Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dirty Secrets

I had some fun with the infection control nurse, a pompous and self righteous D-bag,  who harangued us with the usual hand washing stuff.  I asked about disinfection of things like stethoscopes, and she rather snidely told me that, of course, they should be routinely disinfected, before launching into a lecture on precautions, MRSA, and disposable stethoscopes.

I was bored.  So I started it.

Me: "Mmm-hmm.  What about ID badges?  Do you have any policy on disinfecting those?  I mean, they are at chest height, in the sneeze and cough zone, dangle onto patient's skin, onto sheets, they go to every patient room and are never washed or disinfected…it seems to me they would be just a germ farm".  I pointedly glanced at her ID badge, on a nylon lanyard, which was covered with 27 pieces of flair.

Blank stare.  She was gob-smacked.  "I've never thought of that".

Yeah. ID badges are filthy things.  Think about it.  Along with watches, rings, bracelets (which I never wear to work) and neckties on the men.

Name badges are mandatory.  It goes everywhere the nurse goes.   It gets touched 150 times per day because they always flip around so that my various passwords are showing instead of my name.   It gets handled and scanned for glucometers and to enter/exit certain areas.  It is used for the time clock.  It goes into the bathroom, the poopy patient's room, and the cafeteria.  Into.  Every.  Patient.  Room.

Yesterday I had a horrifying thought.  BWOM hospital issues clip-on visitor badges, which are never, to my knowledge, washed or disinfected.


Just so you know, I do bleach-wipe my name badge every day.  Always have.  Always will.  
And now you will, too.

You're welcome.