Don’t let me get sick, don’t let me get sick…

I pray this daily, or would if prayer was effective. Rather a mantra instead.

Why after 40 years in health care would I be terrified to get sick, or to have a loved one ill and in the system?

One reason. Healthcare workers.

Today I discovered that the hand hygiene posters I put up to inform families of hand hygiene compliance in the ICU were taken down. Of course no one ever knows who does this. Except I think they do know. A couple years ago someone took it upon themselves to tear down a poster done by one of the nurses on hand hygiene. It was a fun, amusing poster featuring sesame street characters and humourous quotes from them. The someone in the staff was ‘offended’ and found it demeaning and insulting and tore it down.  Someone was never found.

In April we agreed to post hand hygiene compliance in areas where the public could see. On the anteroom doors to isolation rooms and in the halls. ICU staff – that mysterious ‘someone’ again, were ‘offended’  I do not think that word means what you think it means.

A hand hygiene compliance rate of 49% is shameful and embarrassing, but YOU do not get to be offended by it – the public can be offended, but YOU should simply be ashamed. Fast forward to a month later. The rate is up to 67% after a month of 49% staring you in the face. And now nurses are ‘demoralized’ and feel bullied.

Sorry again, but I do  not think that word means what you think it means. Just because you do not like something does not mean you are bullied. Just because you don’t like something does not make it offensive.

Here is what bullying it – making statement that the rates are lies, that it isn’t done correctly and taking that work down. THAT is bullying. When you say it isn’t correct or that it is lies you demean and imply I am lying and dishonest, or unskilled and don’t know what I am doing. You are bullying me and the work I do. By taking the posters down you make it so I have to repeat the work I have already done. These are bully behaviours.

But we always knew you were bullies. I have not forgotten your mob rule of 2007-2008

mob rule

So back to Don’t let me get Sick – why would I want healthcare providers who only clean their hands 50% of the time caring for me or anyone I care about? Why would I want to be in the hands of a bully?

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