wearing perfume to work - page 10

thought this would be interesting. what's your policy? i wear a light body splash if any.... Read More

  1. by   gr8rnpjt
    Quote from TechieNurse
    GR8RNPJT, could she have singled you and the other woman out because you and the other woman wore scents that bothered her and everyone else in the office that wore perfume/colonge that didn't bother her?
    My experience is that not ALL perfume/cologne trigger a response, it's the type (e.g. Channel) and/or the amount worn.
    Funny you should ask. I wear "tommy girl" as I stated earlier I don't take it to work, I put it on at home. Her manager wears tommy girl and brings the bottle to work, applies it again during lunch in "ms sensetive"'s bathroom.
    I used to say to her, how do you know it is my tommy girl when your manager wears the same thing? she works in the same room, and it doesnt bother you, but you see me down the hall and start screaming about me?
    This woman is a psychotic nut, and that is why I avoid her hallways, stairwell and bathroom. Because I was being blamed for perfume in the bathroom when I was 4 floors down doing chart review.

    I have a feeling I am hitting a little too close to home for some posters on this BB!
  2. by   Tweety
    Quote from sjrn85
    So the pt. was medicted because she complained about someone's perfume? Please tell me I am misreading this!
    I was being tongue in cheek. The patient requested Ativan. The reason I said "claimed to have an asthma attack" was she wasn't actively having one when I saw her, but I didn't mean to imply she didn't have one or that I didn't believe her, because I do. Asthma is primarily an illness of reaction to irritants.

    I haven't been real involved in this thread. However, because I've personally seen patients react to perfume, and have been personally inconvenienced (my load is heavy enough without having to pick up someone elses work) because the perfumed tech can't go into a room (that's two patients I have to do tech work for, not that I'm above that, but you know what I'm saying), I'm for a ban on perfume/cologne in the work setting.
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 13, '05
  3. by   Indy
    Quote from sjrn85
    She was medicated with Ativan...not an asthma drug, but a mild tranquilizer, giving the impression that her response was "all in her head."
    As an asthma sufferer, I will tell you it's not possible to relax when you can't breathe. However, I have never had ativan, or any benzo's at all for that matter. If given in conjunction with a breathing treatment I can see where it might be effective, as not being able to breathe makes a person VERY anxious.
  4. by   sjrn85
    Quote from Indy
    As an asthma sufferer, I will tell you it's not possible to relax when you can't breathe. However, I have never had ativan, or any benzo's at all for that matter. If given in conjunction with a breathing treatment I can see where it might be effective, as not being able to breathe makes a person VERY anxious.
    Of course, but the post I was referring to did not mention any breathing tx., just that the pt. was given Ativan after complaining about a tech's "loud" perfume.
  5. by   Indy
    An earlier poster was talking about not "seeing" a "breathing reaction" in anyone, due to her perfume. Okay.

    I've had asthma for about 9 years. The most you will see from me upon gracing my lungs with perfume, is a slight cough, or I might sneeze. That doesn't mean that there is no reaction. That simply means my respiratory system, upper and lower, acknowledges a new substance. What happens over the next 12 hours if I have to stay in contact with you, is that my immune system slowly gets its butt into gear. I will start to have a tickle in my throat, and clear my throat a bit. A few hours or so of this and I'll start these little "polite" and discreet coughs. I can usually feel a bit of a wheeze then on inspiration, but haven't had anyone tell me they can hear it on auscultation during that phase. I know it's there, I know what's coming. At that point, if I'm too busy to use my rescue inhaler, I'm well on my way to needing an ER visit.

    By the way, albuterol is almost as bad as the problem it solves, as it makes my heart race, makes me shaky all over and takes me out of anything resembling work for about 30 mins.

    So if I can't take a break and use my inhaler, I'll continue to hope I make it a while longer. If I get home and I'm hoarse-sounding and have a nice barking cough, my hubby will take me to the ER before I can change clothes, making sure I use my inhaler on the way. The bad cough is where my lungs are trying to stay cramped up, and the wheeze at that point is audible, not just something I feel. It's pretty scary if it's your lungs that are doing this.

    So no, my reaction to whatever rubs my lungs the wrong way may not be this immediate, dramatic, keeling-over type of deal, but it's painful, it's harmful, and yes I know I need to get some other brand of medicine in my rescue inhaler. And yes, Singulair helps to prevent this from happening. But know that you may not see the problems purfume is causing, and it may sound odd to you that someone who exhibited little to no signs of distress during work went to the ER because of your perfume, but believe me, it's possible.

