Looking for opinions here on an *older* RN's habits - page 2

OK. I am a new nurse, and last night I was precepted by an *older* RN, who has many years of experience. I took 2 pts, and she took 2, then we admitted a transfer from CCU. (I work ICU step down).... Read More

  1. by   jill48
    This is disgusting and OSHA needs to catch this person doing this. Has she never heard of nosocomial infections? Who knows how many germs she has spread to everyone she comes into contact with. Plus some of those germs live on the phone at the desk that you all are using, door knobs, etc. I forget what that is called, maybe vectors? I don't think it is dehumanizing to wear gloves. It's as much for the patient's safety as it is for the nurse - and I have been in a position where I have explained that to patients if they ask why I am wearing gloves. She should be written up or something. This just isn't right.
  2. by   GeminiTwinRN
    I'm glad you all don't think I'm making a moutain out of a molehill!

    Any suggestions on how to approach this situation as a new grad who doesn't want to make waves?
  3. by   TraumaICURN
    Quote from leslasic
    OK. I am a new nurse, and last night I was precepted by an *older* RN, who has many years of experience. I took 2 pts, and she took 2, then we admitted a transfer from CCU. (I work ICU step down). Anyway, she asked me to assist her in bathing a VERY LARGE woman before I even had a chance to assess my 2 pts. I agreed, because hey, I'm the new RN, and she needed my help. While bathing this woman (450 lbs), the older RN wasn't wearing gloves. I was. During the bath, the RN told me that *she* never wears gloves during pt. care because she believes it is de-humanizing to our pts. She said she came up during a time when gloves were considered a no-no. I wouldn't have minded her explaining herself, except that we were in the middle of the bath, and I felt like the pt. might think I was being de-humanizing to her because I had gloves on. Course, I didn't worry enough to take my gloves off, lol.

    Thru the night, I swear, I never saw the RN wash her hands. Not even once. One of my pts. required trach care. We didn't have the appropriate shiley inner cannula in stock, so I donned my sterile gloves and proceeded to do the 1/2 saline, 1/2 peroxide scrub, and rinse in saline. After scrubbing, the RN said "here, let me show you my technique when inserting the cannula". I held out the cannula in my sterile gloves, and she took it from me in her bare hand, and inserted it. I was shocked. Remember, I have never seen her wash her hands! And I was looking. I watched her closely, just to make sure that she wasn't doing it when I wasn't looking, like in a pts. bathroom or something. She certainly didn't do it the entire 12 hr shift out in the sinks on the unit.

    Now, if this lady wants to use her bare hands to wash a hoo-hoo, that's for her to decide. But I am looking for opinions here. I just can't imagine that in this day and age of super bacteria, that an RN wouldn't be careful of transmission from one pt to another with this practice. If she washed between pts. and used sterile gloves when appropriate, I would just shrug and think she's only endangering herself. BUT .... :trout:

    Am I over-reacting here? Does it matter?

    Keep in mind this RN was charge for the night, and is well-respected on the unit, loved by the pts, and I certainly have nothing negative to say about her other than this one issue! She was a wonderful, patient, considerate preceptor. I learned a lot from her. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all new grad, I'm honestly looking for opinions here.

  4. by   Cattitude
    Quote from leslasic
    mostly because i don't want to look like a smartie-pants as a new grad, i guess. she obviously has waaaay more experience than i do, and frankly, i am in the learning process, and i don't want to appear like i'm second guessing her, or criticizing her practices. i am trying to absorb, certainly not wanting to look like a nit-picker.
    you sound like a very smart new nurse. i understand what a sticky situation this puts you in and yet, you feel like you must do something. hmmmm. safety in numbers perhaps? when you feel just a tad more comfortable with some of the other staff members then maybe all of you can speak up. and not by reporting her but just by having a discussion about it.

    [color=#483d8b]i know that whenever i have had to discuss something uncomfortable or negative with someone, i also tell them something positive as well.

    [color=#483d8b]or as someone else mentioned, you could just ask her now. make it a very light question, a matter of passing type of thing. an "oh by the way, do you find your hands get extra dry with this hospital soap?"

