Even the wariest patients respect their doctors. They trust their judgement and let them poke and prod and examine in the same way a plumber checks their old boiler for leaks and faults. And that respect extends to seemingly banal, obvious tasks.
Yet even doctors can be clumsy or forgetful – and some absentminded medical practitioners are putting their patients at risk.
A recent study by the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) has found that a large number of medical practitioners don’t regularly follow the practice of regularly washing their hands.
A questionnaire of 100 doctors and nurses found that many believed hot water was enough to rid their palms of harmful bacteria, despite World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations that all medical professionals use alcohol-based hand rub.
The researchers who unearthed these hygiene mishaps have stated that it shows a clear need for regular training and refresher courses in hand hygiene.
The necessity of training
According to Daily Mail, the study added, “There is also a need for orientation programmes for the newcomers to understand the significance of hand hygiene.
“It is better to include hand hygiene practices in the curriculum of medical and nursing students. Clean hands are the most important factor in preventing spread of pathogens in healthcare settings.”
No matter how much trust is embedded in the patient-doctor relationship, it will inevitably become fractured when a doctor has poor hygiene habits. So ensure that your hand hygiene is up to scratch – and keep the reputation of your profession intact.