i'm allergic to latex and its not in the budget for the place that im externing at to buy me a box of gloves.. i brought this up to the lpn and she said "oh, nobody her wears gloves anyways just wash your hands once or twice a day and you will be fine" ...
gave a couple of enemas (was told not to worry about gloving for that) assisted with three flexsig's (and i had to clean it.. i wore gloves for that one but my hands swelled up cuz of the latex and there itchy and red.. and after cleaning it three times my hands cant take the gloves anymore.. and, well they don't care) i drew blood and was told "dont worry about gloves you will be fine" ( wore gloves anyways).....
that was supposed to be nurse pracitioner.. she sees patients, write perscriptions and has people call her doctor....
if i ask for non-latex gloves and i cant afford to buy them myself
(i dont even know were to go) dont they have to buy them for me? ....
my blood boiled when i read your post for the insensitive treatment you received at your first clinical site and infection control violations witnessed. what a day.....and learning situation in what should not be happening in an office/clinic!
suggested course of action:
1. do not go back there. discuss these concerns immediately with your clinical instructor. they violated every infection control/ osha rule in the book!!!!! yet alone there insensitivity towards someone with a severe latex allergy (discuss later).
2. document all your concerns objectively in writing and give to your clinical instructor with the expectation that she will discuss them with the management of the clinical site.
e.g. informed nurse practitioner of latex allergy and requested non-latex gloves. was instructed not to wear gloves but wash my hands 2 x.
saw np place speculum in ma's bare hands upon removal from a patient.
if she doesn't report your concerns, you need to call/send letter to administration/management as you observed problem situations. documenting, reporting, problem solving and following-up is part of being a medical assistant---a big part.
why did you just accept the situation?
3. discuss with instructor how the situation could have been handled differently.
you new it was wrong not to be wearing gloves in your post comments. why didn't you contact your instructor immediately for advice??? all instructors should be available via telephone for consultation re situations that occur during an externship/clinical rotation when off-site and instructor not present.
4. is your school/instructors aware of your latex allergy?? that needs to be discussed up front before starting at any clinical site/ job/doctors office visit.
what did you learn about latex allergy in your program? based on the symptoms reported above you do have a latex allergy.
because you are not an employee, they are not legally obligated to provide you with gloves; however ethically they should be.
additionally, what do they do for their clients who has latex allergy---which is becoming an increasing problem; i'd guess nothing. they are sitting ducks for a lawsuit.
if you are not aware, each exposure to latex puts you at risk of anaphylaxis--wheezing is a sign of airway sensitivity and inflammation with the potential for airway collapse and death.
common latex products include tourniquets, gloves, foley catheters, balloons, condoms.
you must protect yourself from latex exposure.
vinyl gloves can be bought at most pharmacies for less that $8.00 per 100 count box. keep a box in your car/home. place two pair in a zip-lock type sandwich bag in your handbag for your use or to be used by someone caring for you at all times. consider seeing an allergist for need of desensitization.
educate yourself with these resources:
to die for
extensive latex allergy resource list at dianne brownson's "brownson's notes" website:
( i pick up something new there from each visit..first class site)!
american latex allergy association
5. re comment "nurse practitioner.... she sees patients, write prescriptions and has people call her doctor." is it possible this person is a physician's assistant and not an np? if she is a
nurse practitioner---she is a poor example, should be shot, quartered and reported to nursing board for poor practice standards....don't know if you want to go to that length. patients will repeatedly call np's/ pa's doctor, even when they have been reinstructed in the role repeatedly and told to call them np.
love and trust my pcp's nurse practitioner sue---complete opposite of every thing you have described, even having another staff in the room while performing pap to comfort me.
6. kudos to you for coming here to ask for advice....that's what we excel at here (along with kvetching). please consider and act on all the good advice given.
let us know how things have turned out, please. come back to vent or seek advice anytime.