Time to clean up our act
by Dr Peter Brindley
The 45th President of the United States- you may know him as Donald John Trump- is infamous for his utterances (1). One of these was when he called various countries “s***holes”. We should never excuse deplorable language or anything that smacks of racism. However, it did make me reflect on the state of our beloved public hospitals. Sadly, some hospitals, on occasion, would not be entirely unrecognisable to DJT. My current place of (proud) employment was built in the eighties during a spending boom. It originally resembled a hotel and there are stories of confused patients asking to be shown their suites. After shouldering a mighty burden, the paint is cracking and some staff are as burnout as the fuses. However, it’s the toilets that I want to get into, albeit figuratively. If how well we clean up correlates with how much we care then it’s time to admit to Houston- and to housekeeping- that we have a problem.
I am not prudish, and am also the first to laugh at the graffiti on the Anaesthesia washroom warning all to “beware of gas”. It’s just that “community” only works if we ALL give a damn, and that starts with the bogs. Melodrama aside- and I realise I’m discussing toilets here- we beat the Nazis because of the efforts of “so many for so few”. This is also why the hospital honour role should include valiant cleaning staff, browbeaten triage staff, and the indefatigable folks who (wo)man the phones. This is also why I get so huffy when people throw cigarettes on the ground, or shout at staff. Is it really too much to ask people to flush? If it is then society is going down the drain far faster.