Bringing It Home
Last week I wasn't feeling well. Between patients, family members and other employees, there's a lot that can be passed between people in a facility. Although I use the alcohol gel and wash my hands, there are instances where a virus will find its way to me and I cannot avoid it. I didn't have a fever or any of the "normal sickness" symptoms, I just didn't feel good and wanted to sleep to get better.
A few days later, my daughter became sick with a high temperature and vomiting. She was better after several days, then it was passed to my son. Soon the rest of the family will become ill and the cycle will have completed itself. So, did I bring home a virus from work that caused my family to become ill? Maybe.
I look back and work is not the only place I went to. I went to several different stores and used a shopping cart, I handled paper money and coins that others have as well, and I used an ATM machine. Since I didn't have access to those handy alcohol wipes that kill 99% of every known virus, I wasn't able to wipe off the handle of the shopping cart or the ATM keypad. I could have picked up a virus almost anywhere -- the gas station, opening a door, touching a handrail while going up stairs etc. There is no escaping contact with those pesky viruses.
I could easily blame any sickness on other healthcare workers who come to work sick and spread it among everyone else. I could also blame all those family members who come in and cough and sneeze in the therapy department, then leave. Maybe I'll emulate Steve Martin and not shake hands with people so I don't spread a virus to anyone else and I won't have to risk picking up one from someone either. When I met new people, I could do the forearm bump like he did when he met President Obama. I could also wash my hands more frequently with soap and water and make sure I thoroughly dry them off before doing another task.