I have learned the Western Way of politeness: when meeting a stranger look them in the eye and give a firm handshake. I do this quite a lot in this ‘patient satisfaction’ world, shaking the hands of not just the patients but also their families. (And sometimes you’d think I’d learn).
I’m wondering if we need some sort of socially acceptable way to say ‘I’d shake your hand but given that this is a hospital where illness concentrates, let’s not’. Seems like a good tradeoff from a risk-benefit standpoint.
Yes, I use the alcohol-based foam gels between patients, and when I pass a dispenser, and when I think about it. I’m pretty obsessive about it. I’m not advocating not touching patients appropriately, just seems like something we should be able to change.