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Take on knowledge of bloodborne pathogens.

02 Apr 2024 8:34 AM | Charles Baird

A young physician had just come in from assisting a laboring mother. His hands were covered by the evidence of the operation. The controversial Austrian physician who witnessed this firmly rebuked his younger colleague and told him to go get cleaned up before proceeding to the next birthing mother. At this time in Europe, the knowledge of pathogens was minimal but the mortality rates were not-especially in the birthing wards. But one man would strive to take the cleanliness practiced by the midwives into the hospitals of his beloved homeland. History lessons from the past show us why we must practice a system of contamination control and knowledge in the workplace.

On the farm/ranch we grew up taking pride in the grease, oil, or dirt that gave proof to the demands of our daily chores or projects. It was much the same in Europe at the hospitals in a trade exclusively dominated by men. Pride often gets us into trouble in more ways than we realize. We can be gratified by the results as long as no one else is detrimental affected. Wearing personal protection such as a uniform designated with this in mind, glasses and gloves, are the most important things to remember.

Thinking about the consequences to others around us should play major part in our attitude toward pathogens of any kind. That OSHA and fines should happen to catch up could indeed be a key motivator- but principles of society go beyond a governing entity. Principles are based on what we believe and why and if we believe what others tell us without thought we become a cheap fragment. These ignorant doctors in 18th century Europe were going from birthing woman to woman without cleaning up or wearing protective equipment because they were just doing what everyone else was doing. Sounds similar to our society now in other facets of life.

To sum this up let's not just consider the facts and figures spouted out with textbook lingo and because OSHA tells us to, let's make sure we know the life and death is in the blood...

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