Friday, May 8, 2009
Hospital 'SAFE PASS' Should Be Developed
Hospital 'Safe Pass' Should Be Developed
Speaking recently to a friend of mine in the building community, he mentioned that he thought it would be a very good idea for everyone working is hospitals to get the medical equivalent of the 'Safe Pass' that construction workers need before they are allowed to even enter a building site.
Everyone who wants access to a building site must complete and acquire a 'Safe Pass' course before they can work in any way on a building site. It covers safety issues which might arise on sites and tries to equip workers with the awareness and skills to both avoid and not cause accidents on building sites (a very high risk job for work related accidents).
He suggested that anyone who wanted to work in any capacity in a hopsital, where, lets face it, infection and the spread of infection is now a very serious concern, should have to have completed and acquired a 'Safe Pass' which would teach them the special requirements to both avoid picking up or spreading infection in that sensitive environment.
It has to be asumed that medical personnel would already be aware of those requirements. But many people work in the hopsital environment whether as cleaners, porters, administration, management, catering or secretarial staff none of whom may have had any medical training.
I have to say that I thought this was a very good idea and it should be developed and introduced as one of many initiatives which will be required to eliminate the transfer of MRSA and C Diff etc. in our hospitals. At the very least, it certainly could not hurt.
I would go further I have to say. I would go as far as to say that hospital staff should not wear their hospital uniforms outside the hospital, nor should they wear their civilian clothes in the hospital. The current trend, for example of trouser hems dragging along the ground possibly carrying infections both into and out of hospital by staff must surely be a risky practice. Staff should be provided with lockers, showers and changing areas in order to reduce the risk of this type of infection as much as possible.
I would also curb visiting and visiting hours. Both on the basis of possible infection, but also on the basis that patients, by and large, need as much rest as possible. Of course for children or people who need family attendance this would be waived.
Many patients are extremely vulnerable and the trauma of additional infections and the pain and distress that this causes to both the sick and their families must be eliminated. Hospitals must make people better, not worse and I am sure that all hopsital staff would welcome anything which would make it safer for patients and indeed, for themselves.
I intend to write to follow up on this idea and suggest that the Government or the HSE might undertake to examine the possibility of introducing some kind of medical 'Safe Pass' training and certification. It would be in all our interests.
Photos shows my son Cillian during a visit to WRH a number of years ago - where it has to be said, he got excellent care.