Raising hand hygiene awareness through song

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Patients, staff, volunteers and visitors at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse (COBL) are supporting and raising awareness of Hand Hygiene Day through song.

The COBL choir jazzed up a classic song from the musical South Pacific, to highlight the importance of health professionals hand hygiene when caring for patients. They released the song to celebrate the World Health Organization’s annual campaign on the issue.

The hospital usually marks the day with painting activities, but a new choir at the hospital provided a new outlet for the hospital community to come together, said COBL Arterie Co-Facilitator, Deborah Burdett

“We decided to do a collaboration with the choir.

“I’m a theatre junkie and I was trying to think of a song that we could translate into hands, I have always loved that song and I thought it would translate in a good and humorous way,” said Ms Burdett.

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Music Therapy Programme Research Assistant, Sarah Versitano said the song is a creative way for everyone to engage with a serious topic.

“I think it also makes it more accessible, some people might see it as a dry topic, but this makes it light, fun and interesting to engage with.

“Learning the song and the actions was a really fun process for everyone involved,” said Ms Versitano.

The song brought the choir together to raise awareness of hand hygiene, but it also gave patients an opportunity to take their minds off their treatment.

“One patient in particular was quite excited to lead the choir. She is a strong soprano singer and she got really involved teaching everyone the melody. So it was a really special process for her,” said Ms Versitano.

“She stepped forward to make sure that everyone learnt the hand movements. So she got a lot out of it, and it has been great to watch how happy she has been,” said Ms Burdett.

Ms Burdett and Ms Versitano hope they come up with some other ways to collaborate the Arterie programme and music therapy in the future.

The choir has been running for 12 months and has more than 30 members, they practice every week in the foyer and anyone can grab a songbook and join in.

Watch the performance here.

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