- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hygiene: Hand wringing and Hand washing

Personally at the moment - and for some months to come - I’ve a lot of hand wringing to do. Ever future facing, while I get on with that - I’m reminded of the ongoing crusade for hygiene in hospitals and other clinical and care environments.

While 'hygiene' does not always seem to have the desired reach that health protection / infection control managers and Trust Boards would like - there are other examples. In mental health - after Clifford Beers - we speak of mental hygiene. In community nursing we commonly speak of sleep hygiene. So (grab the Horlicks) let’s check the sheets for unnecessary creases and see if we can’t improve things as heads are laid on pillows.

There is another form of hygiene which people* in many countries are having to practice at present: economic hygiene. A stock take of income and outcome. Of course, organisations do this when budgets are tight. In health and social care managers quickly identify the soft belly of savings that can be made.

Take the hygiene too far though and obsessive hand-washing becomes a problem.

(Could Hodges' model encourage a tendency for over-thinking? Does it provide evidence for those who characterise  reflection as navel-gazing and prevarication?)
For health care providers given the priority of nursing (the front-line!) administration is an easy target for savings.

There are new dependencies now though. The balance between admin and nursing duties has become blurred, with the arrival of IT AND paper systems.

So clearly - wash your hands according to the policy and latest evidence-based advice, but do take care that admin does not get washed away in the process.

*Me too!