I'm supposed to wear an "Ask me if I washed my hands!" button?! - page 29

Today, administrators launched a handwashing campaign, part of which includes having patient care staff wear giant buttons that say, "Ask me if I washed my hands!" Patients are encouraged to ask... Read More

  1. by   Chaya
    Ya know, if it was worded a little differently, say something like "Handwashing saves LIVES" or something along those lines, I could get on board with it. The "Ask me if I've washed my hands" kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth; it's along the lines of "Ask me if I coughed on these pills I'm giving you ( I mean, if you've gotta ask, what are the chances of getting a straight answer?)
  2. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from pannie
    As one who lost almost a year of my life and has the very nasty abdominal scar from MRSA, let me assure you that I don't find it demeaning to the healthcare provider to ask. My very disfiguring scar is proof that asking is much better in the long run. You can bet if I don't see that provider washing, I WILL tell them to.

    You being offended vs thousands upon thousands of dollars; you being offended vs my battle to live, just isn't going to impress me much. If someone is offended, I'd ask for another provider.
    IF this were about good hand hygiene, I would agree with you.

    It's about demeaning nurses.

    I'm sorry, there has to be a way to encourage hand washing WITHOUT demeaning nurses. However, present to management a way to do something that also demeans nurses, and it's a twofer. It's not the hand hygiene message I disagree with. It's the part about demeaning nurses.

    The message is implicit: your nurses aren't professional enough to do their jobs unless you check up on them.

    Nope. Wouldn't wear it. I respect myself and my hard earned efforts much more than that.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Mar 28, '08
  3. by   pannie
    Chaya, I agree with you. Somehow there's got to be a way to impress EVERYONE how important it is. But the bottomline is that if I don't see the handwashing or someone using the sanitizer, I will say something. But for a long period, I wasn't aware or coherent enough to be vigilant. What then? Trust? That didn't work out too well for me.
  4. by   allaboutthefamily
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    IF this were about good hand hygiene, I would agree with you.

    It's about demeaning nurses.

    I'm sorry, there has to be a way to encourage hand washing WITHOUT demeaning nurses. However, present to management a way to do something that also demeans nurses, and it's a twofer. It's not the hand hygiene message I disagree with. It's the part about demeaning nurses.

    The message is implicit: your nurses aren't professional enough to do their jobs unless you check up on them.

    Nope. Wouldn't wear it. I respect myself and my hard earned efforts much more than that.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    If it is demeaning then perhaps we deserve it, but I do not feel that was the intention of the message. As my uncle always said, do not look for insult where none was intended.

    Numerous studies (quoted throughout this post) have shown that health care professionals do not wash thier hands regularly or do not do so effectively. If we need a collective "kick in the rump" to do so then so be it. If it will save lives and promote health then so be it.

    If you wash your hands everytime when entering and leaving a patients room then maybe the buttons will cause you to take a closer look at those around you.

    If all nurses were professional enough to do thier jobs correctly without any kind of "checking up" then there would be no need for many safety measures such as double checking medications (some). Not all nurses play the game the same, I knew a guy who got fired because he had a hep lock under his clothes and would shoot up half of his patients meds (analgesics, etc.). The lock on the meds is not just in case a patient wanders near the med room, it is a safeguard against nurses as well. Granted this is a very small minority, but it is needed.

    I also feel these buttons are good for the patients, they are reassuring and give them a sense of empowerment, perhaps even faccilitate communication in a patient that would otherwise not speak up. With all of the media hype surrounding MRSA and other transmittable disease these buttons might be just the ticket to let the patients know we are doing what we can to stop the spread of infection. Heck I might just get a "Ask me if I wiped today" tattoo on my forearm.

