…They make be spreading disease.
British hospitals are working on keeping that in check by implementing a new dress code:
British hospitals are banning neckties, long sleeves and jewelry for doctors — and their traditional white coats — in an effort to stop the spread of deadly hospital-borne infections, according to new rules published Monday.
Hospital dress codes typically urge doctors to look professional, which, for male practitioners, has usually meant wearing a tie. But as concern over hospital-born infections has intensified, doctors are taking a closer look at their clothing.
“Ties are rarely laundered but worn daily,” the Department of Health said in a statement. “They perform no beneficial function in patient care and have been shown to be colonized by pathogens.”
Of course, at issue is the fact that for doctors coming into close contact with many ill patients, all that extra fabric and buttons and ties and watches are just additional places for bacteria to colonize and hop on over to the next person.
Will it help? Not sure, but I suppose it falls under the “can’t hurt” category. The article also notes that a study of doctors’ ties a few years’ back showed that almost half were contaminated with a minimum of one species of pathogen–so eliminate the dirty tie, maybe they’ll pass around fewer germs? Time will tell, I suppose.