HIV positive nurses

  1. We are a group of nursing students who are interested in other people's opinions about nurses that are HIV+ and are involved in direct patient care. We as students feel, these nurses should wear gloves whenever having direct patient contact. Does anyone think there are any procedures that they should not be involved in because of risk to the patient?
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Hayden
    As an Enrolled Nurse and Bachelor of Nursing Student, I am shocked by your feelings. What do you base this opinion upon? I cannot see the rationale for +ve nursing staff wearing gloves for all patient contact. The only explanation can be ignorance and hysteria on the behalf of people who should know better.
  4. by   ed
    I have been working as an ED nurse for 8 years. During every shift I use universal precautions as if all clients were HIV+. They may be. I am not HIV+...but I could have on my hands, in my nares, or on my clothes, something that could be of harm to them. I use gloves whenever either party could benefit from them...which is often. I have worked with HIV+ nurses and feel that they were more conscientious than I am about transfering pathogens. On the other hand...
    the risks involved in trauma and open wounds
    increase the possibility that a barrier (such as gloves and skin) may be broken. Perhaps HIV+ nurses would be better utilized in less risky areas....
    The glove issue is moot.
  5. by   Fuller
    Just to clarify, we are sorry we were not clear on the utilization of gloves. We meant that HIV positive nurses should wear gloves when involved in any clinical procedure but not all contact with the patient. We are aware that HIV can not be passed by just touching someone or through contact that does not involve transfer of blood or fluids. We have witnessed numerous RNs not practicing universal precautions, therefore we feel that these precautions should be enforced for all care providers, but especially for all HIV positive nurses. Hope this clarifies.
  6. by   MassED
    Quote from Fuller
    Just to clarify, we are sorry we were not clear on the utilization of gloves. We meant that HIV positive nurses should wear gloves when involved in any clinical procedure but not all contact with the patient. We are aware that HIV can not be passed by just touching someone or through contact that does not involve transfer of blood or fluids. We have witnessed numerous RNs not practicing universal precautions, therefore we feel that these precautions should be enforced for all care providers, but especially for all HIV positive nurses. Hope this clarifies.
    where can you see the date of this post, or any post for that matter?
  7. by   jkeys100
    Quote from Fuller
    We have witnessed numerous RNs not practicing universal precautions, therefore we feel that these precautions should be enforced for all care providers, but especially for all HIV positive nurses. Hope this clarifies.
    That is a totally different issue and has nothing to do with HIV+ nurses as a study group. IMHO.
  8. by   MassED
    Quote from jkeys100
    That is a totally different issue and has nothing to do with HIV+ nurses as a study group. IMHO.
    why doesn't it apply? Couldn't the study be on HIV + nurses, as all nurses, need to practice universal precautions.... or the lack of practicing universal precautions...
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Okay - here are some references:

    This one is from the Massachusetts Nursing Association and is their position paper:
    http://www.massnurses.org/pubs/positions/hiv.htm

    Here is a paper from the International Council on Nurses:
    http://www.who.int/occupational_heal...s/1icnguid.pdf

    Hopefully, this will help to clarify the issue. Clearly HIV+ nurses can and do still work. We should all be using universal precautions all the time.
  10. by   jkeys100
    Quote from MassED
    why doesn't it apply? Couldn't the study be on HIV + nurses, as all nurses, need to practice universal precautions.... or the lack of practicing universal precautions...

    You said it yourself. "the study be on HIV+ nurses, as well as all nurses, need to practice universal precautions..." It does not appy only to HIV+ nurses!
  11. by   TraumaNurseRN
    Universal standards....use them!!!!!!!
  12. by   LilgirlRN
    Have you been watching reruns of ER? Where the PA is HIV+? They barred her from doing deep cavity procedures that I, myself coudln't see a PA doing anyway. The chances of getting HIV from someone who is the clinician in a clinical setting would have to be nil. If the nurse had open sores on her hands I can see gloving up whenever going into the patient's room but other than that it ... The risk to the HIV infected nurse taking care of a sick patient is greater than that of the patient taken care of by an HIV infected nurse.
  13. by   MassED
    Quote from LilgirlRN
    Have you been watching reruns of ER? Where the PA is HIV+? They barred her from doing deep cavity procedures that I, myself coudln't see a PA doing anyway. The chances of getting HIV from someone who is the clinician in a clinical setting would have to be nil. If the nurse had open sores on her hands I can see gloving up whenever going into the patient's room but other than that it ... The risk to the HIV infected nurse taking care of a sick patient is greater than that of the patient taken care of by an HIV infected nurse.
    What? Your last sentence is saying the same thing... unless I'm off my rocker - and I could be, since it's summer and the kids are driving me nuts....
  14. by   LilgirlRN
    No, it's not the same..... Let's say your a nurse who has HIV. You are more likely to catch something from your sick patient because of your immunodefiency. Your patient is much less likely to get HIV from you, a medical professional.

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