Arrow-right Camera

The Slice

Tue., June 12, 2012, 10 a.m.

Would you be willing to do this?

Before surgical procedures, hospital staffers sometimes hand you an info sheet: "FAQs about Surgical Site Infections."

It offers some good information and advice.

But one highlighted passage raises a question or two.

It says, "If you do not see your providers clean their hands, please ask them to do so."

No doubt, that is wise counsel.

But here's the thing. Don't most people operate on the assumption that the best way to get good treatment is to be liked?

And does questioning someone's professionalism encourage that person to like you?

I know. What I'm saying sounds like I think we're still in junior high or something. Asserting your rights as a patient should be encouraged. Getting decent care should not be about hitting it off with the nurses or whatever.

Moreover, the medical staffer requested to wash his or her hands will no doubt smile and offer the patient praise for asking.

But c'mon. Does anything you know about human nature suggest that such a request really is appreciated? 

Of course, if you wind up getting an infection because someone failed to wash his hands, the fact that everyone thought you were a great guy won't matter much.

So there's that to consider.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to The Slice
The Slice

The online home for Paul Turner's musings and interactions with disciples of The Slice.