Shake, Bump, or High Five? The nature of germs

handshake fistbump

This picture shows the powder transferred during a handshake simulating germ spread.  According to this picture we should have handshake free zones in our health care settings to deter the spread of pathogens. The fist bump has been declared the healthiest of all kinds of greetings. They are 20 times more hygienic than handshakes and 10 times cleaner than high-fives according to the Monday online version of the American Journal of Infection Control. Add to this all the things that hands contact in our facilities and the hand, as we know it, it a major germ carrier. The elevator buttons, door handles, and other surfaces are gross places that we place our germy hands. Think what we can bring from the lobby or the cafeteria. Handshakes last longer than fist bumps or high fives. The longer the contact the more germs  transferred.  An essay published in the American Medical Association journal last month submitted by experts at UCLA suggested that we should post signs:

“Handshake-free zone: to protect your health and the health of those around you, please refrain from shaking hands while on these premises.”

This sounds like very good advice for all of us…and besides, think how cool you will look?


  • Marilyn Sackett, MEd, RT(R), FASRT

    Marilyn Sackett is passionate about mentoring and education. She has experience establishing and teaching at the colligate level, she was a Director of Imaging for a large healthcare system in the Texas Medical Center, and she led the charge to improve radiation protection and licensure in the state of Texas, to this day she holds license #1 for radiology in the state. A former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner and a Fellow of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, Marilyn is a pioneer in radiology education.

3 thoughts on “Shake, Bump, or High Five? The nature of germs

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  2. Hi, very nice and informative post. now these days very common problem with every children and mother are worry about your children for this problem. this post very helpful, specially for mothers. thanks for sharing with us.

    Holistic | Patient care services

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