Infection Control and Caps

  1. Infection control was always the reason given to me that nursing caps have virtually disappeared from the world. (that and the fact I could never figure out how many hair pins it took to hold them on).

    My question concerns hijab scarves worn by Muslim nurses. Are these not possible sources of infection, perhaps more so than the traditional cap due to the amount of fabric involved?

    Don't start flaming me I just want to know the answer. One nurse I work with has the most beautiful scarves and a different one every shift, another in another area of the hospital has a scarf that just looks plain grubby.

    No one wants to approach her about it due to being afraid of being accused of being intolerant, kind of like the how do you approach someone about their hygiene issue.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   barbyann
    It is my understanding that the "bowl" shape created by the caps was the main problem. The germs would sit in the large fold and then when the nurse leaned over her sterile field the germs would literally spill into the task at hand. They were also not washable on a daily basis.

    I don't know much about religous head scarfs but I am assuming they can be washed daily and they appear to me to be smooth and not have any large grooves that could hold bacteria.
  4. by   catlady
    Doesn't seem like it would be any more infectious than any other article of clothing--or the hair itself, as long as it's laundered on the same schedule.
  5. by   Miss Ludie
    I think nurses just got tired of them catching on everything. The infection control issue may or may not be true. Believe me in the 70's everything "went" and caps were among the garments shed.
  6. by   bookwormom
    Just a historical observation. When I was a child (I'm 55) my mother and grandmother wore hats when they left the house. Women wore hats at church. My grandmother also wore her hat INDOORS when she went to a ladies luncheon. I always wore a hat to church and often when I went to town for shopping. It was not at all uncommon for hats to have a veil over the face. There certainly has been a change over the years. I think it kiind of crept up, because I don't remember a certain time when wearing hats (and gloves) went away. BTW, those hats couldn't be washed at all.
  7. by   catlady
    Quote from Miss Ludie
    I think nurses just got tired of them catching on everything. The infection control issue may or may not be true. Believe me in the 70's everything "went" and caps were among the garments shed.
    Not in my school. I went to nursing school in the mid 80s; we wore caps and white uniforms and so did the staff nurses at the hospital where we trained (except L&D and ICU).

    My school and the hospital are both gone now. Musta been payback time <evil g>.
  8. by   P_RN
    I do wish I had a picture in cap, pin and uniform. Best I have is a polaroid in black mortarboard and gown.
  9. by   santhony44
    One nurse I work with has the most beautiful scarves and a different one every shift, another in another area of the hospital has a scarf that just looks plain grubby.

    Could one of the nurses who wears the clean scarves approach the one who looks grubby? If it's clear to the first nurse that the objection is not to the scarf but to the level of cleanliness, maybe she'd be willing to talk with the other nurse.

    Just a thought!
  10. by   P_RN
    Great answer Santhony
  11. by   JentheRN05
    My school had our school senior graduation pictures taken with a cap and pin It was a nice spin because my mom graduated from the same school and we already look alike, funny thing is I look just like her except my hair is longer and face chubbier than hers but otherwise we look identical (oh - forgot she had glasses I don't)
  12. by   suebird3
    You almost forgot the nuns who founded several Nursing Schools/Hospitals. What about their habits? Are those considered, too?

    Suebird
  13. by   rach_nc_03
    When I did rotations in a burn center, L&D and (after a few weeks) on an ortho floor, we were liberated from our white caps (YAY!!). The reason given was infection control, as they can't be washed- at least, the ones we had to wear weren't washable.

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