I received an email from Stephanie Ashworth, Infection Control Director at GVMH, last week and at the bottom of the email she had this quote:
The names of all the people whose lives we’ve saved can never be known. Our contribution is also in what did not happen to them.
This quote caught my attention because it speaks to what we do in health care each and every day. We know when we help heal people, relieve pain, cure an infection or diagnose an illness and that work is important – its central to what we do every day.
What we don’t think about very often is what we do to prevent illness or injury. The most important thing we do to prevent illness is stopping the spread of infection or disease by adhering to infection control standards.
We make it a point to follow universal standards when coming into contact with a patient and the most important thing we do is wash our hands before and after any patient contact. Hand washing is the most important practice we perform every day to keep our patients and our families safe.
The next time you stop to wash your hands remember the quote I shared above, after all, every time you wash your hands you could be saving someone’s life – maybe your own!