    The day that I think I am above anything that helps my patients is the day that I have outgrown nursing (yes even if they made me wear a clown suit and dance on a pole in the psyche unit).
  5. by   PMHNP10
    Quote from allaboutthefamily
    If it is demeaning then perhaps we deserve it, but I do not feel that was the intention of the message. As my uncle always said, do not look for insult where none was intended.
    it has been many moons since I last read the messages in this thread, but if I recall, part of the issue was that these buttons were required of nursing staff, but not of medicine and other members of the treatment team; if in fact I am correct, then I would have to respectfully disagree with your assertation; IMO singling out 1 component of the treatment team at the exclusion of the other components of the team is indeed demeaning to the component singled out
  6. by   proud2b1
    I think that if nurses will have to wear such a thing,It cant stop there.What about all the restuants,the people that work in many other areas,where handwashing,does play a big role in controlling the spread of germs.Handwashing is for everyone,all the time,this day and age.I mean the children at schools should alcohol gel after every recess and bathroom break!! I do need to add that at my daughters school,they do do this.My daughter is 7 and she has been well trained on the handwashing and the importance.I think the message is getting out.
    Last edit by proud2b1 on Apr 7, '08
  7. by   allaboutthefamily
    Quote from psychrn03
    it has been many moons since I last read the messages in this thread, but if I recall, part of the issue was that these buttons were required of nursing staff, but not of medicine and other members of the treatment team; if in fact I am correct, then I would have to respectfully disagree with your assertation; IMO singling out 1 component of the treatment team at the exclusion of the other components of the team is indeed demeaning to the component singled out
    I agree, I did not think of it that way. At my hospital it is not mandatory, but many nurses and non-licensed personel where the buttons. Doctors are the worst at hand washing in my (very limited) experience. This being said, I dont know if doctors are actually in the patients rooms long enough to spread germs, think- five second rule .
  8. by   allaboutthefamily
    But I still say I will do it, I was never the kid sayin "But mom they dont have to eat thier vegetables". If its good for us its good for us.
  9. by   Celtfire
    I have observed that many administrators have good intentions they just tend to be alittle misguided at times.

    Stepping aside for a moment and taking a look from their point of view, I'm sure they didn't intend on demeaning the staff.
    I would gather some of the staff together and come up with other, more tastful, ideas to propose to the admin staff.
    ***sounds like your admin used to work at an auto dealership***
  10. by   laladybug
    The Joint Commission encourages patients to feel comfortable asking caregivers to wash their hands or if they have washed their hands. The campaign is called "It's Ok to Ask". It is sad when we as caregivers don't clean our hands but 30% of the time, yet it has a huge negative impact on our patient's outcomes. Have you ever lost a loved one to a hospital acquired infection? You watch nurses who are educated and know better, yet they don't wash or disinfect their hands. How often do we properly disinfect IV tubing hubs before injecting medications or connecting IVPBs? If it wasn't a problem, it would not be in the spotlight. It is devastating to have a family member preparing to go home and suddenly develop sepsis and die in a hospital bed. Could this have been prevented? Maybe, if everyone followed strict infection control guidelines. I say if you are cleaning your hands in the patients rooms every time you enter, they will see that you have washed and not need to ask. However, if you haven't then they will feel comfortable asking. And yes, doctors should wear them also. One other thing, maybe you should look at from a positive side: I am not perfect and may forget to wash my hands. If I don't wash them in front of you, I would like for you to remind me. Your safety is always important to me.
  11. by   herring_RN
    as early as 1843, dr. oliver wendell holmes advocated handwashing to prevent childbed fever.
    holmes was horrified by the prevalence in american hospitals of the fever, which he believed to be an infectious disease passed to pregnant women by the hands of doctors.
    he recommended that a physician finding two cases of the disease in his practice within a short time should remove himself from obstetrical duty for a month. holmes's ideas were greeted with disdain by many physicians of his time.

    in the late 1840's, dr. ignaz semmelweis was an assistant in the maternity wards of a vienna hospital.
    there he observed that the mortality rate in a delivery room staffed by medical students was up to three times higher than in a second delivery room staffed by midwives.
    in fact, women were terrified of the room staffed by the medical students.

    semmelweis observed that the students were coming straight from their lessons in the autopsy room to the delivery room. he postulated that the students might be carrying the infection from their dissections to birthing mothers. he ordered doctors and medical students to wash their hands with a chlorinated solution before examining women in labor. the mortality rate in his maternity wards eventually dropped to less than one percent.

    http://www.accessexcellence.org/ae/aec/cc/hand_background.php
  12. by   Iam46yearsold
    I have no problem wearing a button saying, ask me if I have washed my
    hands. Looks well with my Obama/Biden button to win in 2008
  13. by   Iam46yearsold
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Yes, they are THAT offensive.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.

    I have found all this amusing. To me there are far greater concerns in this world. Ending this illegal war, fixing the economic crisis, saving our environment, saving the whales,promoting alternative energy,preserving our eroding human rights.And the list goes on eternally.

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