While working in the food industry, I remember what a hassle it was to make sure my team washed their hands, but I always made sure they did. It turns out that doctors might not be as careful as fast food workers. A new study shows that doctors' dedication to hand-washing drops down low when they're not being watched. While I think most people behave better when they know they're under public scrutiny, this is pretty important. When I contracted two infections after delivering my daughter that requird me to carry around a wound vac for a month and asked what caused them, one of the possible explanations was that someone in the OR didn't wash up properly. Seriously?
Everyone knows hand washing is an important way to prevent illness. It's the best line of defense we have against everyday germs we encounter throughout the day and the fact that even doctors aren't managing to do it as well as they should makes me very uneasy. I wasn't even allowed to touch my daughter in the NICU until I scrubbed fingernails to elbows in hot water with a scrubbie and soap!
Please wash your hands, doctor or not. It will make you healtheir as well as the people around you healthier.
What other medical news have you read this week?