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Report: Most Medical Students Don’t Know When Hand Washing Is Necessary

By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I have a question for you: In the hospital setting, what is the easiest way to reduce the spread of infection? It also happens be the most effective way. The answer: simple hand washing.

It is such a simple concept you’d think everybody does it! But now a new report finds that two out of three medical students don’t know what situations to wash their hands. And we’re talking about situations that seem obvious.

For instance, before contact with a patient. Before preparation of fluids. After removal of gloves. After contact with a patient’s bed. And after contact with vomit. These are things that people should know and should react to. And this is also very important, because what it’s telling us is if medical students don’t know when to wash their hands, the odds are many physicians don’t either.

Physicians, nurses, everyone involved need to be educated and it has to happen again and again.

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  • Marysia Meylan

    I am not surprised! As an epidemiologist doing infection prevention in hospitals for 20 years, I have stalked enough students, residents and physicians to know about the subject.

  • grumpy

    12 years of med school and….duh.

  • Peter

    Hand washing is for sissies

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