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Old December 30th, 2006, 06:36 AM   #1
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UK Muslim Hospital Workers Refuse to Wash Hands

UK Muslim Hospital Workers Refuse to Wash Hands

December 30, 2006 07:53 AM EST



By Sher Zieve – British hospital Muslim workers are refusing to wash their hands with required anti-bacterial disinfectant gels. The Muslims are protesting the practice on religious grounds, as the gels contain alcohol.



Anti-bacterial gels are used in hospitals to guard against “superbugs”, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL). British healthcare workers said they were shocked to discover the practice of Muslim healthcare workers refusing to disinfect their hands before entering patient rooms.



NHS care assistant Theresa Poupa of London Chest Hospital said: “I could not believe it. The signs are large enough and clear enough but they [Muslim workers] just took no notice and walked straight onto the ward! I was there almost every day for three weeks and I saw it repeated dozens and dozens of times. When I raised the matter with the nursing staff they just shrugged and said that Muslims were refusing to use the gel because it contained alcohol.”

UK Muslim Hospital Workers Refuse to Wash Hands
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Old December 30th, 2006, 07:33 AM   #2
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Fire them.



This is such an absolutely cut & dried situation. It has everything to do with the basic health & safety of the patients.



I don't care what color they are, what religion they are: If hospital workers won't wash their hands, FIRE THEM.









This is also the point at which Hevusa ought to step in and continue his endless bragging about how much better European health-care is than America's.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #3
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Workers or Visitors?

Interesting that the article posted says it's healthcare workers who are refusing to use the antiseptic gel, whereas articles elsewhere on the net say it's the patient's relatives who are refusing to use the gel.



The Sun Online - News: Muslims 'refuse anti-MRSA gel'



Zee News - British Muslims refuse washing hands with disinfectants in hospitals



What is not mentioned in any of the articles is that good old-fashioned soap and water still disinfect hands just as well as the antiseptic gels, and are not fire hazards when turning on lights, etc. The alcohol in them must evaporate completely to ensure that it does not ignite from a spark (this has happened to at least one unlucky medical technologist).
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Old December 30th, 2006, 08:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisg967
Interesting that the article posted says it's healthcare workers who are refusing to use the antiseptic gel, whereas articles elsewhere on the net say it's the patient's relatives who are refusing to use the gel.



The Sun Online - News: Muslims 'refuse anti-MRSA gel'



Zee News - British Muslims refuse washing hands with disinfectants in hospitals



What is not mentioned in any of the articles is that good old-fashioned soap and water still disinfect hands just as well as the antiseptic gels, and are not fire hazards when turning on lights, etc. The alcohol in them must evaporate completely to ensure that it does not ignite from a spark (this has happened to at least one unlucky medical technologist).


Even so, working in the health field pre-empts silly religious regulations.



It's a choice. If you won't wash your hands, don't work in the medical field!
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Old December 30th, 2006, 08:21 AM   #5
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If it's workers refusing to use the gel, they must use soap and water OR antiseptic gel. If they do not, they should face the consequences.



If it's visitors, the hospitals have a PR issue and must educate visitors why they must wash hands with soap and water OR antiseptic gel before entering the patient's room. They may get better compliance if the signs are in Arabic....
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Old December 30th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisg967
If it's workers refusing to use the gel, they must use soap and water OR antiseptic gel. If they do not, they should face the consequences.



If it's visitors, the hospitals have a PR issue and must educate visitors why they must wash hands with soap and water OR antiseptic gel before entering the patient's room. They may get better compliance if the signs are in Arabic....


They're workers, not visitors.



Because of my job, I am in and out of hospitals constantly. One of the MAIN REASONS germs spread - perhaps the #1 reason - is unwashed hands.



I don't give a crap if the Muslims have an aversion to alcohol. They're not drinking it, for crying out loud. I don't care if it's the Women's Christian Temperance Union.



It's black and white: YOU WORK IN A HOSPITAL. WASH YOUR HANDS OR YOU'RE FIRED!
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Old December 30th, 2006, 09:23 AM   #7
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That was a good point about soap and water. It sounds to me like they are not even doing that though or I would think it would have been reported. I guess we'll have to look for more on the story. I just assumed they were not washing their hands. If they are not washing their hands, they should be fired.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 10:27 AM   #8
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Thanks, Alias. Where I work, we are given the choice between the antiseptic gel or soap/water. I personally prefer soap/water.



I agree, Jefferson. If you work in a hospital, you have to follow the policies of the hospital or face the consequences. If you refuse to follow them you don't belong there. (I personally like to SEE my caretakers washing their hands in front of me before they do anything.)



My point was that other reports on the same incident were saying it was visitors who were just walking into the rooms, disregarding the signs. And the other reports used the same quote from Theresa Poupa. There were two reports that said it was visitors, and one that said it was workers.



If it's really visitors, we (people in general) need to do a better job in educating others about how germs spread. Like catching the aerosol from a sneeze or cough with a tissue, or lacking that, your sleeve (not your hand). Like keeping your hands away from your face (especially your eyes, which are a direct conduit for germs into your body). And washing after using the toilet.
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Old December 30th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisg967
Thanks, Alias. Where I work, we are given the choice between the antiseptic gel or soap/water. I personally prefer soap/water.



I agree, Jefferson. If you work in a hospital, you have to follow the policies of the hospital or face the consequences. If you refuse to follow them you don't belong there. (I personally like to SEE my caretakers washing their hands in front of me before they do anything.)



My point was that other reports on the same incident were saying it was visitors who were just walking into the rooms, disregarding the signs. And the other reports used the same quote from Theresa Poupa. There were two reports that said it was visitors, and one that said it was workers.



If it's really visitors, we (people in general) need to do a better job in educating others about how germs spread. Like catching the aerosol from a sneeze or cough with a tissue, or lacking that, your sleeve (not your hand). Like keeping your hands away from your face (especially your eyes, which are a direct conduit for germs into your body). And washing after using the toilet.


You're right.



Visitors versus workers makes a huge difference - but not in the realm of spreading germs.



Now... beyond the stupid Muslim thing: I've not missed a day of work, because of being sick, in years. And I'm around people constantly. One of the reasons I've remained healthy is that I am very fastidious about washing my hands. We CANNOT over-emphasize the importance of that.



So go wash your hands!
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Old December 30th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jefferson
You're right.



Visitors versus workers makes a huge difference - but not in the realm of spreading germs.



Now... beyond the stupid Muslim thing: I've not missed a day of work, because of being sick, in years. And I'm around people constantly. One of the reasons I've remained healthy is that I am very fastidious about washing my hands. We CANNOT over-emphasize the importance of that.



So go wash your hands!


I went to the Christmas party 2 weeks ago and caught a cold. I still have it. I think working at home and not being around sick people makes me catch colds easier because I don't have the immunities. I don't know, but whenever I go out in the winter to a party or function, I catch something.
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