More than 60% of uniforms worn by hospital nurses and doctors tested positive for potentially dangerous bacteria according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Swab samples were collected by pressing standard blood agar plates on the abdominal area, cuffs, and pockets of uniforms. Twenty-one cultures from nurse uniforms and six cultures from doctor uniforms contained multi-drug resistant pathogens; eight of those grew MRSA.

Of the physicians and nurses in the study, 58% claimed to change their uniform every day, and 77% defined the level of hygiene of their attire as fair to excellent.

While there may not necessarily be a direct risk of disease transmission from uniforms, it’s  disturbing that antibiotic-resistant strains may be right under hospitalized patients’ noses. However, the cornerstone of infection prevention remains the use of hand hygiene.

AJIC study details

Physician’s Weekly wants to know…

  • How would you rate the hygiene of the medical staff at your facility?
  • How closely do you feel nurses and physicians follow hygiene recommendations?