J.P. Gasway

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Paper in a Hospital...

I'm usually not one to be overly excited about visiting a hospital. Actually, I had no desire to be in one ever. That was until my wife and I's twins were born prematurely at 26 weeks this past Monday (12/4/17). I'll never complain about a hospital again. The people who work there are literally saints who have a passion to help people. In this case, they are helping our twins (Jack & Annie) get through their first couple months before they come home.

Amazingly, being the paper guy I am... I noticed the amount of paper products used frequently in a hospital. Paper towels, toilet paper, copy paper, labels, feminine products.... they are all used constantly and in abundance. With our babies being in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), you are constantly prompted (and for good reason) to wash and sanitize your hands. Well, every time you wash your hands you have to dry them. I asked the nurse how frequently they go through paper towels and she said they go through a case each day if not more. Impressive. You also sign-in every day with a pen on paper rather than a tablet. Why? It's easier and authentic. They print labels out for you to label milk supplies for your children. Notice they don't ask you to write on the bottles even though they throw them out after use. Why? Labels make more sense.

But, outside of patient amenities the nurses use paper A LOT. The general response I received when I asked them if they would rather have something digital instead was, "Oh, Please no." They love their paper for many reasons, but the common answers were "It's easier", "It's convenient", "It always works" and "I never worry about losing it".. so if nurses and doctors who are in a field that has all kinds of extensive technology at their fingertips still prefer paper over all those options, what does that say?

To me, it says paper is a never ending usable option that will always be permanent in this world. It is in every part of work and life. And as the nurses and doctors said, "It's just easier". 

I thanked them for being partial to paper. They thanked me for washing my hands. I responded and said, "It's just easier."