Hygiene and Cleanliness Essay
Hygiene and Cleanliness
The Free Dictionary online precisely defines cleanliness as “Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from dirt, and the process of achieving and maintaining that state, habitually and carefully neat and clean”. This definition of cleanliness can be understood in many different ways. It can be understood literally as being physically clean as in bathing and washing along with keeping clean surroundings. It can also be taken to mean that by the act of being clean we therefore are clean as a person, in what we do regarding everyday activities.
To me, cleanliness should be performed and maintained in everyday life because not only is it healthy, it is monumentally important because how am I supposed to take care of others as a corpsmen if I can’t even take care of myself. Being clean and organized will install confidence in others when they see me especially if I am a corpsmen treating them. In some quarters, it is said that cleanliness is next to godliness and most people view it as an issue of personal concern. What however cannot be overemphasized is the importance of cleanliness.
From the moment we are born, our parents demonstrate high levels of hygiene not only to avert diseases associated with dirt but to instill a mentality of cleanliness in us as children. Cleanliness can be used as a way of achieving something else. For example, in the case of human beings, it may be important to pay attention to cleanliness so as to avoid being a host to contaminants associated with dirt. In this paper, I will look at the importance of cleanliness and the impact that a dirty living area may have on me as a corpsmen, and as a person.
Another dictionary precisely defines cleanliness as a situation where dirt is not present. In the broader and most understood sense, dirt is anything that is not in most cases useful and can cause staining of clothes, soiling of hands, germs or other pathogens. With relevancy towards my room some of the things considered as dirt or can cause dirt include garbage, soil, substances that are spilt etc. However, in a more modern sense, cleanliness has been regarded as a situation where germs and other materials that can in one way or the other be considered hazardous are not present.
To restate again the importance of cleanliness both to an individual and those around him cannot be overemphasized. Cleanliness has so many inherent long term benefits that most people do not know of. For starters, Cleanliness reduces the risk of diseases and infections Most of the diseases a human being grapples with in his day to day life are avoidable and can easily be kept in check by observing basic hygiene measures. Diseases such as typhoid are linked to the consumption of dirty water.
A wide range of skin infections can also be attributed in the failure of being and remaining clean. It has also been discovered that diseases such as gingivitis which causes the inflammation of the human teeth gums is caused by poor mouth hygiene (which is a synonym of cleanliness) which includes failure to brush teeth. It therefore goes without saying that the only way to ensure that our lives are rid of germs and other disease causing organisms is to enhance high levels of cleanliness both at home and in our places of work.
Furthermore, Cleanliness reduces chances of attracting pests and rodents. The presence of pests and rodents associated with dirt in our room would be embarrassing, plus it would be very costly health-wise in the long run. Rodents such as rats are also associated with dirt and by keeping an unclean area we will unintentionally provide them with a home. It is good to note that apart from the embarrassment that these disease carrying rodents and parasites will cause they will also bring along some dangerous germs that can end up being harmful to the people around us.
In addition to attracting rodents a number of organisms have been linked to the triggering of allergic reactions in people. These allergic reactions include sneezing and sniffling. What is important is that all these organisms are linked in one way or the other to dirt and failure to maintain high levels of cleanliness. These organisms are identified as moulds, dust mite, cockroach waste, and pet dander. This is serious because dust mites for example have been identified to contribute to almost 70% of all the allergic reactions of an person.
These are very small organisms that live in dirty places and feed in the dead, shed skin of a human person. Failure to wash beddings, pillows, curtains and the carpet will encourage the accumulation of thousands of dust mites and hence lead to more complicated allergic reactions. It is therefore important to clean beddings, vacuum and keep food off of the carpets and generally keep a clean place to get rid of these organisms. Besides cleanliness being a way to keep out allergens, dust mites and pathogens, cleanliness is also a thing to pass on, in other words, a way of life.
In some places, it is said that the way you bring up a child will influence his or her future behavior. To ensure that children grow up to be adults who have high levels of hygiene and cleanliness, parents need to ensure that they maintain high levels of cleanliness in the home setting. Parents should ensure that the children’s rooms are always tidy and clean. In addition to that, children need to be made to understand that dirt and trash should be disposed off in a responsible manner. This will contribute towards bringing up children and young ones who hold cleanliness in high regard.
The emphasis of cleanliness should not only be left to parents at home but schools should express this cause with more vigor and determination in order to ensure that students develop an understanding and sense of cleanliness in their current as well as future apartments and homes. School classrooms and compounds should always be clean and organized. It is only by doing this that children can grow up into grown up people who hold cleanliness in high regard. In the business world cleanliness also takes on a roll of high importance, from a personal and competitive manor.
