The fingernail police!! - page 5

I knew it was coming,but...the hospitals around here are "outlawing" fake nails and/or overlays. I can see their issue with bacteria, etc..under the nails.. but it bothers me that they are dictating... Read More

  1. by   Nitengale326
    Do the words..."FIRST DO NO HARM" mean anything. This IS NOT about fashion, employer control or big brother watching and monitoring. This is about patient care and safety. I am from the old school where we had "inspections" all the time. We had staff sent home for dirty shoelaces, dirty caps, etc. I miss my cap but I gladly packed it away for the safety of my patients. You gave up having a 9-5 job, you gave up holidays and weekends, give up the nails ... the proof is in the pudding. Some of you may feel this next statement...a bit harsh, but if you are resisting or refusing to remove your nails, when you have all the information to make an informed decision, then maybe you are in nursing not for the patient but rather just a paycheck.

    I have a coworker, who refuses to get rid of hers. She has been battling an obvious fungal infection and staph infection for months. Now they are doing MRI's and scans to see if "they can save her finger". I surely hope that fancy blue polish was well worth losing a digit or two... The kicker to all of this... she still has the other 9 done every 10 days!!!! Can you spell DUH??????
  2. by   dbscandy
    Pleeeze tell me your coworker is on leave?!

    The same thing happened to a coworker of mine in NICU. She very nearly lost two fingers...made a recovery but her nails looked 'nasty' after the battle. No longer graces us with her presence.
    There is such a high price that can be paid for this vanity. How could one sleep at night knowing fungus, bacteria, other 'ick' had been left on the patient? Or brought home to one's family?

    Do these people use gloves when they eat lunch, or simply NEVER touch their (or anyone else's) food with their hands?

    How about their own personal hygiene? EWW, EWW, EWW don't touch me or my relative after you've done your doody or changed that tampon...I dont care how well you say you washed...'nuff said...it's a visual now!
  3. by   movealong
    I've been a nurse since 1976. So nuts to the nurse that thinks her years are superior.
    I've always liked shorter neat natural nails, so this was never an issue for me. Anyway, this job is not about how I look. That's the thing. I'm no super nurse. I don't like certain policies about what I could wear ie: what color scrubs, but that's a different issue. It causes no harm.

    It just defies common sense to wear long nails, whether they be real or fake in our line of business. It just doesn't work. And the fake nail studies are not lying.
    It would be different if I was behind a desk all day, like I am now. But a hospital setting when you are on the floor? It doesn't work. Not for the patients, and not for yourself.

    I followed other common sense stuff like wearing a watch that I could push up my arm to keep it away from what I did all day long, not wearing strong perfumes, and keeping my hair outta the way.
    Last edit by movealong on Jul 15, '04
  4. by   suzanne4
    This has been a JACHO requirement for the past few years, and if any hospital is just stating this now, they are definitely way behind. They can actually be sued for any infringements.

    If I was a patient in any facility in the US, and someone came to take care of me or perform any type of treatment on me, I would ask for someone else.

    Nails can look nice, as well as cuticles, if you take care of them. Sure, I wore acrylics just like everyone else, but when the literature came out a few years ago, they were gone in a hurry.

    Right now I am not working at the clinical arena but there is no way that I would ever consider getting them again. I wouldn't want to take a chance of getting my pets or fish ill. No one says that you can't get a weekly manicure, and that would take care of hangnails and whatever else.
  5. by   Surgical Hrt RN
    fingernails, fingernails, the long debated issue. fake nails are a problem, there are no two ways about it. i used to have a different opinion, though. i was angry with all who told me i couldn't wear fake nails. i felt my rights were violated and i was gonna do what i wanted regardless!!!!!!

    well, i used to worked in a strictly open heart unit. we had a run of patients developing sternal infections. no one could figure out why. infection control got involved and swabbed everyone's nails; nurse aides, respiratory therapists, nurses, anyone with direct patient contact. those who had fake nails came back positive for psuedomonas (sp?). :uhoh21: yikes!!!!!! apparently, no matter how often you wash your hands, water still remains under the nail and psuedomonas develops due to the nice, warm, mosit environment, that bacteria loves so much!

    thank god, at the time, that i had already taken my nails off! i would have felt like a big jerk!!!!!! all i could think about was my attitude prior to all of this. i had felt my rights were violated. well, what about the rights of the patient? what about our promise to do no harm? all i can say is, i am a changed woman! no fake nails for me!
  6. by   HazeK
    Quote from ERslave
    .the hospitals around here are "outlawing" fake nails and/or overlays...if nails are dirty - what about jewelry, earrings, etc.,where do you draw the line?
    don't get me wrong, I'd love to have manicured nails...

    but as a graduate of a conservative nursing program 30 years ago, I guess I got used to restrictions during my education!

