Latex gloves

  1. I am starting a new job and I was very surprised that the hospital uses latex gloves. I've been a nurse for 5 years and have never used latex gloves. Why would employees continue to be exposed to latex products and set themselves up for a possible latex allergy? I'm very hesitant about accepting the job and being exposed to latex unnecessarily. They said it's possible I could find the nitrile gloves around the hospital, but what is routinely stocked are latex, powder free gloves.

    How many of us here work in a facility that uses latex gloves at the bedside? If you don't, what made your facility change practice?

    Christine, RNC, BSN
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Mulan
    The hospital I had been working at also uses latex. Vinyl gloves are supposed to be available but some floors don't have even the vinyl. I fill my pockets and have my own supply for when I worked on the floors that didn't have the vinyl. I don't recall ever seeing any nitrile gloves.

    I would guess it is a matter of money, it must be cheaper to continue using latex, to heck with the health of the employees.
  4. by   Aneroo
    I think some of it might depend on what department you work in also. I work in the ER, so we're latex free. Only the nitrile gloves for us! I do miss latex- they fit so much better. Our other units in the hospital have latex (including ICU's)
  5. by   elizabells
    I did a clinical in a burn unit and couldn't find a non-latex glove for the life of me. The nice lady who runs my school's skills lab gave me a box of extra-stretchy nitriles - they fit almost as well as latex. I remember being annoyed about "having" to wear polys in my undergrad anatomy lab bc one guy was allergic, but now I understand - even being brushed on the arm by another person wearing latex makes me all rashy.
  6. by   meownsmile
    My hospital uses latex in rooms, etc. but do make available the purple nitrate if needed. But it is at request only, if we have a staff member or patient that is allergic. Then they only provide for that person, not the floor. A patient allergy would prompt them to be stocked in the room while the patient is there.
  7. by   nadja9
    Just say no to latex......... except you have to use latex with chemo.

    I developed my sensitivity on the floor. At first I didn't actually attribute my red, rashy, itchy, burning hands to the latex itself. That was until my fingers swelled up like little sausages! Until then, we only had a few boxes of vinyl gloves on the floor, but because of my allergy and someone elses, we were able to get vinyl stocked in every room. Because it's an oncology floor, latex has to be available. It's scary, because latex is in so many other things. Rubber bands, bandaids, etc. (although I know you can get latex free bandaids) I know 3 nurses who's latex allergies got so bad they actually went down. Each had to find positions off their floors.

    I know some hospitals are making the transition to go latex free.
  8. by   P_RN
    The problem is you can go from "sensitive to latex" to anaphylaxis with just one more exposure. It would seem that they'd have to provide you access to Nitrile or vinyl if you test positive for allergy. My clue was wheezing when I ate an avocado.....employee health nurse then tested me for latex.

    Oh and why latex for chemo? They're already compromised aren't they?
  9. by   Karine2
    Quote from p_rn
    the problem is you can go from "sensitive to latex" to anaphylaxis with just one more exposure. it would seem that they'd have to provide you access to nitrile or vinyl if you test positive for allergy. my clue was wheezing when i ate an avocado.....employee health nurse then tested me for latex.

    oh and why latex for chemo? they're already compromised aren't they?


    i just found out today from my tutorial instructor that when we begin our clinical in janurary that we will be using latex gloves and i was surprised. i didn't think facilities used them anymore becuase of people's possibility of being allergic. my dad is an occupational health and safety officer for my city's ems and becuase of his actions the whole ems no longer used latex and so i just assumed no one did. i hope i don't have a reaction.

  10. by   rach_nc_03
    all of our clean gloves (PICU) are vinyl, but our sterile gloves are mostly latex. We stock non-latex sterile gloves in the pyxis, but it's sometimes difficult to get them. I was diagnosed with a type I latex allergy in my last year of nursing school, and i have to wear a medic-alert bracelet and carry an epi-pen (having the epi-pen on me at all times is part of my employee profile). A couple of times, people have gotten irriated that i have to go get special sterile gloves when we need to do a sterile dressing change or something, but i tell them i'll go ahead and use the latex, if they'll go ahead and draw up some epi.

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