate good hand-washing technique. Well, this is still all in my imagination, but I do hope sister is not going to report me to the higher-ups for this slip-up.

    Learning points from my experience:
    1) Watch out for the person with the clipboard and always, always demonstrate good hand-washing technique in front of them.
    2) Never bring anything into the wards with you if you can help it so that you can wash your hands thoroughly and properly.
    3) Always practice good hand-washing technique!

  • #2
    Re: The Hand-Washing Error

    When my wife was in hospital having our daughter I noticed that the more senior the Dr. the less likely to wash their hands!


    • #3
      Re: The Hand-Washing Error

      Originally posted by JonF View Post
      When my wife was in hospital having our daughter I noticed that the more senior the Dr. the less likely to wash their hands!
      Probably one of their minions did the hands on stuff?
      47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
      2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
      How times change.

      If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.


      • #4
        Re: The Hand-Washing Error

        I had an auditor on the ward once who spent the entire time chatting with the nursing staff, then when asked how the ward was doing with the hand-washing practice, just said that they scored 100% because there were no doctors around to pick on!