Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mater Hospital "Orthopaedic Bow Tie Study"

Today in "You couldn't make this stuff up"...

So as my readers and friends will know, a year ago I was hit by a car while cycling and broke my wrist. Since I use public healthcare, I have spent many a day in the Mater Hospital's Fracture Clinic, which bears a striking the seventh circle of hell. I will spare you the details.

However today in the clinic I noticed that three of the male consultants were wearing bow ties (aka "dickie bows"). I thought, "Jeez, the hipster bow tie thing has really gotten out of hand." But then when my number was finally called I was given two sheets of paper and asked to fill out a little survey. The first was about finding the new clinic, which recently changed buildings. But the second form must be seen to be believed. Lucky for you I kept it, scanned it, and present it to you, below:

The form explains that the Mater Hospital believes that they can reduce their wound infection rate by eliminating neck ties. A google search of "necktie wound infection rate" produces two viable results. One of them (produced by the NHS) states, "Even when doctors washed their hands after patient examination, they also frequently adjusted their neckties." So the geniuses at the Mater have decided, in their brilliance, to do away with them.

This could possibly be the first time when a bow tie has ever been considered a viable solution to a life or death problem. Here's the thing. Won't doctors still be adjusting their bow ties? If it were a big issue, wouldn't hospitals around the world have instituted a mandatory bow tie rule decades ago? Or are doctors dipping their neckties into people's wounds? I mean, isn't this what the white coats are for?

It appears that the Mater Hospital could be the first hospital on the planet to solve the great neck tie infection epidemic. 

But here's another thing. Check out the questions. "Have you seen the movie Skyfall?" In other words, "Can you be persuaded that bow ties are in fact sexy, and your doctor may jump out of the window wearing a jet pack at any moment in his quest to fight fractures?" 

Then you've got the three photos: Doctor A in just a dress shirt, Doctor B in a neck tie, and Doctor Who. The first question, "Which doctor appears the most professional?"is fair enough. But the second and third questions, "Which doctor would you like to fix your fracture?" and "Which doctor appears the most hygenic?" are a bit ridiculous, as if you're on the stretcher, and Doctor A approaches. "No no no!" you scream, "Not you! You look like a slob! Aren't you the receptionist?"
"I'm a fully trained medical doctor!" he replies.
"Get out of here, you vagabond! Don't touch me!" you hiss. Doctor B approaches. "I can fix that fracture," he proclaims.
"You? Are you trying to KILL me?," you cry. "Where's that filthy necktie been? I bet you wiped your ass with it not ten minutes ago. I can see the e. coli breeding from here!" Doctor B slinks away, mortified. That's when you spot Doctor C. "Finally! A professional!" you sigh, relieved. "Finally someone who understands HYGIENE!"

But perhaps the most ridiculous is the last question: "Which doctor appears the most honest?" I mean, everyone knows that people with bow ties never tell lies. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's a nursery rhyme of some sort. Think about everyone in your life that's ever lied to you. I bet they were either wearing no tie, or a neck tie. How many lies have you ever been told by a bow tie wearer? Ok, we won't count Winston Churchill and the Cat in the Hat.

Ironically, the doctor who met with me wasn't wearing a tie of any kind, or in fact a shirt. She wore a dress, and she was the most thorough, compassionate, and helpful doctor I've had in the twelve months that I've been going to the Mater Fracture Clinic. If they decide to do a survey about her, I will gladly fill it out.