Simple Hacks

From the conversations initiated by yesterday’s post, a few points came to surface. If you want to check out yesterday’s post, click on the following link:
Firstly, we do many things to keep our equipment and clothing clean that we don’t even realize. For example, we use pens all the time and we tend to subconsciously clean them between patients rooms but not even realize it.

Secondly, there are always little and simple steps and hacks that we can adopt to help us along the way. For example, when I was deployed to the ICU, some of my responsibilities, besides patient care, included the preparation and cleaning of some equipment. Here is one simple trick: put a few cleaning wipes in a sample bag and place it beside the intubation kit/glidescope, or even inside/outside of the “procedure” room. This way, the bag is ready to go, and by closing the sample bag, the wipes will not dry out. I recall the number of times I had walked in the isolation room and I use the LAST cleaning wipe in the container! By taking the required items with me, life became more efficient and safe.

Here is an example for the PFT lab setting: I have left a little marker on the countertop so I can easily identify the ‘clean’ and ‘dirt’y side. After using the equipment I put them on the dirty side and that way I don’t have to ever doubt if the item has been wiped clean or not. I have noticed that patients also feel more comfortable and safe knowing that there is a clear cleaning system in place. Yes, a very simple step but on a busy day, it can go a long way.
What are some of the easy step, systems, or tricks that have helped you along the way?

A piece of paper with dirty and clean written on each side of the page.  On the right side of the image is a sample bag with a few cleaning wipes.

Farzad Refahi
Sept. 16, 2020

The Forgotten Piece

Image of my hospital lanyard as it gets cleaned and hung to dry.

When I think about my routines… Hands are washed frequently throughout the shift. Gloves are thrown out. Gowns are deposited in the basket.  Scrubs are returned to the scrubs-unit.  The shield is returned to the soiled utility room.  “Hospital” shoes are changed and left in the locker room. The rest of the clothing is changed and washed at home.  Cellphone screen is wiped clean.   One item that I tend to forget about is the lanyard! I need to remind myself to wash the lanyard more frequently. This started a whole list of questions…

How often you wash your lanyard? How frequently do wipe the outside of your bags, including the lunch bag?  Any other items I have forgotten about?

Farzad Refahi

September 15th 2020

Cleaning Products

Exposure To Cleaning Products in Childhood

A few days ago I was listening to CBC radio, as I was driving to work, when I heard about a recent study that has shown an association between household cleanings products and increased risk of developing childhood asthma. I totally forgot about it until today when I noticed Mr. Noel Pendergast RRT sharing a link to the content on his Facebook page. My reaction when I first heard about this was: “Of course!”. We never actually think about it, but it sure makes sense.

A Known Concept?

It’s interesting that I can recall a childhood memory when during a family gathering, Dr. Nehzhat shared his concerns about bleach as a routine household cleaning solution. Side note, he is a chemist and one of the most wonderful people I have ever met. Back to the main point… “Please stop using bleach. Don’t breathe that in. Cannot imagine what that will do to your lungs”. Ongoing exposure to the fume, specially in a non vented area, could lead to respiratory changes for any individuals (regardless of the age).

Various Cleaning Chemicals

I worked as a lifeguard for few summers and even then I wondered how dealing with concentrated liquid chlorine may impact people’s breathing.

If I had to share my thoughts with my patients, I would recommend limiting exposure to harmful fumes and chemicals. Also, make sure that the area is well vented. I am not sure if I would be as comfort recommending masks as THE solution, as this false hope may lead to unnecessarily and higher and longer exposure periods. Side note- realistically, how many people are properly mask fitted and educated about the right mask for the right task?

Be Aware and …Clean

This is not to take away anything from proper hygiene, clean environment and limitation of irritants including known triggers.


What are your thoughts on this?


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