There was a study done at 10 academic hospitals. The schools were asked about whether they care about what doctors wear. Over half of the people cared about what doctors wore. However, most doctors still prefer to wear the traditional white coat.
One of the reasons that doctors prefer the white coat is because it is a status symbol. However, the white coat can actually be a host for many pathogens. There was a study done that showed that the white coat can hold many infections that are hospital-acquired and drug-resistant. The study showed that 16 percent of white coats had MRSA on them. Forty-two percent of them had Gram-negative rods, which are a type of bacteria.
Both types of bacteria can cause pneumonia and sepsis. The white coats are not the only thing that can be germ and bacteria-infested. Doctor’s tablets, phones and stethoscopes can also be contaminated with germs and bacteria. Additionally, nurses uniforms can also be contaminated.
There are some things that can be done to remedy this problem. Using antimicrobial textiles can be beneficial. Experts also recommend that people wash their white coats every day. However, most doctors do not wash their white coats often enough.
Several studies showed that American medical doctors often go over a week without washing their white coats. Seventeen percent of doctors go more than a month without washing their white coats. A study done that involved London doctors had similar findings.
The use of hand sanitizers can stop the spread of illnesses in hospitals. However, fire marshals have limited the number of hand sanitizer dispensers that can be used in a building. There was a study published 10 years ago by the American Medical Association that said that doctors should consider hanging up their lab coats. One doctor commented saying that they would not hang up their white coat. They said that the white coat they cannot function without it.
The best thing that doctors can do is sanitize their hands before they make contact with the patient.