The fingernail police!!

  1. 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 what I can or cant have on my own body. For instance, if nails are dirty - what about jewelry, earrings, etc.,where do you draw the line? Does it not make sense that anyone who goes to the trouble of having nice nails would also take the time to wash under those nails. Im not talking about 6" long tiger nails - but any length, nomatter how short,isnt allowed. I am a nail biter - if I dont have overlays, I will be biting my nails all day - how sanitary is that? I was just wondering if this was a local thing or country wide.
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  2. 97 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Well, this one has been debated here on these boards before and at the risk of sounding redudant, here I go. It's been shown in study after study---- ( in a NICU in Oklahoma even, where babies were dying of infections linked to ONE Nurse's fake nails)---- that fakes/ and/or long nails have NO place in clinical nursing. When they show the same statistics and evidence of infectoin related to wear of jewelry, I expect similar policies to come about regarding that, too.

    To me, it is common sense; fakes and long nails have NO place in clinical areas. It's not about "body control" or being "nail Nazi's" but it IS about another type of control, and that would be "Infection Control". How would YOU like to be that nurse who was linked with deadly infection in a hospital or clinic???? I would never forgive myself.

    And there are ways to stop biting one's nails, if you want to. It's a habit like anything else,that can be broken (and should for your own protection).

    In case you are one who likes to see articles related to a subject that is debatable, here are a couple for you:

    http://community.nursingspectrum.com...e.cfm?AID=6335

    http://www.nurseweek.com/news/features/03-06/nails.asp

    http://nsweb.nursingspectrum.com/cff...tifulHands.cfm
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jul 12, '04
  4. by   leslie :-D
    i so agree with outlawing fake nails. and it's just as important that long nails are kept clean. common sense.
  5. by   hoolahan
    Well, I choose my overlays. The day my home health agency tells me we can't have them, it will be the last clinical shift I work. I am FT now with an insurance company, and per diem HH.

    We must wear what the hospital tells us (true for insur company too)
    We can't wear scented hairspray, or perfume

    These I can see. They are temporary, we can redo our hair after work and put on perfume and wash it off before work.

    But, I am only employed 40 hours a week, the rest of the hours I am not, so, I see no reason why, if the nails are maintained, and inspected for lifting, etc..., that they should be banned. I frankly don't care what the studies say. If my nails must go, then so must I!
  6. by   elkpark
    It doesn't really matter how well the artificial nails are maintained; bacteria are able to colonize the acrylic and live in them, and present a risk to patients (unlike natural nails).

    If you're not concerned about putting your patients at risk because of your personal fashion sense, maybe resigning wouldn't be a bad thing ...
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    agree w/elkpark. vanity should not take precedence over safety and NO nurse with long nails is working on MY family members, if I can ever help it.
  8. by   casperbjs
    I enjoyed my acrylic nails when I had them! Had them for probably 3-4 years. I have the wimpest nails of all time. Which is one reason I enjoyed the acrylics. I don't miss having to get them done so often either. I did work in a physician's office then too. He didn't mind them at all. I am also a nail biter at times, esp. when I'm nervous! Pros and cons for them both ways. I myself would rather see nice, clean looking nails compared to seeing nails chewed down past the quick and painful.
  9. by   leslie :-D
    nice-looking nails are not synonymous with clean nails. i also find it rather incredulous that appearance would supercede cleanliness in the nsg. profession.
  10. by   RN92
    Quote from earle58
    nice-looking nails are not synonymous with clean nails. i also find it rather incredulous that appearance would supercede cleanliness in the nsg. profession.
    Nice looking nails arent synonymous with unclean nails, either. Its not a matter of appearance over cleanliness...you are assuming that just because someone has overlays - they dont know how to wash their hands or wear gloves (?) If a nurse or healthcare worker is spreading bacteria under her nails - she probably doesnt have good handwashing tech, anyway.
  11. by   leslie :-D
    deb,

    thanks for providing those links....all 3 explained the hazards well and fortunately, most nurses have been in agreement once they've reviewed the data.

    leslie
  12. by   suzanne4
    The problem isn't just with washing the hands, the problem is that acrylic powder and liquid can already have a fungus colonized in it......................

    I wore artificial nails/tips/silk wraps etc. for probably 25 years or more. When it was outlawed for me in the OR, I stopped. All of us did. Sure for thr first few weeks I hid my hands, but now there is no way that I would ever go to putting anything over them. They are much, much healthier now.

    If you are not concerned for your patient's health, ??????
    Last edit by suzanne4 on Jul 12, '04
  13. by   lab2004
    Quote from elkpark
    It doesn't really matter how well the artificial nails are maintained; bacteria are able to colonize the acrylic and live in them, and present a risk to patients (unlike natural nails).

    If you're not concerned about putting your patients at risk because of your personal fashion sense, maybe resigning wouldn't be a bad thing ...
    I'm really naive here, but gloves don't protect from that?
  14. by   BHolliRNMS
    Long nails also subject patients to skin tears and scratches when performing procedures. Outlawed where I work. Do what you please on your days off, but when you come to work, have clean short nails, minimum jewelry...oh, and lay off the brow rings, nose rings, lip rings, tongue rings, etc. And pull your hair up! lol

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