are "fake nails" okay for nurses? - page 8

I am a nursing student graduating next month. I wore "fake nails" before nursing school, but my program did not allow them during school. I am considering getting them again after graduation. ... Read More

  1. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from New_Mom_LPN_Student
    I still believe that this thread is stupid, just because we all know that nails harbor bacteria, real or fake. Meaning that we are always exposed to germs, and having a basic online battle won't change that.
    Then why UP the risk by putting fakes or overlays on??


    (Calling this concern/issue "stupid" might serve to offend those that are serious about this subject)
  2. by   oldiebutgoodie
    Why does anybody spend their time and money on fake nails? I don't get it.

    Furthermore, here is some research against fake nails:
    http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/CID...40/000140.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q..._uids=10968715

    http://www.n2nmagazine.co.uk/article...p?ArticleID=65

    oldiebutgoodie
  3. by   tntrn
    I wish those of you who think natural nails are so nice and pretty could see my hands right now. For the record, I've never had nice, pretty, strong natural nails. And when I wore acrylics I always did: I kept them very short for a number of reasons: I sew, I play musical instruments, and I am a nurse, not to mention that the long ones just didn't work for me. So get rid of the stereotype that all "fake" nails are long ones. I reiterate the fact that acrylics are sharp. Mine were not sharp at all, quite the opposite.

    Due to all this pressure I had the acrylics taken off in August, I think. It took 14 weeks for my natural nails to grow out. So get rid of the idea that you can put the acrylics on and take them off at will. That just doesn't happen. I now have natural nails, and just like they have been for 50+ years, they are not strong, they are not pretty, they do split and crack. Just yesterday I bumped a hand against the door and one of my nails broke right down to the quick.

    My cuticles are the main problem, however. Since my acrylics came off, and theoretically, I now have healthier hands, but the cuticles are a mess. I have cracks and splits, especially at the ends of the nails where they just start to separate from the nail bed. These do not heal very quickly, if at all. The constant handwashing isn't helpful as it these areas are constantly being dried out and I'm beginning to wonder if my hands will always look like this.

    I know there are studies; and I've read them. I also know that any statistician will tell you that anything can be proven or disproven depending on how the study is done. I'm not saying that acrylics can't be a problem; for some they can. But as evidenced by other posters here who've had their hands cultured, the nasty bugs don't have to be a factor.

    I still contend that someone who bites their nails to within one-eighth inch of their cuticle (yes I worked with a nurse who did this) or one who has constantly cracked and sometimes bleeding natural nails or cuticles is no less "dangerous" to a patient that someone who has acrylics that are PROPERLY maintained. I worry a whole lot more about getting some kind of infection myself now with my cracked cuticles than I ever did with my acrylics.

    But I've buckled to the pressure. There are no acrylics. I surely hope that one day the pendulum will swing the other way and that the acrylic methods and products will be improved to satisfy the objections the powers that be have. JMHO.
  4. by   FocusRN
    As I said it is a personal choice. We all know that nails attract bacteria period. When fake nails come into play, more bacteria gets stuck and stays there, but on the same token you will have the same bacteria under your real nails unless you clean the meticulously. That is something I can say not many if any of use do, just because it is something that would take more than a couple of hours to do. I don't mean to offend anyone who is serious about this subject at all. It is just my personal opinion that this is really serving no purpose, simply because we all know that nails attract bacteria, real or fake. Now if we were conducting our own little study on here of real and fake nails, that maybe it would serve a purpose, but as it stands in my opinion it doesn't.

    Quote from Marie_LPN
    Then why UP the risk by putting fakes or overlays on??


    (Calling this concern/issue "stupid" might serve to offend those that are serious about this subject)
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Styling one's hair or putting on makeup is not linked to infecting patients with deadly fungi. We are getting WAY off topic when we reach that far. Nurses are supposed to be involved in evidenced-based practice. Evidence shows wearing acrylics risks spreading a fungus unique to these nails to patients who can ill-afford exposure. It's simple as that.

    If you want to talk about the environment, we can do that! I feel strongly about it, too. But let's pick another thread. Have a good day!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 13, '04
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from New_Mom_LPN_Student
    As I said it is a personal choice. We all know that nails attract bacteria period. When fake nails come into play, more bacteria gets stuck and stays there, but on the same token you will have the same bacteria under your real nails unless you clean the meticulously. That is something I can say not many if any of use do, just because it is something that would take more than a couple of hours to do. I don't mean to offend anyone who is serious about this subject at all. It is just my personal opinion that this is really serving no purpose, simply because we all know that nails attract bacteria, real or fake. Now if we were conducting our own little study on here of real and fake nails, that maybe it would serve a purpose, but as it stands in my opinion it doesn't.
    You are correct; it's a personal choice. I won't argue that. But I believe a nurse making a personal choice of vanity over safety really has no place in bedside or clinical nursing, then. She should seek work in office or non-clinincal nursing, not taking care of vulnerable patients. Of if a student, reconsider her choice to become a nurse.

