If those of us involved in the world of infection control and prevention lived in Ancient Greece, we would have surely found a home in the followers of Hygieia, the mythical goddess of cleanliness and sanitation and the origin of the word hygiene. While her sisters were worrying about healing, recuperation, and remedy, Hygieia was working to prevent illness by cleaning and advocating sanitary practices. (Sound familiar?) In today's post, the last in our series recognizing Women's History Month, we'll take a look at this figure, what she represented, and what she can teach us about the origins of the field of infection prevention.
Wastewater and infection have a long and sordid history. Ever since humans began living in close, permanent quarters, we have had to deal with the issue of removing human waste and dirty water. We dumped waste into rivers, and when that wasn't sufficient, we invented plumbing and sewer systems. The discovery of the role pathogens play in the spread of disease led to even better sequestration of contaminated waste, which led to better community health overall. Today, we will look at the role this wastewater plays not in disease transmission, but rather, in disease surveillance and eradication.
In today's post, we take a look back into the history of microbiology in our continued celebration of Women's History Month. The field of bacteriology started to pick up steam at the beginning of the 1900s, well before the time when women started receiving the same educational opportunities as their male peers. Nonetheless, one of the leaders of the field was Alice Catherine Evans, a researcher who overcame professional and cultural bias while making breakthrough discoveries that saved countless lives.
Anyone familiar with hospitals knows that design impacts operations. How people - both healthcare workers and patients - move through the space affects how well they can do their jobs, how quickly patients can receive treatments, and how visitors can know where to go. More specifically, there are two areas of hospital design that can impact patient outcomes. Spaces can be designed to reduce exposure to dangerous pathogens which could lead to hospital associated infections (HAIs) and spaces can be designed to bring nature inside in order to help the healing process. Both design goals are important, trending issues in design. But can a designer meet the needs of both infection control and biophillic design at the same time?
Thanks to films like Hidden Figures and the growing attention to the role women
play at NASA, we are becoming aware of just how critical women have been throughout the development of our nation's space program. Not only in the fields of mathematics, computing, engineering, and aeronautics, women at NASA have also been a vital part of biological research. At critical intersections of space and microcosm exploration, there have been women scientists at the cutting edge.
Today is International Women's Day, a day celebrating women's achievements and bringing attention to gender parity in the workforce. In different forms, it has been observed since the early 1900s, with the first major event being a march in New York City in 1908 calling for better pay and voting rights for women. In 1977, the United Nations adopted a resolution for member nations to celebrate women's rights and achievements on a day of their choice, and started setting an annual theme in 1996. In the United States, March was named Women's History Month in 2011 by President Barak Obama. In honor of today's celebrations and calls for action, today's post will explore the issues of gender parity in healthcare professions.
On a fall day in 1957, a young girl learns about the launch of Earth's first artificial satellite and falls in love with science. Perhaps she rushes home to teach her younger siblings - she is the oldest of 13 - about her new passion. Perhaps her parents overhear her gushing about her excitement, and start that day to encourage her to go to college to pursue science professionally. However the events aligned, a young Lizzie Johnson was smitten, and would go on to become a "trailblazing clinical microbiologist" responsible for the availability of many of the safe antibiotics we use today. As the calendar takes us from Black History Month to Women's History Month, we'll learn about this amazing researcher, teacher, and mentor.
March is Women's History Month, a month set aside to explore and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women while also bringing visibility to issues of gender disparity that could still use improvement. In today's post, we will look at gender disparities in the medical field, with an emphasis on fields in infection control.