I’ve always been a very big proponent of applying the ‘personal touch’ when it comes to my interaction with people (this certainly includes our patients and families).
There is nothing more callously dispassionate than a healthcare provider with a plebian bedside manner.
In fact, I recently blogged about the “Hospital Elevator Button Syndrome.”
So, I was tickled today to read (AP) about a new “discovery when it comes to preventing the spread of germs.
It seems the familiar knocking of knuckles (otherwise known as “the fist bump”) spreads only one-twentieth the amount of bacteria that a handshake does, according to a researchers report. That’s better than a high-five, which still passes along less than half the amount as a handshake.
Fist bumps — popularized by Barack Obama and others — seem to be the wisest greeting, especially during cold and flu season, said researcher David Whitworth of Aberystwyth University in Wales.
The importance of hand hygiene is nothing new in medicine. But the researchers realized that while a lot of research focused on hands getting germy from touching doorknobs and other surfaces, only a few studies had looked at handshakes.
“And there are alternatives to handshakes. You see them on TV all the time — the fist bump and high-five and all that,” Whitworth said.
He and a student, Sara Mela, shook hands, fist-bumped and high-fived each other dozens of times for the research. One wore a glove covered in bacteria, while the other had a clean sterilized glove. After each greeting, they measured how much bacteria had been transferred.
Their results were published online Monday in the American Journal of Infection Control.