Nurse, clean up aisle 5 (rant)

  1. Just a had to get this off my chest....

    My organization recently implemented a policy that before every medpass, procedure, etc., the nurse is to perform environmental cleaning of surfaces (computers, bedside railing, scanners, tabletops). They say, this is to reduce transmission of infection... which infections they're concerned about, we're not told. All of our trackable infections are at or below expected numbers.

    While I agree that a clean environment is necessary for safe patient care, I do not agree that it should be a nursing task. I don't think the powers that be realize that 2 minutes of cleaning before each medpass and activity really adds up over a shift. I calculated 30 minutes out of an 8 hr shift just for meds....I can't help but think that devalues actual nursing tasks that we could be doing instead.

    I suppose I'm just really disappointed in my organization, though I know it could be worse. How do you guys handle being tasked non-skilled, non-nursing duties?
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  2. Visit cleback profile page

    About cleback

    Joined: Apr '10; Posts: 846; Likes: 2,593
    from WI , US

    23 Comments

  3. by   Rocknurse
    I'm not bothered too much by it. I'm ICU so I'm OCD anyway. I wipe everything down with wipes to within an inch of its life. I'm germphobic and I don't like grubby things.
  4. by   bugya90
    We have EVS staff that clean every patient room every day. They mop the floor, wipe the computer with Sani Wipes and wipe the toilet/sink with Sani Wipes. When patient is discharged they do a deep clean on the room with bleach before it is considered "open" for the next admission.
    If something is noticeable dirty I will wipe it off. I tend to clean all of the bedside tables throughout the day because they just get nasty and I get tired of seeing the sticky mess. I normally just wipe them off when th a soapy rag since we don't keep Sani Wipes in every room and I won't waste time going to the utility room every time I want to wipe off the table.
  5. by   cleback
    Quote from bugya90
    We have EVS staff that clean every patient room every day. They mop the floor, wipe the computer with Sani Wipes and wipe the toilet/sink with Sani Wipes. When patient is discharged they do a deep clean on the room with bleach before it is considered "open" for the next admission.
    If something is noticeable dirty I will wipe it off. I tend to clean all of the bedside tables throughout the day because they just get nasty and I get tired of seeing the sticky mess. I normally just wipe them off when th a soapy rag since we don't keep Sani Wipes in every room and I won't waste time going to the utility room every time I want to wipe off the table.
    I think that's reasonable. You have a reason for cleaning (soiled table), and I'm sure if you were busy that shift, you could delegate that task appropriately.
  6. by   blondy2061h
    They just want you to wipe down these high touch surfaces with disinfectant wipes? I really don't see an issue with that.
  7. by   pixierose
    I usually wipe down my scanner handle, parts of my WOW, and various other high traffic surfaces prior to each shift with some Sani wipes because I'm a self-professed germaphobe (when my mom had cancer, I couldn't risk getting sick).

    My coworkers tease me but it's a good habit and they're appreciative because I'll do a wipe down of their equipment too. It really doesn't take long.

    I'm not sure I'm seeing the issue? Is it degree of cleaning?
  8. by   cleback
    The issue I have is the time it eats up to do before every med given or procedure done. I get the need for clean surfaces... I do...but is it really a good use of nursing time to do routine cleaning? Like I mentioned in my op, if I calculate doing it before every med pass, that's about 30 min of just cleaning.
  9. by   MunoRN
    I'd respond the same way I do to all these types of requests, which is that keeping the room and surfaces clean is already on my overall list of things to do, and per my job description I will continue to prioritize all of these tasks appropriately, so if a full room clean happens to be at the top of prioritization list at any given time then it will get done, otherwise it won't.
  10. by   Crush
    Regardless of where I am floated, I take the time to wipe whichever computer I will use that shift. I wipe my stethoscope after each patient assessment. It is important to me to ensure that good quality nursing included infection control. I believe nurses are an important part of in prevention of potential infection(s). Perhaps your facilities infection control team has come up with some new policies based on current literature that they want to implement? I understand your frustration with it taking up time though. I am not sure what the issue really is? Is it just a time thing? Is it the depth or degree of cleaning?
  11. by   ponymom
    I always kept the COW, the bedside table, scanners, med cart, etc.wiped off. Hell even in my present factory job, I wipe my workdesk, the phone, computer keypad, office doorknobs, scanners, table surface , etc., down every morning before start of shift.. I ride a bike or scooter out on the shop floor, it gets wiped down too. Germaphobe here, too.....
  12. by   KatieMI
    When one is in ICU and has two patients, that's ok. If one is floating in medsurg and has assignment of seven, that'll be another story.

    Personally, I never understand that. Unless one uses strict 1:1 care with full isolation like for Ebola, transmission is inevitable. The very same patient with that MDR Proteus in urine and MRSA in nose will go home tomorrow, sitting near you in a bus, going to the same Walmart, picking the same gas dispenser with unwashed hands and peeing in the same public restroom. He will lift and kiss his 1- month old grandchild, then sleep in the same bed with his wife who is ESRD, HD, DM II and recent chemo for ovarian cancer and it is not 100% given that he would at least wash his hands before touching either of them. And I do not even mention that he is right now walking down the corridor with 5 of his family members, wearing the same gown, sneezing around and snatching a box of Kleenex from station. We think nothing of all that, although he must spread infection like fire in dry forest - why, then, spend the time on compulsively wiping everything which only can potentially touch the guy?

    And, BTW, there is no evidence about anything except good 'ol handwashing and selected types of PPE and disposables (while being used consistently in enforced and supported environment, which has nothing to do with a real medsurg floor) being effective for "protection against transmission of MDR pathogens". At least 75% of that hulabaloo comes from the same source as policies which require putting every blister from each Coumadin pill in separate biohazard bag lest "something might happen", or prohibit any action whatsoever on extremity of the side of simple mastectomy done 25 years ago. In other words, from so-called "administration" which has to prove that they worth their salaries, benefits and fat bonuses without ever doing anything even remotely useful or constructive.
  13. by   NewEnglandRN16
    I use a sani wipe on my equipment daily. It's important to me that I'm not bringing home added germs to my family. It's doesn't eat up that much time because it's a habit at this point.
  14. by   JKL33
    Just smile and look enthusiastic and tell them what a great idea that is. Then go on about your business, prioritizing appropriately.

    Someone worked very hard on this initiative, you know.

    Whatever you do don't let one soul hear you complain - and tell all your friends to shut their traps, too. Any complaining and you all will find yourselves having
    Cleaning and Readiness for Administration of Pharmaceuticals "time outs" and clicking CRAP time-out boxes faster than I can say "told you so!"

    Hang in there, cleback!

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