This is disturbing and surprising: Just out in current issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgeons are the results of a survey of members of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, presumably the cream of the plastic surgeon crop. They took a web-based survey about patient safety that included questions on handwashing. This is what they found: Only 53% knew which hand-washing agents are the best killers of microorganisms, 74% knew the most effective way to washed hands with visible dirt, and only 42% knew the indications for hand washing. That means they weren't actually sure when to wash their hands. Here are the authors' conclusions:
"Adherence to hand hygiene practices is suboptimal among facial plastic surgeons. There seems to be a lack of knowledge regarding indications, methods, and appropriate agents for hand hygiene. Promotion of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines is an important step in increasing hand hygiene compliance among facial plastic surgeons."
These folks are surgeons? Here are the CDC's directions on hand washing for people working in health care.