You might think that doctors would also know when to wash their hands. Wrong. A recent study discussed in Time Magazine shows that medical students may not know as much about hand washing as you’d think.
Researchers at Hannover Medical School in Germany surveyed 85 medical students who were about to enter their clinical training – which is when they first begin to deal with actual patients. The med students were given seven scenarios, five of which required hand washing: before contact with patients, before preparing IV fluids, after removing gloves, after contacting patients’ beds and after contact with vomit (the other two scenarios did not require hand-washing).
Only 1 in 5 students correctly identified what to do in all seven situations. And just 1 in 3 got all five hand-washing scenarios correct. Most students knew that they were supposed to wash their hands before contacting a patient, after touching their bed and after contacting vomit, but 15% to 20% could not correctly identify the other two hand-washing situations.
What does this mean for you? Improper hand washing by doctors and physicians is a leading cause of spreading germs and contagious diseases from one patient to another. This is because much of a doctor’s job involves physical contact with patients. Thus, doctors who conduct surgery on someone with one disease and then don’t properly wash their hands, could easily spread germs and cause infection once their hands come into contact with different patients.
Because doctors are professionals, they are expected to know more than the ordinary person about the tools of their trade and the safety requirements involved in the medical field. And when a professional, like doctors, falls below the standard of care required in their profession, such as proper hand washing procedures, those professionals can be held liable for injuries and damages caused by their lack of knowledge or lack of care.
If a doctor does something that is not in accordance with the requisite standard of care then that doctor has engaged in medical malpractice. If you or some you know has become sick or injured because of a doctor falling below the required standard of care, you need the help of a Mississippi injury attorney experienced in medical malpractice to help protect your rights and recover damages for your injury.
Source: “2 Out of 3 Medical Students Don’t Know When to Wash Their Hands,” by Alice Park, published at Time.com