What Your 5th Grade Science Class Can Teach You About Fighting HAIs
Superbugs are becoming more powerful. HAIs are killing more and more people. Something needs to change. Superbugs are becoming more powerful. HAIs are killing more and more people. Something needs to change.
Do I sound like a broken record?
I really believe education and raising awareness is key to improving infection prevention. And everything I said in my first paragraph is true. Superbugs are becoming more antibiotic resistant and more powerful every day. HAIs are the 4th leading cause of death in the United States. People do need to know this, and something does need to change.
But sometimes I think we (myself included) forget that education isn’t only about learning facts and memorizing statistics.
Think back to your elementary school science class. I don’t know if it was just my school, but I swear every year from 1st to 7th grade we learned the parts of a flower. The sepal protects the budding flower. The stamen produces pollen. I’d draw a diagram in my notebook with an arrow pointing to the right section and a note on the side: Sepal-protects bud, Stamen- pollen. But every year, as soon as we moved on to the next chapter, I forgot everything. Even today, as I’m writing this blog post, I had to Google “parts of a flower” to get the right answers (Thank you biology.about.com for saving me).
But what I don’t need help remembering is the experiment we did in 5th grade, where we hid sandwich bags filled with food around the school and took notes on which grew mold the quickest (for the record, it was the one taped to the window). And I also don’t need help remembering my experiment for the 7th grade science fair, when 2 out of the 3 plants I was trying to observe never sprouted (FYI, don’t use the random seeds you found in the back of your garage cupboard).
My point is that while we do learn from facts and statistics (we throw plenty facts at you on this blog, so I sure hope you’re learning something from them), we also learn from acting. We learn from someone asking us a question and from using our knowledge and creativity to find a solution. And if that solution doesn’t work, we learn from taking what DID work and tweaking what DIDN’T work and putting them together to make a new solution.
So we can sit around reciting scary HAI statistics and debating the pros and cons of new ideas all day. That’s easy. And that’s a start. But what we really need to do now is take action. Not sure if antimicrobial copper will really cut down on bacteria? Try it out in a one department and see if it’s worth expanding. Don’t believe the claims about a new instrument washer or disinfectant station? Ask for a demo or free trial to see for yourself.
They say actions speak louder than words. Let’s see if actions can reduce HAIs better than words as well.