In the hospital and healthcare industry, cleanliness is one such thing that can be used to gain an edge in the marketplace. Most businesses like hotels and catering businesses must adhere to some legal requirements that dictate the levels of cleanliness that must be maintained in their place of work. Failure to abide with these laws which are enforced by local authorities can lead to a business place being closed or forced to pay hefty fines and penalties. To attract customers, hotels and restaurants must ensure that they maintain high levels of cleanliness.
In most cases, customers would be more comfortable taking their meals in a clean hotel or restaurant. Restaurants with dirty dining areas, plates and whose employees are not clean may not get any customers at all. It is very important for these kinds of businesses to ensure they maintain very high levels of hygiene and cleanliness not only to attract customers and comply with legal provisions but also to avoid infections that may be brought about by organisms resident in the establishments as a result of dirt. This is where cleanliness in regards to being hospital corpsmen comes to play.
Hospitals and other healthcare institutions have the upmost important job in keeping things clean in order to avoid infection. Hospitals are a place where sickness is brought in to be cured. Dirty hospitals would increase the chance for infection to spread easily harming the staff and patients. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated roughly 1. 7 million hospital-associated infections, from all types of microorganisms, including bacteria, combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year. Dirty hospitals may also provide fertile breeding grounds for germs and other disease causing organisms.
It therefore is of the upmost importance to make sure that hospitals are kept neat and clean for the patients as well as the staff. As well as the safety of everyone, keeping cleanliness as hospital corpsmen also affects the psychology of those we treat. We are much more likely to be trusted by our patients if we keep a clean environment vs. having a dirty one. The trust of a patient is hugely important because as corpsmen we need to find out personal information about our patients and if they trust us we are much more likely to get their personal information whereas if they don’t trust us we will not be able to get that same information.
The chain continues when you think about going up the ladder. You are more likely to get promoted and looked up to if you are neat and have good hygiene in contrast to if you are dirty. Being clean as corpsmen radiates outward in everything we do. If you are clean in your work as corpsmen then most likely you have attention to detail as well. Attention to detail is the most important skill a corpsman can possess for many reasons. For example, having attention to detail will make you more effective in treating your patients, when someone is injured even the tiniest detail can have a huge impact on their care and treatment.
If a Marine out in the field has been shot, attention to detail is what will save his life in regards to giving him the appropriate treatment and medication. Although we are only in A-school our training of attention to detail started in boot camp and must be kept throughout our lives in order to be effective corpsmen. The act of being clean can alter the course of history. Events such as WW2 were in fact affected and altered by diseases that grow and thrive in an unclean environment. It’s often taught that the course of history hinges upon great battles, both in war and among competing ideas.
Diseases like; Smallpox for example has had a great affect on our past. It’s the only infectious disease that has been eradicated through vaccination. The medical science of vaccination was a direct result of the devastating effects of smallpox. In other words, studies of immunity and vaccines emerged from studies of smallpox. Tuberculosis likewise has stimulated some of the first searches for antibiotics. Diseases throughout history are mostly attributed and if not excelled because of dirty environments. A great example of this is disease in the civil war. The Civil War had more deaths than all previous wars combined.
Most people think those soldiers in the Civil War died of wounds or amputations, but the truth is that most died from common diseases that they never had been exposed to. Twice as many soldiers died from diseases than those soldiers who died in battle. Most people in the beginning of the war, thought it was only going to last a few weeks or months, so not much effort was put into recruiting doctors or surgeons. Even so, surgeons really didn’t have formal training in medicine. They did not know much about bacteriology and were ignorant of what caused diseases.
Most Civil War surgeons also had never treated a gunshot wound or performed surgery, which led to the fact that they were not qualified at all. They would usually have 2 years of schooling, with only bookwork in the first year, and the second year would usually just be a repeat. However, doctors tried the best they could at treating the wounded and injured, and knowledge of medicine improved a little bit more each year. Most qualified surgeons started off as litter bearer and would carry men off the battlefield. If any of them showed interest in the medical field, they could become a Steward.
A Steward’s job was to take care of patients with minor wounds such as, scratches, and bumps. The other duties of a Steward were to pull teeth and take care of medicines for the surgeons. The Steward would also guard the medicinal stores, because often soldiers would try to break into the medicinal stores where the morphine, opium, and whisky were stored. If a Steward completed these duties, then he might be allowed to assist a surgeon in an operation, which could lead to becoming an assistant surgeon. He could then later on become an experienced and qualified surgeon.
Soldiers however faced bigger problems than just their wounds such as diseases like measles, small pox, malaria, pneumonia, camp itch, mumps, typhoid and dysentery. However, diarrhea killed more soldiers than any other illness. There were many reasons that diseases were so common for the causes of death for soldiers. Reasons include the fact that there were poor physicals before entering the army, ignorance of medical information, the big ones however sprouted from lack of camp hygiene, insects that carried disease, lack of clothing and shoes, troops were crowded and in close quarters and inadequate food and water.
