artificial nails vs bloody bitten nails - page 2

Are there any studies to show that infection rates dropped once artificial nails were banned. Isn't the length of the nails more important than whether or not they are fake? I am a nail biter and... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Then you---AND your patients---are a sitting duck for MRSA, VRE, and any other nasty little germ that happens to end up on your hands during the course of the day.

    Really, you MUST stop biting your nails!! You're a grown-up, and you shouldn't risk your entire future---maybe even your life---doing something that's not only childish, but, well, icky. I used to have a nervous habit of putting my fingers in my mouth a lot, until I got into health care---that cured me! Artificial nails aren't the answer either........you need to confront the source of your stresses and anxieties, and in the meantime, do yourself a favor and paint your nails with some of that anti-nail-biting stuff you can buy at the drugstore---I hear it tastes so terrible that most people aren't even tempted to bite after they've sampled it a couple of times.

    I wish you luck.
    I had to use that stuff. It was so bad I actually gagged the first time I forgot about it and bit my nails. I did have to strip it off before going to work (since it's the same as nail polish) and then reapply it when I got home. Then I just kept my nails filed extremely short to avoid the temptation to bite them.
  2. by   midwest40
    If you read this study in full, it states that no increase in infection was noted from artificial nails, it is the length of the nails, be it artificial or natural, that was the problem.
  3. by   midwest40
    try it a couple of times, you get used to it
  4. by   Catsmeow
    Well, since someone else brought it up. My problem isn't nail biting, it's pulling the skin off my fingers with my nails. I'm actually kinda concerned (for my own safety I mean) about going into nursing because my fingers are sometimes in bad shape/open wounded. (Btw, haha, I used to wear acrylic nails all the time to stop it, same reasoning, the acrylic is thicker than the normal nail so I couldn't break the skin surface with the acrylics, but then I got into having to redo the acrylic nails everyday at home because I'd start chipping away at them daily) I dunno WHAT to do to stop this sort of thing. It's not a "conscious" habit, and it's very painful. I suppose I'll be alright, I'll just wear gloves like 24/7... HEY maybe that'll help with the problem. ~grins~ Most often I just cover my fingers with band-aids. Problem with band-aids is I wash my hands about 10,000,000,000 times a day, and I can't stand the band-aids being wet all the time! I could invest in stock in band-aid companies at this point. lol

    So I have GREAT compassion for you midwest, with the nail biting, it's really insidious. I don't think it's a childish habit that's easy to stop. My worst times are simply when I'm reading, unstressed, but my mind is elsewhere, in my studies or whatnot. Everytime I *catch* myself doing it I *make* myself stop but I still slip back into it a lot, hence I say it's not a conscious thing. I recently joined an OCD support group about it, LOL. Doubt that'll help much.
    Last edit by Catsmeow on Oct 19, '05
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    I have only the acrylic over my own nails. I don't have tips and I keep my nails short. I always clean my hands well and under my nails too. I agree with the glue and fungal potential for infection being the problem.
  6. by   wooh
    File your nails short. Really short. As in shorter than your fingers. Moisturize your cuticles, constantly. If your nails are too short to get your teeth around, you can't bite them. If your cuticles are too soft, you won't get that "must pull off that stray piece" feeling and if you do, your nails will be so short they can't get around the piece to pick. I quit the biting and picking after 20 years. Under stress, will still have an occasional setback. Usually when I've let my nails get to a little bit longer length.
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    So short artificial should be ok
    But they're not, in any form, and this has been proven repeatedly.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    MY advice?

    get yourself a NON-clinical, non-direct care job. If you can't or won't quit nail biting and insist on use of artificials, really, you should not be in the clinical area where infection control issues are so prevalent. That really is the best suggestion I have for you. Good luck.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Oct 19, '05
  9. by   prmenrs
    I agree. The rules do, in fact, apply to all of us. So, all the rationalization in the world is not going to change that. And, somehow, I doubt you'll be able to go toe-to-toe w/the Epidemiologists @ CDC.

    Either figure out how to stop biting, or find an alternative situation.
  10. by   grentea
    midwest40- I PM'ed you with some suggestions. I'm a former nail-biter, and I totally understand where you're coming from. Thank you for sharing what you're going through with this. I know from experience that it's difficult to discuss, and I wish everyone else would be a little more sensitive to that. It certainly means a lot to me that you brought it up.
  11. by   Mommy TeleRN
    Wow I'm really surprised with the harsh "quit being childish" response. Seems really judgemental for a nurse...but I am just a student so...

    Anyway, this is also an issue I'm addressing. I am also a lifelong nail biter. I don't bite down as badly as other people, but I do bite.

    I would love to hear your hints greentea.

    I will say I actually QUIT for about 2 months this past spring for a psych project. Going that long I thought I had broken the habit but I started again...now I want to stop again.

    What I did before to quit was to make myself a nail kit with files, a cuticle stick, a cuticle oil pen, etc and when I found myself going to bite I would instead file or buff or work on the cuticles. My cuticles really bug me which leads me to start biting. If I take good care of them then I don't bite. The hard part is keeping up a ritual. I wish I could afford regular manicures but I can't right now.

    I pretty much live my life in perpetual disorganization LOL and haven't had a nail bag in awhile now..nor a regular nail maintenance habit. I guess next time I hit walmart and I need to replenish some supplies.

    Anyway, the key for me has been to keep my nails up so I'm not tempted to bite. I just have to do that AGAIN. For the first time my nails looked SO nice... I even took pics to put with my project.

    Good luck ... I know it's hard.
  12. by   BittyBabyGrower
    If it is the rules, then you follow them. Where I work, you'd get zero chances with those nails...even if they were just over the bottom part. Ever see a baby with pseudomonas sepsis...it ain't pretty. And if I ever saw any healthcare worker coming at me or any family member with artificial nails I'd be the first to report them and have them removed from taking care of us.

    And biting your nails, especially being a nurse...ewwww. Think of the cooties you could be carrying, and the icks that you are exposing yourself too with open skin. Actually, if you have open wounds you shouldn't be working at all.
  13. by   Q.
    The fact that you have a nail-biting habit is an issue you have to deal with, not one that is your organization, or your patient's, problem.

    Essentially you are presenting 2 choices for your patients whom are entrusting you with the care you provide:
    1. Wear artificial nails and expose them to microorganisms
    2. Bite your real nails and expose them to blood-borne pathogens

    So, it's a lose-lose situation for your patients. That's not very good.

    I agree with Deb: find a non-patient care job or spend your energy on working to break your nail biting habit instead of trying to change a patient safety policy.
    Last edit by Q. on Oct 19, '05

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