Staff pretending to use empty hand sanitizer in MRSA room.

  1. I had a MRSA patient, and really nice woman yesterday. The hand sanitizer was empty in her room, so as I headed over to the sink, she said "Oh yeah, it's empty, I know because I was using it myself". I was busy, so didn't immediately get around to call housekeeping to put a full one there. Next time I was in the room I did the same thing, and she reminded it me it was empty. She was a good natured woman of 60.

    She informed me that she had observed more than one staff member pretend to sanitize their hands and not go to the sink to wash when the dispenser was empty, not realizing that the patient was on to them.

    I found that pretty disconcerting. She was a MRSA patient!!!
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  2. 35 Comments

  3. by   bigsyis
    It is no wonder that MRSA is spreading like wildfire. It is one of those "if you can't see it, it must not exist" kind of germs. If they get urine, feces, or blood on them, of course it comes off immediately. The no-see-um kinds of bugs ar ejust carried from room to room.:wakeneo::smackingf
  4. by   TrudyRN
    Dear God! Talk about hidden video, huh? I wonder if your colleagues were actually not cognizant that nothing was coming out. Maybe their hands were numb or they were so distracted by excessive busy-ness? Can't say for sure but I hope you rectified that stat. Glad you noticed and bless your patient, too.
  5. by   ebear
    Sounds like it may be time to call your infection control dept.
    ebear
  6. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from ebear
    Sounds like it may be time to call your infection control dept.
    ebear
    I did he email her and ccc'd to some others.

    This sort of stuff could end up leading to another ridiculous checklist to make sure people are doing what they should be doing. Before you know it they'll have a checklist to initial each time you wash your hands...
  7. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from jlsRN

    Before you know it they'll have a checklist to initial each time you wash your hands...
    if that's what it takes, i'm all for it.
    it ticks me off when a hcw doesn't wash their hands.
    i read somewhere, that approx 50% of nosocomial infections are spread through contaminated hands.
    that's a huge burden to be passing onto a vulnerable, pt population.
    whatever it takes...

    leslie
  8. by   FireStarterRN
    I can't imagine not noticing that there's no sanitizer coming out. I got an email reply from the nurse manager and from the housekeeping manager. Nurse manager is going to work on the education reminders of staff, housekeeping manager says housekeeping is supposed to check on the dispensers daily.

    Meanwhile, we, as individuals, can walk over to the sink and disinfect with soap and water, not pretend to rub sanitizer on our hands for show.
  9. by   DusktilDawn
    Quote from jlsRN
    I had a MRSA patient, and really nice woman yesterday. The hand sanitizer was empty in her room, so as I headed over to the sink, she said "Oh yeah, it's empty, I know because I was using it myself". I was busy, so didn't immediately get around to call housekeeping to put a full one there. Next time I was in the room I did the same thing, and she reminded it me it was empty. She was a good natured woman of 60.

    She informed me that she had observed more than one staff member pretend to sanitize their hands and not go to the sink to wash when the dispenser was empty, not realizing that the patient was on to them.

    I found that pretty disconcerting. She was a MRSA patient!!!
    Good grief! To actually pretend to sanitize in front of the patient, did they not think that the patient and/or her visitors would be using the dispenser?

    Ebear, our infection control could be anywhere at anytime. In fact, last week as I was running around the unit, totally unaware I was being watched, I was stopped by an infection control nurse and given a gift coupon for being the first staff member she observed properly washing/sanitizing my hands.
  10. by   FireStarterRN
    Quote from earle58
    if that's what it takes, i'm all for it.
    it ticks me off when a hcw doesn't wash their hands.
    i read somewhere, that approx 50% of nosocomial infections are spread through contaminated hands.
    that's a huge burden to be passing onto a vulnerable, pt population.
    whatever it takes...

    leslie
    I agree, although I doubt if a checklist would do the trick. Maybe a motion detector as you start to walk through the door could prompt an automated electronic voice to say:
    [S]"Have you washed or sanitized your hands???" [/S]
  11. by   me_daffy
    At the hospital we have been doing our clinicals at we aren't allowed to use the sanitizer if the pt. has MRSA. We have to actually use soap and water. I think that is a great idea. I had just assumed that was policy everywhere.
  12. by   SuesquatchRN
    I would question the patient's veracity, actually.

    We're really not all a bunch of lazy, deceptive idiots.
  13. by   FireStarterRN
    I believe the patient. She seemed to be an intelligent and reliable woman to me. She is employed by the University and was very friendly and easy to care for. She even mentioned that she understood it was rather a hassle to gown up each time we came in, and she totally appreciated the thorough explanations I gave her on her plan of care.

    She even was joking about the whole MRSA hysteria. She realized that she was a vulnerable person because of her diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis meds, and she told me that her best girlfriend was using her visits to her in the hospital to get out of visiting her friend's demanding mother.
  14. by   Keepstanding
    I actually prefer good ole' soap and water to the hand sanitizers. Sounds like the patient was very forgiving of the fake hand cleaners. Other patients may not be so kind.

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