Honestly: Do you wear gloves every time?

  1. Taking a little poll here. I am work in I.D. and one of our co-workers was recently hospitalized. She said not ONE of the people who drew blood from her, etc. wore gloves. The guy who drew a blood gas held his bare hand over the site where he drew from while it was still oozing blood. From the ER to the floor-NObody wore gloves. This is in a "highly respected hospital". We were apalled. Then again, we work with patients who have HIV and Hep B & C, but still! Any thoughts?
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  2. 75 Comments

  3. by   panda_181
    I am not a lab technician, which are the people who come to take all blood from our patients, but I have not seen one that uses gloves. I haven't seen them actually have to touch the blood (like putting their bare fingers on the poke), but anything can happen when you're doing something like that! I was told by a nurse that one came to get blood from a patient that had either HIV or AIDS, and the lab technician didn't know, but the patient told her that she should really be wearing gloves...
    I know we're not all perfect, but one of these days we may have to learn the hard way...

    Amanda
  4. by   codebluechic
    I wear gloves no matter what!
  5. by   fiestynurse
    I wear gloves when drawing blood from patients. I don't wear gloves when giving IM shots, but probably should.
  6. by   Q.
    I wear gloves for everything except IV starts. Go figure.
  7. by   nurs4kids
    LOL...I'm with ya sistah. I wear gloves for most things, but rarely when starting IV's. It's so darn hard to start the with gloves on!! All our lab personnel ALWAYS wear gloves.
  8. by   Hayden
    I too am guilty of not wearing gloves on occasions (usually for subcut injections). In Australia we are actually required by law to wear gloves. This is not just a hospital based protocol but is an addition to the Nurses Act.
  9. by   hoolahan
    When I worked in Infection Control, this was in 1994, according to OSHA, if the phlebotomist was skilled in the technique, they were not required to wear gloves, it was optional. I do not wear gloves when I draw blood, at least not on my left hand, the fingers I need to palpate the vein. If the pt were not able to cooperate by holding pressure after the stick, then I wear the glove on my right hand, so after I remove the needle, I can place the cotton ball on the site, then quickly switch to my R hand to hold pressure. Of course if the pt is a known HIV etc, I use gloves for both, but fortunately, in the places I have worked, most inpt's have a picc line or other access. I always use gloves if drawing from an access line or a-line.

    If starting an IV I again use one glove like above unless known HIV etc, just have to be very conscientious. Lets'a face it, if you don't have a needleless system, and you stick yourself, it's going through a glove. If the pt bleeds that much after a simple stick, you have more of a problem on your hands anyway. If you place a 4x4 to wick any bleeding under the angio, it helps to keep things confined.

    Unfortunately, I am one of those people who cannot feel a thing if I wear the gloves during venipunctures. If I must wear gloves I use the next smallest size so they are very fitted to my fingers.
  10. by   kewlnurse
    I used to wear gloves for blood draws when we had latex, but since we switched to non latex i can't get a vein with them on, plus it's damn near impossible to find any glove that are large and the medium fit poorly
  11. by   tillie1
    alot of nurses have trouble finding the right fit with gloves...esp the ones with small hands, even our small gloves slide right off them. I have a hard time starting ivs with gloves on but I always try with them on then remove the right one (i am lefty) if I am having trouble. We recently had a surprise state visit..a former pt complained to the state that "someone" on our unit did a FBSB wo gloves!
  12. by   imaRN
    I would say I wear gloves 95% of the time for everything in my ICU unit , whether it is a stick or from a central line , I even wear them when pulling up patients in bed (you just never know what body fluid/secreation you will run into)but, I do see many nurses NOT wearing gloves for many risky tasks.I think: it only takes a few seconds to pull on a pair!Even if your patient's artery is squirting! I remember when we NEVER had gloves in any patients rooms, even, I hate to admit it, for Baths! ( I shudder to think about it now)
  13. by   P_RN
    All I can say is YES! Every stinking time!!!

    And pardon my French, but if you can't start an IV with gloves on....PRACTICE and LEARN to do it!!!!! A little convenience is NO trade-off for your LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!

    And if YOU are the patient, or the nurse that sees someone NOT USING GLOVES, REFUSE the stick!! REPORT the incident!!!

    They have NO RIGHT to risk your health and your life like that.
  14. by   bigjay
    Originally posted by P_RN:
    <STRONG>All I can say is YES! Every stinking time!!!

    And pardon my French, but if you can't start an IV with gloves on....PRACTICE and LEARN to do it!!!!! A little convenience is NO trade-off for your LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!

    And if YOU are the patient, or the nurse that sees someone NOT USING GLOVES, REFUSE the stick!! REPORT the incident!!!

    They have NO RIGHT to risk your health and your life like that.</STRONG>
    Whoa, lots of caps... like many things in nursing, you need to practice judgement using scientific rationale. It doesn't make sense to glove for every little thing. You need to assess what you are going to do with the patient and the likelyhood of coming into contact with bodily fluids. I usually err on the side of caution myself but I agree with the above posters that I don't usually glove to do an IV start.

    Realistically, your blood exposure when doing a start is fairly minimal. Gloves won't protect you from a needle stick as someone said, so you're only going to contact blood from a missed start (when withdrawing the canula) or from the canula when you get flowback. With the missed start, I'll put on gloves and have a gauze ready before I withdraw the needle. For flowback, I can usually get the line attached before the blood flows out.

    I wear gloves pretty much every time I do any direct patient care (changing, lifting, bathing, etc) because as one of the previous posters said, you never know with total care patients when body fluids may be present.

    As for reporting people who don't wear gloves, each individual DOES have the right to endanger themselves. That's their choice. I will educate and inform them on the risks they are taking, but if it is only a risk to themselves reporting them is hardly going to help them. People DO NOT have the right to put patients or others at risk. If non-gloving were an issue there, I'd report them immediately.

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