    You keep justifying your choice by saying we harbor bacteria on natural nails. No one disputes that. It's the fungi UNIQUE to acrylic nails we worry about. It's not WASHED off easily, and is VERY dangerous to hospitalized patients, esp. the immune-weak like elderly and newborns. Bacteria under nails can be taken care of via a nail scrub when you wash hands (I do a 5 minute scrub each time I start work, ala OR -surgical- style to protect my patients).

    Seriously, if you doubt us, read up in the thread and you will find a link to a hair-raising study. Would YOU really want to be directly linked to the deaths of 16 newborns, preventable deaths???? For WHAT--a choice you make? I could never sleep at night were that me.

    Sadly, patients don't get to make THAT choice, do they? . And I am glad you don't mean to offend, but by saying our discussing is "stupid" you are sounding condescending and unwilling to educate yourself. . Where you may one day work, you may still have the choice to wear acrylics; but look for that to change as more and more employers see the light and disallow them. I see you are not a nurse yet; if you really intend to pursue nursing, you may want to look into desk/office work instead, if you really think acrylics are that important. Good day now!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 13, '04
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    It is not that simple. Please read up if you think so.
  8. by   Katnip
    I have to agree with Deb. It's a fungus that is directly related to artificial nails, not natural nails.

    If you choose to make long fingernails a priority, then find a career where you won't be endangering vulnerable patients.

    With the information that is out there now, anyone who chooses to wear artificial nails in a clinical setting should be held liable for any harm they cause to a patient because of those nails.

    As for those who say they never scratched anyone with their over-long nails, especially acrylic nails, think again. I was once scratched hard enough to draw blood by a grocery cashier. She didn't even notice. I brought it to her attention, and she just shrugged.

    For those saying that you MUST have acrylics because you have bad fingernails, how do you think generations of women managed with bad fingernails before acrylics came along? There are wonderful products out there that do work. There is a cream made by Barielle; just do a Google search on them. It hardens nails incredibly well and you only apply it once a day. Probably comes out a lot cheaper than having acrylics maintained.

    Simply wearing gloves and washing hands isnt' enough. tears occur, and most people don't wear gloves every time they touch a patient or an item that a patient is going to come into contact with. Even a good washing does not remove the fungus in acrylics. There are so many little micro tears, and nooks and crannies, it's impossible to remove it.

    Sorry, but nursing and acrylic nails or even long natural nails do not mix. It's not hygenic. Common sense tells you that.
    Last edit by Katnip on Dec 13, '04
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    MY nails are horrible; they split, peel you-name-it. I use endless creams and moisturizers to keep them intact. But the one time I used an overlay, they got MUCH worse. This was before I became a nurse. Common sense told me then, this was like jumping from a frying pan to a fire where my nail health was concerned!
  10. by   Katnip
    Deb, try Barielle nail strengthening cream. It really helps my flimsy little nails. I don't like the polish on kind of strengthners because they tend to peel.

    You used to be able to buy it at Penney's but I think they went a little more upscale. You can definitely get it online at various beauty places and I think they have their own site.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Barielle. hmmm never heard of that. Will look. I have the WORST nails and cuticles, I swear! Thanks...
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I give up. some people refuse to even READ the posts and debate the issues being discussed. We were not discussing BACTERIA as our main organism of concern......

    anyhow, Have a great debate everyone! I think I will go bang my head on a brick wall now rofl. Oughta feel goooood! :hatparty:
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from nightcaller
    I think it's a rediculous idea to think that acrylic fingernails are the only bacteria laden things near sick patients! I suppose your uniform is sterile, and you are bald and your head is sterile... haha.. COME ON... it's just another way to pick at nurses to turn them back into old fuddy duddies... lol. It's a JOB for goodness sakes.... some of you act like you are pristine or something! Get real! I am me... acrylic nails and all... it's what I come with. I'm very clean, and keep myself well groomed and am very aware of what I allow near my patients. I would never place them in harms way. This is why I wear gloves (over my green hairy fungused nails!! hahahaha)... give me a break. I'll always wear acrylics. I think they're a healthier option. You do what you want, and I'll do what I want. Case closed.
    Healthier option, no, and it's proven (numerous times i might add) they're not. Length of the nail isn't the whole issue, because, what about the 'lifting' of the acrylic between the nail and the cuticle? Just because you can't see it lift doesn't mean that it hasn't. Just because they LOOK clean doesn't mean they are.

    You think that some here are acting so "pristine", and if pristine is another way of saying "looking out for the pt.", then, why yes, i am "pristine".

    And on that note, won't be back on this one, but **** will freeze over before a nurse (or doctor, or aide) comes near me (as a patient) with fake nails.

    Have a nice day.
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Dec 13, '04

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