I think peri/rectal swabs are a humiliating 'welcome' to the hospital

  1. On some units we are starting MRSA screening on all new admits. They have to agree to it, of course. We are supposed to do a nasal and a peri-rectal swab. I was on a unit that just started doing this, it was their opening day of this new policy so I had to ask all my patients to allow me to do this screening. A couple of the patients allowed both areas to be swabbed and a couple only would let me do the nasal swab.

    The whole peri/rectal swab thing is demeaning, in my opinion. What a way to start out as a patient at a facility! You have to put on a patient gown and proffer your backside to the nurse, after being asked a bunch of embarrassing questions.

    This is why I hate the whole healthcare system whenever I am in the patient role, which has been rare. No wonder people feel powerless. There are a lot of things that contribute to the stripping of human dignity in our healthcare system, and this peri-anal swabbing has got to definitely be in the top 10 list.
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    About FireStarterRN

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 5,298; Likes: 7,651
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  3. by   Straydandelion
    In a way I can understand the nasal swab to help protect other patients and health care workers. But a good H&P should cover a lot of the information needed and I as a patient would refuse the peri-rectal swab. Some older patients who are very trusting of the industry however won't, yet I am sure will feel powerless as you described.
  4. by   Blee O'Myacin
    Couldn't a walkie/talkie or a patient that otherwise contributes to their own peri-care take care of obtaining the swab with the RN's instruction? If they ordinarily take care of that area, I'd be inclined to walk them to the bathroom and talk them through it. Still embarassing to some, but far better. Does your facility P&P directly address this?
  5. by   FireStarterRN
    They wanted it done just so, no mention was made of allowing the pt to do their own. The way we are supposed to do it, it would be very difficult for a pt to do their own because we are supposed to use one of the two Q-tips on a culture vial for the nasal, and the other one for the peri-rectal.
  6. by   athena55
    Hey Fire:
    What evidence based practice protocol is your institution using to justify doing a peri/anal swab?
    Like you I can understand swabbing the nares.....
  7. by   vashtee
    How humiliating. I never heard of peri-anal swabbing for MRSA. I wonder if any other facilities are doing that.
  8. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from athena55
    Hey Fire:
    What evidence based practice protocol is your institution using to justify doing a peri/anal swab?
    Like you I can understand swabbing the nares.....
    I haven't looked into that. I'm just a worker bee.
  9. by   Batman24
    I've never heard of this either. If I was a patient I would consent to the nasal and deny the peri-rectal one.
  10. by   loriangel14
    Where I work it is part of our admission protocol screening for MRSA. Nares and rectal swabs are a must for all new admits.
  11. by   medicrnohio
    I worked in a hospital that required multiple swabs to screen for infectious disease. We did nasal and rectal swabs, but also swabbed all wounds, trachs, sputum, urine, peg tubes. And yes, we did this for every patient.
  12. by   OregonGal
    How effective is it, if they can opt out? I agree with previous post, evidence-basis???
  13. by   blondy2061h
    We do nasal swabs for MRSA and peri-rectal swabs for VRE. We let the patient do their own VRE swab. 95% are perfectly capable of doing it themselves and glad to.
  14. by   marie39
    Our hospital does this too...I hate having to ask every single patient to do the peri-rectal swab. It doesn't seem to help because we have a c-diff outbreak anyway?!