(Mirror Daily, United States) – Ever since we were kids, our parents taught us that washing our hands is healthy, especially before and after a meal. Therefore, hand hygiene is one of the many life-long habits that every single one of us should have.
Plus, washing our hands is more than a habit as it is one of the primary measures of precaution that we take against bacteria and other viruses. If we think about doctors, they are regarded as the people who need to keep their hands clean at all times because the health and the lives of so many patients lie in their hands.
In other words, the world’s health care environment relies on hand hygiene.
Unfortunately, the real situation does not look so bright after the latest social experiment. A team of researchers observed the hospital staff from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose, California, by using a set of young volunteers and Infection Prevention (IP) nurses.
Based on the results, scientists established that human behavior drastically changes depending whether they are observed while washing their hands or not. The statistics revealed that the staff washed their hands according to the hygiene rules 22 percent of the time when a volunteer was present whereas the staff observed by IP nurses respected hand hygiene regulations 57 percent of the time.
In both cases, the situation looks dangerous, as the risk increases for viruses and bacteria to pass from one patient to another. According to Maricris Niles, infection prevention analyst at SCVMC, the Infection Prevention nurses observed something else compared to the volunteers.
Therefore, Lisa Hansford, one of the IP nurses, underlined that providers and nurses were not using the alcohol to wash their hands.
Furthermore, human behavior proves to be something hard to change. Therefore, a new approach must be developed to tackle this problem and to make the medical field safer for everyone.
All of these findings were presented a few days ago at the Association for Professionals Infection Control and Epidemiology meeting in North Carolina in order to raise awareness of this problem and underline the fact that new regulations would be needed to make the entire medical staff throughout the United States understand the importance of hand hygiene.
Image Source:New Indian Express