The Daily Telegraph printed a letter today from Brian Reece saying that he was delighted to discover, in the gents' lavatories in the Advocates' Robing Room at the Central Criminal Court,a notice giving detailed instructions for the process of hand washing, namely 'Wet, soap, wash, rinse, dry'.
"How did we manage before?" he asks.
Doctors are well aware of this educational problem. It is said that two eminent consultants, examiners for the MRCP examination, once chatted to each other as they stood at the urinal in the Royal College of Physicians. As they left, one of them paused to wash his hands and the other didn't. MRCP examiners are a competitive bunch, always trying to score off each other, and the hygienic one couldn't resist muttering "At Guy's we teach our students to wash their hands after micturition" to which his rival replied "Oh really? At Bart's we teach our students not to pee on their fingers".
Actually they would both have known that normal urine is sterile and in the absence of a clean water supply can in an emergency can be used perfectly safely to irrigate (i.e. wash out) accidental wounds or burns which are contaminated by soil or toxic liquids.