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Few Medical Students Know When to Wash Their Hands, Survey Shows | DeLand Personal Injury Lawyer

Few Medical Students Know When to Wash Their Hands, Survey Shows

A survey of medical students showed only 21 percent could identify two false and five true indications of when and when not to wash their hands in a clinical setting.

Researchers from the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology at Hannover Medical School in Hannover, Germany conducted the survey by questioning 85 medical students in their third year of study. The survey was conducted in a lecture class that all students must pass before bedside training and contact with patients can begin.

These med students were given seven scenarios, of which five (“before preparation of intravenous fluids,” “before contact to a patient,” “after contact to the patient’s bed,” “after contact to vomit” and “after removal of gloves,” ) were correct hand hygiene indications. Only 33 percent correctly identified all five as true indications, and only 21 percent were correct in identifying all true and false indications.

Additionally, the students expected their own hand hygiene compliance would be “good,” while that of nurses would be lower, despite previously published data showing a higher rate of compliance among nursing students than among medical students.

The surveyed students also believed that hand hygiene compliance would be inversely proportional to career attainment and the level of training of the physician. This confirms a bias among medical students that is of notable concern, as the higher-level physicians are typically those that are doing bedside training with the medical students.

“There is no doubt that we need to improve the overall attitude toward the use of alcohol-based hand rub in hospitals,” the study’s authors conclude.

For this to happen, researchers say the accurate behavior of so-called ‘role models’ is of special importance.

For more on medical safety issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach medical malpractice attorney.


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