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    « Talking Often, and Calmly, About Dying | Main | When the Doctor is Distressed »



    It would be nice if doctors (and other hospital staff) would just wash their hands on their own, the evidence in support of the need seems overwhelming. But since that doesn't seem to work, why don't patients just ask for it? My Dad has two chronic diseases that have made us hospital veterans. I did not wash my hands frequently enough until I started to think about the connection between my hands and my Dad's health. Made it real easy to remember and provided plenty of motivation to do it. So now, if my Dad is in the hospital or at an appt with one of his doctors, I'm not afraid to remind whomever comes in the room to wash their hands. It's awkward at first, but I don't think I've ever had to remind someone twice. If you wait for someone else to take the initiative it might be a long wait.

    V Bousquet

    I find it extremely difficult to ask anyone serving me in any capacity whatsoever to wash their hands; as much as I'd like to. It almost seems to me like you're calling that individual "nasty" in not so many words. It makes me very uncomfortable to visit doctors because I am so aware of their lack of good hygene when it comes to hand washing. I almost cringe when they walk towards me. I suggest that someone create a standard stick-on in the form of a badge, a necklace or an ear clip--anything that wouldl be clearly visibly and conspicuous--that patients could wear when visiting their doctors. It would become the international hand washing symbol reminder; that way, no one would be faced with the very uncomfortable task of reminding anyone to wash their hands. If, on the other hand, the caregiver ignored the symbol, then there should be a little toot-toot that the wearer could activate, a little squeeze thingy of sorts that would be the "forgot to wash your hands" reminder. If that does not work, we're taking it outside (fistycuffs are in full order).

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