    That being said, I usually don't have a full reaction, haven't had one since springtime and that was due to pollen and not having any meds on hand (I was poor before I graduated).
  6. by   RNSUEIA
    I admit to wearing perfume on a regular basis. It sure beats the hell out of the smell of cigarette smoke on the rest of the staff11
  7. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from gr8rnpjt
    It was not my perfume lingering, it was all the other people whom she did not confront. It was all about I was getting attention she was not getting and she attacked 2 women in an office full of women who wore perfume!!!
    I suspect that "she" was not the only one in the scenario with a psych issue.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from RNSUEIA
    I admit to wearing perfume on a regular basis. It sure beats the hell out of the smell of cigarette smoke on the rest of the staff11
    Wearing urine smell on a regular basis would beat the heck out of the smell of cigarettes on staff, for some people.

    It doesn't change the fact that neither fragrance should be noticeable or present on caregivers.
  9. by   pricklypear
    Quote from caroladybelle
    Wearing urine smell on a regular basis would beat the heck out of the smell of cigarettes on staff, for some people.

    It doesn't change the fact that neither fragrance should be noticeable or present on caregivers.
    Thank-you. Perfume is just as offensive to some people as cigarette odor is to others.
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from 2002MissRN
    Why on earth would you medicate someone with Ativan who complained of not being able to breathe because your staff wore a "loud perfume"? You should have talked with the patient to "calm" her down and asked the tech not to wear it again, esp if it is hospital policy, or at least just a DAB!!! As a psych nurse I find medicating unnecessarily is just plain wrong. Even on my unit we always try to handle the problem verbally first and meds are always a last resort.
    Quote from sjrn85
    Of course, but the post I was referring to did not mention any breathing tx., just that the pt. was given Ativan after complaining about a tech's "loud" perfume.
    Again, I was being a bit tongue in cheek, which is hard to do over the net.

    First, the patient was not medicated for asthma with Ativan. I would not medicate an exaceration of asthma or COPD with Ativan. Bronchodialtors...duh.

    2nd I believed her when she said she had an asthma attack, although I didn't witness it, thus the curt use of "claimed she had an attack". When I went in there she wasn't wheezing or having an attack and had not received any breathing treatments, nor did she ask for any. I think she was more expressing a fear of having an attack, but I don't judge.

    3rd - she requested the Ativan herself. In fact an MD had come in just prior and ordered a now dose of 2 mg. I wasn't medicating her for complaining or for her asthma.


    I didn't mean to imply for a second that I was invalidating this patients concerns over the perfume. On the contrary I supported her 100% and I support a ban on perfumes/cologne in the hospital setting. Unfortunately, we have no hospital policy not to wear perfume. And yes, I did approach the tech, I had to because the tech was to not go in the room. The tech was not as supportive as myself with the patient, in fact got angry at the patient and didn't believe her.

    I like the analogy of pain. If the patient expresses and allergy, then it's an allergy. They say most people who think they aren't allergic to PCN really aren't. Does that mean I'm going to give them PCN. No.

    It's getting old that since I've been on day shift (9 months), three times techs have been asked not to enter a sensitive patient's room, and I've had to pick up the slack. It's just bad business and bad care to wear perfume, and I'm standing by that position and anyone can flame me all they want to.
    Last edit by Tweety on Dec 13, '05
  11. by   MellyOne
    I think people have abused the whole "breathing difficulties/allergic reaction" issue. It's been used as an excuse for everything from not wanting to finish dinner before dessert to situations such as that lovely lady refusing the tech, or chasing nurses down the hall. It's sad, and it's frusterating. Some people just don't believe that you can't breathe, or that you have a migraine, or are having some other sort of reaction. Then you go to the ER. And they still don't believe you.
    Anyway, the point is that I understand why people are suspicious. Unfortunately I think that not acting is far worse than giving into behavior that may just be to get attention. You never know.
    I hope you get what I'm trying to say...it's finals time and my brain is fried.

    Oh yeah, I just wanted to comment on the wearing perfume because I want to, don't want to smell patients, and so on. We are in a service profession, which means (if I have it right) we do what we're told, when we're told. We don't do things for ourselves. Seems a little cold and negative, but I think we're supposed to be people pleasers. "greatest good for the greatest number" Please feel free to agree/disagree...I'm new here and would like opinions from those who have been around awhile.

