This was a post I was saving for a rainy day ( or dry spell, depending how you look at it). But I’ve opted to run with it this week as the subject matter nearly knocked me for six and cause visual impairment earlier in the week – I kid you not!
I’ll jump right in. Have you ever been casually choosing your plums in the fruit & vegetable section of the supermarket and somebody leans in over you to reach the lush juicy ones at the back of the pallet? A bit rude, yes? Invading your personal space, yes? Sometimes without as much as a nod of ‘excuse me’.Not so unusual I hear you mutter. Manners appear to be a thing of the past, but I digress, that’s not my beef. When that somebody is wearing a nurse’s uniform, that’s the moment I could scream!! I really could have a melt-down there and then. Can you imagine the headline? ‘Grown-up has temper tantrum in among the apples and pears – onlookers report hearing her screech – ‘unclean’ before collapsing in a heap! Thankfully this hasn’t happened yet but you never know…I immediately abandon the plums and recoil in horror. Why why why would anyone wear this garment to do their food shopping or ANY activity outside of the workplace?? Think about it, what gruesome task did the owner of said uniform have to do before wearily clocking off and gracing the aisles of the supermarket??? We all know the unsavoury jobs that those working in the healthcare industry undertake every day. We all heartily applaud them, they are the unsung heroes and I know this.
It’s been bothering me for years, the amount of bugs and odd looking stains being carted around on uniforms up & down the country, not to mention what bodily fluids have been absorbed into the fabric, I’m getting goose bumps just writing this! I know that most are worn with pride and I understand this, I really do, but for the love of Mike, PLEASE change out of it before you grace the rest of us with your presence and your bugs! If you really must insist on doing this, then please have the decency to make sure its not ripped under the arms or worse still adorned with sweat-marks! Can you see how gross this is people? It’s not really a very good representation of the ‘clean, safe environment’ we expect our health centres to be, if that’s what the staff look like when leaving it. Just as an aside – I particularly LOVE the tattooed, heavily be-jewelled individuals sporting the uniform, takes away from the splash marks down the front I suppose and really adds to the charm of it all – NOT. Oh, and can I mention ‘nail art’ here? What are you thinking people? I feel I’m going to burst a blood-vessel. If I’m ever unfortunate enough to have a hospital sleepover and someone comes at me fully equipped with five inch, coral painted talons ,with a sparkly bit at the tip, I can only imagine how equally colourful my language would be!
Apologies if I appear unsympathetic towards our stalwart, overworked, underpaid, undervalued healthcare staff, I’m not undermining all the good work they do, I simply can NOT understand why anyone would be happy to remain in garb that saw better days, doing a job that necessitates interfering with bodily dysfunctions. Now, there are the community staff going from house to house tending to the sick, who have no choice in the matter, so fingers crossed they’re adhering to the usual precautions and avoiding doing the weekly shop between clients, you know who you are… Earlier this week, I was coming out of a supermarket and l literally bumped straight into a nurse on a mission, it seemed, to empty the place of produce. Amid the hasty apologies, her metal fob-watch caught the sun and nearly blinded me, but that aside, she was nicely turned out in her uniform with a toddler on her hip, sucking his thumb AND her tunic collar – excuse me while I go and vomit…
There must be a niche for someone like me in society, that could go around with a clip-board, sporting an air of importance in public places, calling these people to task. Maybe an on-the-spot fine could be introduced? Latex gloves would most definitely need to accompany the clipboard. I’m not touching that uniform. Picture it, I could be the mystery shopper of uniforms, I wonder if the Health Service would have the funding for such an esteemed position? Unlikely, but if you don’t ask…
You could argue that aprons and gloves are worn for protection so surely the uniform cant be THAT offensive? Well, did you know that a study carried out in the US in 2013 found that 60 percent of health workers’ uniforms sampled by researchers tested positive for pathogens, including the germs that can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections and drug-resistant infections. Am I boring you yet? Now do you see what I’m getting at? Ugggghhhhhh. I suppose you could also argue that the majority of nurses are female, therefore they are most likely to be found among the supermarket aisles, grabbing something for dinner before racing to pick up children from school with no time to change, let alone have a shower! No sexist remark here folks, it’s a well-known fact that females dominate the nursing profession. I’m too lazy to get stats for you, just take my word.
We’re not living in the dark ages, every facility surely has a changing/locker room, some even have showers so you can scrub those bugs right out. Imagine! How decadent! And not to state the obvious here, but please don’t put your rubbish bin out before you head off to work in your nice clean uniform (I’ve seen it happen) as this bug exchange works both ways. Pity the poor bugger in isolation with a low immune system and in you stroll along with all the nice germs you picked up along the way. No ‘thank you’ letter to pin on the staff notice board coming your way from him, no thank you very much!
Am I coming down hard on healthcare workers? Yes, I suppose I am. I rarely, if ever see a fireman, in all his regalia (pity) standing in line at the checkout or in the schoolyard for that matter and policemen only pop in to the ‘one stop shop’ on their way to catch villians. Shouldn’t we be preventing the super-bugs from being carted outside hospitals as well as exterminating them from within the walls?
Pop on some trackies, it takes but a moment, go on, try it! Just Sayin’