When surgeons would suggest or treat diseases and wounds, sometimes they would not only not help but they would make the wounds or disease worse due to lack of knowledge about hygiene and cleanliness. For example, doctors sometimes suggested that each man should soap his socks in water each day, to avoid sores to the feet. Not only did this not work, the soaps of that day were made of lye. Lye can gradually become destructive, and made the sores even worse. New technology and weapons had much to do with the fact that there were so many amputations.
Three out of four surgeries in the Civil War were amputations. When a bullet struck a soldier, it would carry dirt and bacteria into the wound. It would also shatter the bone, so surgeons had no other choice but to amputate the limb. Battlefield surgery was very low in standard compared to surgery today. Many people think that anesthesia was not used during the war, but actually it was almost always used in surgeries. The anesthetic was applied to a cloth and put over the nose or mouth until the patient became unconscious.
A surgeon would usually then amputate a limb in about 10 minutes. The lack of water and time meant that surgeons did not wash their hands or instruments after performing a surgery, which led to bacteria being spread and causing more diseases. Because of this, one fourth of the people who had been amputated died. This was a factor, in the fact that the numbers of people, who died in the Civil War, was more than all the previous American wars combined. Since the casualty rate was so high, many new general hospitals were built, and research was put into hygiene and sanitation efforts.
Hospitals changed much over the years of the Civil War. Before surgeries were all done in one place and were in many different places like buildings, barns, tents, and wagons in the middle of battlefields. Hospitals improved after finding out that patients caught diseases from other people and general lack of hygiene. The hospitals were then divided into separate building according to illnesses and diseases. Field hospitals were used when a regular hospital was not available, and soldiers would go there to be treated for their wounds, usually they were in barns or tents.
Ambulances and stretchers also became more efficient, even though they were simple four legged wagons; they helped a lot to transport soldiers with serious wounds to hospitals. This is just one example yet it is an effective example in showing the effects of hygiene and cleanliness in desperate times such as the civil war. The simple fact that twice as many people died from disease than from other ways in the civil war shows the importance that cleanliness makes in the course of history. Not only does being clean play an important role in war it also takes on an important role in the home in avoiding illnesses.
Although most people don’t realize it, one of the most weakening diseases of the world can often be found crawling around in the shrubs and tall grasses of a person’s backyard. The disease is called Lyme disease, which is caused by a harmful bacterium that grows and festers in dirty environments. A disease is transmitted in one way or the other. Lyme disease is transmitted through a vector. The vector of the disease is an infected deer tick. The deer tick has to bite a person to spread the disease. When a deer tick bites a person (sucks blood), the disease is transferred to that person. This disease has many symptoms.
These symptoms are similar or same to many other illnesses. That is the reason why many doctors get confused when they were researching this disease. There are three stages of symptoms for the disease. In the first stage a rash might appear on the bitten area. In the second stage, you may experience a fever, sore throat, fatigue, headache, stiff neck, muscle ache, and general malaise or tiredness. In the third stage you may experience aching joints. All diseases focus on an organ or parts of the body. Lyme disease focuses on the joints. This will cause joint damage and go on to Lyme Arthritis.
The disease also focuses on the nerves. This can cause mental problems and go on to Tics. It also focuses on the heart. This will slow down a person’s heartbeat. A person can prevent the disease. And, there are many, easy ways to do this. The best and easiest way is to keep a clean environment where the ticks that have contracted the disease will not live. Lyme disease is mostly found in the United States of America and Europe. In America, Lyme disease is found in northeast suburban areas, the upper Midwest, and the Californian part of the West Coast. In Europe, it is found in the Northern parts.
Yet the most important thing to remember is that the disease is caused by ticks, and ticks themselves find their way into the dirty laundry, carpets, pillows, sheets of our beds and homes. Another consequence of being dirty is that the formation of mold can grow, causing many health issues and problems. Molds are microscopic organisms that are found virtually everywhere, both inside and outside. Molds are types of fungi that live on plants, foods, dry leaves, wood and other organic materials. Mold spores are tiny structures that are the reproductive part of the microorganism.
A group of mold spores can be seen by the naked eye. The spores often look velvety or powdery, and appear in colors ranging from pale white, yellow, orange or green, to dark brown or black. The spores are very tiny and lightweight, allowing them to travel through the air. Sometimes some mold spores can cause allergic symptoms similar to those caused by plant pollen. Mold needs three things to grow, a wet or damp environment, a food source such as leaves, wood, paper products, wall board, insulation, materials, ceiling tiles and other organic based materials, a temperature similar to what humans live with.
All these can be created from having an unhealthy unclean environment in which to live in. When mold spores are present In large amounts, they may because allergic reactions trigger asthma episodes, and other respiratory problems. It is important to remove mold from hard, nonporous surfaces, and to discard porous items that are contaminated with mold, because even the dead spores can cause allergy and other respiratory problems. Even though mold itself can also cause structural damage to a room or house.