How to: avoid poor hospital hygiene
UK hospitals, beware – the media are on your tail! And it’s leaving patients terrified.
You simply have to open a newspaper to see how mistrusted the NHS is by the newspapers. In their eyes, superbugs lurk on every ward and the sick will only get sicker when an unwashed doctor lurks over them with their stethoscope.
According to national newspaper the Telegraph, you are 15 times more likely to catch an infectious disease on an NHS ward than in other European country. At times, these strains of virus are so difficult to contain that entire wards have to be shut down and decontaminated.
It’s the kind of statistic that could put those phobic of hospitals on edge. Yet avoiding hospitals is a poor decision – no matter how paranoid you are, the world of white coats and antiseptic smells is a necessary evil.
Those who delay treatment for a serious illness could reduce their life expectancy dramatically.
So how can you ignore the headlines and walk into a hospital with your head held high?
Rubbish lies at the heart of festering disease and spreading bacteria – and the flow is stemmed ineffectively in some hospitals.
But what is true for the few isn’t so for the many. The vast majority of hospitals ensure that their healthcare waste handled with utmost care. Many outsource to private professionals to ensure that waste is removed safely from premises without fuss.
Your local hospital’s cleaning arrangements should be easy to find online or through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. Once you’ve studied their schedule and realised its thoroughness, you’ll feel far more at ease wandering through those waste-free wards.
If you’ve got a big stay planned in a hospital, relying only on the cleanliness of hospital staff is unlikely to keep you hygienic. Yet, according to the Telegraph, some staff are unlikely to follow hygiene protocol with much care.
Taking matters into your own hands will make you feel cleaner from the get-go. Create a hygiene kit for yourself that you can use on the fly whenever you’re feeling dirty.
This doesn’t have to amount to much, even a simple antibacterial gel kept on your person could be enough to ward off germs.
Talk it out
Conversation lies at the heart of reassurance, and doctors and nurses have grown increasingly aware of this in the past few decades.
Part of the training of a medical professional lies in making their patients feel better with the soothing benefits of conversation.
So if you’ve got any questions, don’t be frightened to ask your doctor or nurse. Their reassurances will help get you through the medical process, and your questions could make them more mindful of effective hygiene.