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What’s In A Name? A “Cluster” Of Hospital Epidemiologists

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 July 2017

David J. Weber*
Affiliation:
Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, North Carolina Division of Infectious Diseases, UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Shelley K. Summerlin-Long
Affiliation:
Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Emily E. Sickbert-Bennett
Affiliation:
Department of Hospital Epidemiology, University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill, North Carolina Division of Infectious Diseases, UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
*
Address correspondence to David J. Weber, MD, MPH, 2163 Bioinformatics, CB #7030, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7030 (dweber@unch.unc.edu).
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Abstract

Type
Letters to the Editor
Copyright
© 2017 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved 

To the Editor—To paraphrase an African proverb, it takes a village to successfully reduce a healthcare facility’s rate of healthcare-associated infections. 1 Most people are aware of terms used for common groups of animals such as a “pack” of dogs, “school” of fish, “flock” of birds, and “herd” of horses. 2 , 3 Less common terms include a “scourge” of mosquitoes, a “parliament” of owls, a “crash” of rhinoceroses, a “dazzle” of zebras, a “murder” of crows, and a “tower” of giraffes. 2 , 3 Collective terms for groups of humans have also been used such as a “hastiness” of cooks, a “stalk” of foresters, a “bevy” of ladies, and a “pity” of prisoners. 4

Because infection prevention is a collective activity, we decided that such groups require specific names. Thus, we propose the following: a “cluster” of hospital epidemiologists, a “trust” of infection preventionists, a “colony” of microbiologists, an “intellect” of infectious disease specialists, and a “capsule” of pharmacists. Given that a group of nightingales is a “watch” and the importance of Florence Nightingale in the development of the nursing profession, we propose that a group of nurses be termed a “watch.” Alternatively, one could use the term a “devotion” of nurses. Although we should probably not publicize the following group names, we thought the following appropriate: an “irritant” of regulators, a “parsimony” of chief financial officers, a “pestilence” of vaccine deniers, and a “complexity” of EMR programmers.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We acknowledge the additional members of the Department of Hospital Epidemiology: Brooke Brewer, Judie Bringhurst, Mark Buchanan, Christa Clark, Cynthia Culbreth, Lauren DiBiase, Maria Gergen-Teague, Sherie Goldbach, Hajime Kanamori, Katherine Schultz, and Lisa Teal.

Financial support: No financial support was provided relevant to this article.

Potential conflicts of interest: All authors report no conflicts of interest relevant to this article.

References

1. It takes a village to determine the origins of an African proverb. National Public Radio website. http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/07/30/487925796/it-takes-a-village-to-determine-the-origins-of-an-african-proverb./ Published 2016. Accessed April 28, 2017.Google Scholar
2. List of English terms of venery, by animal. Wikipedia website. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_terms_of_venery,_by_animal. Accessed 28 April 2017.Google Scholar
3. Lockie A. The 34 oddest names for groups of animals. Business Insider website. http://www.businessinsider.com/odd-names-for-groups-of-animals-2016-3/#a-shrewdness-of-apes-1. Accessed April 28, 2017.Google Scholar
4. What do you call a group of ...? English Oxford Living Dictionary website. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/explore/what-do-you-call-a-group-of. Accessed 28 April 2017.Google Scholar
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