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The Slice

Posts tagged: infections

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.

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About this blog

Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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