"I have learned the Western Way of politeness: when meeting a stranger look them in the eye and give a firm handshake. I do this quite a lot in this ‘patient satisfaction’ world, shaking the hands of not just the patients but also their families. I’m wondering if we need some sort of socially acceptable way to say ‘I’d shake your hand but given that this is a hospital where illness concentrates, let’s not."
See a few comments on Twitter:
- AllergyNotes "Doctors: Do you shake hands during a flu epidemic?" http://bit.ly/SMgBk
- sospokesaroj @AllergyNotes I feel like doctors can get away with no handshake so long as they inform their patients that there's an ongoing epidemic
- AllergyNotes @sospokesaroj A handshake in healthcare settings can probably increase the risk of C. diff. and MRSA... Alcohol gel does not kill C. diff.
- sospokesaroj @AllergyNotes C. diff is proving to be increasingly resistant, scary prospect. Better to limit social formalities if it keeps ppl healthy.
- mpwhaley RT @AllergyNotes "Doctors: Do you shake hands during a flu epidemic?" http://bit.ly/SMgBk (my thoughts exactly- hands folded - namaste)
What do you think?
Image source: Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License.