Originally posted by Diner-Lover
As a nurse, I have to give my 2 cents regarding those air blow-dryers. One of the first things we're taught in nursing school is that after washing your hands, you then turn off the faucets with the paper towel that you used to dry your hands. Not to state the obvious, but you have just used the toilet, and you are turning on the faucet with your hands, as has everyone before you. You wash the ick off your hands, and then turn the faucets off and get ick back on them, then blow them dry. Seems pretty unsanitary to me. The paper towel protects those clean hands. (We probably should all be opening the bathroom doors with a paper towel-in-hand, too, to protect against those who don't wash. Although this post sounds like I'm germ-phobic, I'm really not, but when I start thinking about it, I could imagine getting a little obsessive-compulsive.
I also wonder about employees who use the bathrooms and may not wash hands because they don't want to take the time to blow their hands dry. And then again, there's that ick on the faucet for employees who DO wash afterwards...
I understand paper towels can cause a mess and wastes trees and all, but people need to re-think the blowers, IMHO.
I really DETEST those hot-air blowers. Since the backs of my hands are very hairy, it takes a very long time for these contraptions to dry my hands. I usually have to go through three drying cycles before my hands are actually dry. But, I prefer paper towels mostly for the exact reasons stated in the above post that I copied. Doctors now recommend that you do exactly what the nurse stated in her post. (Use paper towel to turn off faucet, and also, use a paper towel to open the door when you are leaving.)
[Besides the obvious problem (as stated) of the contamination on the faucet handle, then there is the problem of the door handle that is touched by the people who don't even bother to wash their hands after defecating--and I have observed plenty of them!]
When I am in a fast-food restaurant, I grab a handful of napkins on my way into the Men's Room. I use these to dry my hands, to close the faucet, and to open the door. Don't like that, Mr. Businessman? Then provide paper towels, at least as an option, for your customers!
Incidentally, the establishments that do provide paper towels frequently do not have the waste basket next to the door. As a result, I have no choice but to drop my paper towel on the floor after using it to open the door when I am leaving. However, I have observed that I have been able to "train" the staff at many establishments that I frequent. After a few months, they finally figure out what the nurses, the M.D.s, and I are doing, and they move the waste basket next to the door!
In case you think that I am being overly conscious of sanitary practices, I suffered a very serious bout of pneumonia last year. In the aftermath, my Pulmonologist advised me that the methods described above are the best way to avoid respiratory illnesses, as well as those of the gastrointestinal tract. Not wishing to be seriously ill again, I follow his advice.