    (BTW, I do have asthma, and it is affected by scents, dust, pollen, certain meds and so on. Just wanted to let you know that I'm not really taking sides-just sharing thoughts and experiences)
  12. by   rambisisking
    Quote from Indy
    An earlier poster was talking about not "seeing" a "breathing reaction" in anyone, due to her perfume. Okay.

    I've had asthma for about 9 years. The most you will see from me upon gracing my lungs with perfume, is a slight cough, or I might sneeze. That doesn't mean that there is no reaction. That simply means my respiratory system, upper and lower, acknowledges a new substance. What happens over the next 12 hours if I have to stay in contact with you, is that my immune system slowly gets its butt into gear. I will start to have a tickle in my throat, and clear my throat a bit. A few hours or so of this and I'll start these little "polite" and discreet coughs. I can usually feel a bit of a wheeze then on inspiration, but haven't had anyone tell me they can hear it on auscultation during that phase. I know it's there, I know what's coming. At that point, if I'm too busy to use my rescue inhaler, I'm well on my way to needing an ER visit.

    By the way, albuterol is almost as bad as the problem it solves, as it makes my heart race, makes me shaky all over and takes me out of anything resembling work for about 30 mins.

    So if I can't take a break and use my inhaler, I'll continue to hope I make it a while longer. If I get home and I'm hoarse-sounding and have a nice barking cough, my hubby will take me to the ER before I can change clothes, making sure I use my inhaler on the way. The bad cough is where my lungs are trying to stay cramped up, and the wheeze at that point is audible, not just something I feel. It's pretty scary if it's your lungs that are doing this.

    So no, my reaction to whatever rubs my lungs the wrong way may not be this immediate, dramatic, keeling-over type of deal, but it's painful, it's harmful, and yes I know I need to get some other brand of medicine in my rescue inhaler. And yes, Singulair helps to prevent this from happening. But know that you may not see the problems purfume is causing, and it may sound odd to you that someone who exhibited little to no signs of distress during work went to the ER because of your perfume, but believe me, it's possible.

    That being said, I usually don't have a full reaction, haven't had one since springtime and that was due to pollen and not having any meds on hand (I was poor before I graduated).
    AMEN INDY....
    Reading back over this thread makes me very sad. If we can't be considerate to our fellow human beings then what are we all doing here for crying out loud. Does everyone think we are in competition with each other for who is the RIGHTEST?
    If something you are doing is really hurting someone else...because they say so, not because you have decided you're God for a while and can judge "what's really going on",THEN STOP DOING IT!
    Is that so terribly hard to do or are you so very afraid of giving up what you consider your God given right to wear cologne. Geez people, There are some really important things to take a stand on in life...starvation, abuse, peace or lack of it...which is easy to understand why we can't achive when we can't even agree to not make our fellow human beings sick so that we can wear Charlie.
    There are many universal truths in life, one I believe whole heartedly is that we are all connected, we are all in this together, and we are responsible to and for each other, and until we realize this as HUMANS, We will never get anywhere.
  13. by   Jerico
    Quote from techienurse
    my 2 cents:
    i suffer from migraines and certain scents can be the trigger.
    i may even like the scent, but there's something in it that causes the reaction; my stomach rolls, my head explodes.

    we have a 'no scent' policy at my hospital, but it's nearly impossible to exclude all scents from your household: deodorant, hair spray, soap, shampoo/conditioner, laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets etc.

    if i tell someone that they're causing me a reaction, i have a right to refuse them to enter my room & treat me.
    i would find it insulting if i refused someone entering my room based on their 'loud perfume' and my perceived reaction to it (asthma attack) and i was offerend an ativan.
    i might even refuse that nurse if my perception was that she was unconcerned with my issue

    i find it supremely interesting that some people here are attributing 'sensitivity' to 'being all in your head'
    and it is perceived that women have a higher incidence of these 'sensitivities'
    and women are the ones who most often have to fight against the labels of 'hypochondria' or 'dramatic'.
    i call a spade a spade.

    that is why i would like to do a study. women have far more sensitive noses...would make sense that they compain more about smells/odors. on the other hand, men don't ***** about trivial "ain't going to matter in one hundred years, either.

    women yes, often fight against the labels of hypochondria or dramatic. because women are dramatic in many, many instances!

    i have three sisters, two daughters. i have two brothers, two sons. the females are in fact more dramatic, sensitive to noise, smells.

    call it biology labels biology has given us, not society.

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