Pregnancy

Study Suggests Doctors Are Not Washing Their Hands Before They Stick Them Up Your Birthing Vag

By  | 

medical glovesWell, here is some disturbing news. Not flesh eating maggots disturbing (click at your own risk) but still pretty frightening/gross. Apparently doctors taking unnecessary and often life-threatening risks for the sake of saving time has become, like, a thing. OR at least that’s what a recent study suggests.

In a survey of over 3,200 doctors, nurses, midwives and other medical professionals who assist in delivering babies, the vast majority admitted to witnessing serious violations such as a colleague (always the colleague, never themselves, of course) failing to change gloves, being disrespectful to a co-worker or patient, not having the skills to perform a procedure or technique, or refusing to wash their hands. Eww. I thought hand washing was like gospel for doctors.

So how many medical professionals reported these issues in the survey, you might ask. Ninety percent of doctors and almost all nurses. So yeah, there’s that.

So, if these professional healer types that we all trust with our lives saw this stuff, they MUST have said something at the time, right? RIGHT? Nope. Only nine percent of doctors, 13 percent of midwives and 13 percent of nurses said diddly squat (a medical term) to their co-workers about the issue. They typically cite being worried about future work relations. Yeah, because that is what’s important when you see your colleague about to stick his filthy, disgusting hands inside someone’s birth canal. Of course.

According to the study, these issues go beyond the typical hospital setting and can be found in delivery rooms, and even intensive care units. You know, the place where they make people live in bubbles and you basically have to wear a hazmat suit to come in.

The study, performed by Audrey Lyndon, an associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing, confirms one belief I’ve had for a while. Some doctors are dicks. Apparently disrespect among peers is rampant and this is especially true for doctors disrespecting nurses and midwives, as they have been traditionally treated as less important or competent. Shockingly, it’s also a field that is still dominated by women.

Lyndon says that she feels that the findings of the study are very concerning and that it’s important for colleagues to discuss these matters in person, which I think would be hard if it happens in front of a patient. What do they expect the nurse to just say? “Hey doc, you just took a dump and didn’t wash your hands. Do you really think it’s a good idea to do that mouth exam?” Yeah, I didn’t think so.

(Photo:  PinkGloveDance)