Checkup: Med Students Are Dummies When It Comes to Handwashing

Apparently something that seems so simple ... isn't?

Why is this so hard to understand? Image from iStockphoto

• My mom’s a kindergarten teacher, and when I was little, she was my preschool teacher. I distinctly remember a song we used to sing about washing our hands, a little rhyme set to a melody having something to do with “here’s the soap and here’s the water,” blah, blah, blah. We used to belt it before lunch time and again before snacks; it was fun, and (gasp!) hand-washing became second nature. After reading this, I think my mom should be a med school professor because, apparently, two-thirds of those students have no idea when to wash their hands. Researchers quizzed 85 third-year German medical students on scenarios when hand-washing was either necessary or unnecessary in a hospital setting. Only 33 percent correctly identified the five scenarios when it was appropriate to wash hands, and only 21 percent could both identify those five scenarios and point out the two incorrect ones. Maybe a catchy hand-washing song could help.

• The Obama administration reported yesterday that as a result of the new health care law, which allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance longer, 2.5 million young people have gained insurance coverage. It’s a pretty significant gain, considering how hotly contested the health care overhaul has been; TIME reports that the “drop is 2½ times as large as the drop indicated by previous government and private estimates from earlier this year.” Read more here.

• A new study found that moms who work, whether part time or full time, are less depressed than stay-at-home moms. The correlation remained true until their children began attending school. The Los Angeles Times has more.