    Clear polish on natural nails, only.
    One pair of earrings, plain studs only.
    One plain wedding band, left hand, if married.
    Hair above the collar line.
    Period. End of discussion.

    And the hospitals held to the same standard, so it was no different once we went to work.

    As an old nurse, I am often amazed at what fellow staff feel is appropriate!
    Long hair that falls into the nurses' eyes...or patient's beds, wounds, etc.
    dangling earrings that are a nusiance in the OR
    glitter eye shadow (oh, yes, believe it or not)
    six pairs of hoop earrings
    etc.

    When folks protest about their rights, I just laugh! This is NOT a public mall, or your own home. This is a JOB, a profession that you are paid for. It is appropriate to conform to one's employer's standards! (Heck, my boss picked lilac colored scrubs for us...yuck...but I wear them!)

    Hugs
    Haze :-)
  7. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Dang, i can't even have clear polish. I have nubs to scratch an itch with.
  8. by   Energizer Bunny
    ya know, I'm just thinking about waitresses and other professions...they all have standards that they have to follow as well. What if they all complaining and moaned about having to put their hair up? Would you want their hair hanging down in your food? NOT ME!
  9. by   cindimc
    Me Either CNM2B and if they have acrylic nails I don't want them anywhere near my food either. Honestly I don't even think they look pretty. They're so thick and un-natural looking..........had em once when I was about 16. Now I justlet my nails go natural, heck I don't even wear polish, too much trouble, but my nails look really nice........
  10. by   zacsmimi
    I have fought to keep my acrylics in my job in the past- which had little to no patient contact ...

    but have to admit the arguements seem sound. I work per diem now in long term care - unfortunately I do a lot more paper work than patient care... but at the very least I will be exceptionally careful - I always wear gloves...
    they arent long. They are overlays because, yeah, I bite too.... but its good food for thought....
  11. by   suzanne4
    [QUOTE=zacsmimi]I have fought to keep my acrylics in my job in the past- which had little to no patient contact ...

    but have to admit the arguements seem sound. I work per diem now in long term care - unfortunately I do a lot more paper work than patient care... but at the very least I will be exceptionally careful - I always wear gloves...
    they arent long. They are overlays because, yeah, I bite too.... but its good food for thought....[/QUOTE

    Sorry, but the gloves are not going to protect your patient if you are already culturing staph, pseudomonas, or worse, in the acrylic itself.

    If someone tried to take care of one of my family members with any type of covering over their nails??? No way.....................

    There are alot more studies backing me up then what you are doing.....actually no study is going to back you up.
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Jul 16, '04
  12. by   zacsmimi
    [QUOTE=suzanne4]
    Quote from zacsmimi
    I have fought to keep my acrylics in my job in the past- which had little to no patient contact ...

    but have to admit the arguements seem sound. I work per diem now in long term care - unfortunately I do a lot more paper work than patient care... but at the very least I will be exceptionally careful - I always wear gloves...
    they arent long. They are overlays because, yeah, I bite too.... but its good food for thought....[/QUOTE

    Sorry, but the gloves arenot going to protect your patient if you are already culturing staph, pseudomonas, or worse, in the acrylic itself.

    If someone tried to take care of one of my family members with any type of covering over their nails??? No way.....................

    There are alot more studies backing me up then what you are doing.....actually no study is going to back you up.
    worse than biting?? I will try (again) to conquor that demon...thanks for your input.
  13. by   suzanne4
    Quote from zacsmimi
    worse than biting?? I will try (again) to conquor that demon...thanks for your input.
    I actually bit my nails until I was 16. And really bit them all of the way down.
    I actually liked the taste of that bitter stuff that they made so you wouldn't do it. Found that as long as I kept a hard candy in my mouth, then the nails stayed away................Worked for me.................Good luck.

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