    [color=#483d8b]good luck with your career!
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from TazziRN
    "wash a hoo-hoo".....?

    Sorry, never heard that term before!!!
    My dh calls a penis a "who who" . . . different spelling but sounds the same. Of course the kids picked right up on it.

    I notice alot of nurses who have been nurses for awhile who don't use gloves to start IV's. I was surprised at that when I was a new nurse.

    I feel funny putting gloves on for personal care - I can see how it would make a person feel dehumanized. But I still do it.

    I like your attitude about this. I guess I'd just privately talk to her about my concerns.

    steph
  6. by   DDRN4me
    Although i dont like to call myself an "older nurse" I have been a nurse for a long time. We never wore gloves to protect ourselves from any germs, it was to keep the poop or whatever undesirable stuff that was around off of our hands. i did use them for colostomy care , sterile procedures etc. but bed baths, never!

    of course. now with all of the knowledge and focus on infection control. i have changed my habits!!!
  7. by   lllliv
    i used to work with a nurse that was not that much older than me. she would wipe the patient after a bm on the toilet with bare hands and a small wadded up piece of toilet paper.

    eeewwwww!!

    i also heard second hand from a cna(so who knows if it's true but she swore it was) that as she was helping a nurse turn a trach patient the red cap popped off. she said they wanted to pull the patient up after the turn and the rn stuck the cap in her mouth between her teeth while she used both hands for the boost up. she then replaced the cap.
  8. by   jill48
    Quote from lllliv
    i used to work with a nurse that was not that much older than me. she would wipe the patient after a bm on the toilet with bare hands and a small wadded up piece of toilet paper.

    eeewwwww!!

    i also heard second hand from a cna(so who knows if it's true but she swore it was) that as she was helping a nurse turn a trach patient the red cap popped off. she said they wanted to pull the patient up after the turn and the rn stuck the cap in her mouth between her teeth while she used both hands for the boost up. she then replaced the cap.
  9. by   crissrn27
    ewwwww, this is so gross. lol....anyway, next time your helping her with care maybe you could educate "the patient" by saying "I'm going to put gloves on now for your protection against my germs" or something like that. We use gloves when changing a newborn babes dirty diaper, can't imagine not using gloves to wash a "hoo-hoo" on a grown folk!
  10. by   BloodNGuts
    As nurses, we have every right to protect ourselves. Patients come to acute care settings because they are sick. They know and understand that they are not in a hotel. The "older" nurse you were working with is crazy not to wear gloves. Not only is she jeapordizing her own health but the health of every patient she cares for.
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    Well, my understanding of standard precautions is that the clean gloves protect us and the handwashing protects everyone. I don't use gloves for everything, such as a fingerstick, injection, or applying eye drops, but you can bet I scrub my hands after doing those things, and otherwise between every third patient with Purell in-between. (LTC - 30 scrubs during med pass would never work.)

    That dirty hands thing is foul. And not using sterile procedure - well. Laziness.
  12. by   santhony44
    Quote from Lacie
    I'm a long time nurse of 25 years and it has nothing to do with her being on "older" nurse. It's more just simple laziness and ignorance. Back in the day yes we didn't always wear gloves during baths or even starting IV's. We did always wash our hands before care and after care also. I never changed out or did trach care without use of sterile technique either even 20 years ago. Most of the time unless it was something just horrid we didnt but times have changed! We now know much more in relation to infection control and nosocomial risks. What this RN is doing is outright dangerous and with neglect in my opinion. Also next time she ask you to assist with a bath, you need to assess your own patients first and if you have the time when your work is caught up then give this type of assistance...with gloves I may add lol.
    I've been a nurse about the same length of time, and I agree. We didn't wear gloves for baths nor for starting IV's, and yes I was taught that we'd make the patient feel "dirty" if we wore gloves while bathing them. We did, however, wear gloves for trach care. I can't even imagine handling one barehanded.

    We definitely learned handwashing, and how to don sterile gloves and how to do sterile procedures.

    Most of us "oldies" had to learn to wear gloves while starting IV's or drawing blood but we did learn it.
  13. by   RN BSN 2009
    2 words


    msra
    vre

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