Witnessed unsterile procedure and feeling terrible about it - page 3

by cblake4293 14,835 Views | 106 Comments

I am a new grad and have been working as an RN for 5 months. Everyone I work with is very experienced and I am definitely the newbie. Yesterday I witnessed an LPN with 30 yrs experience straight cath a male without using... Read More


  1. 11
    Quote from beeker
    This is the kind of thing that new nurses get eaten for.I am not saying it is right, but she needs to look out for herself too. If the other nurse has been there for 30 years and gets in trouble, who do you think is going to be odd man out?
    You're right. But fear of retribution is not a good reason not to do the right thing.
    Race Mom, B in the USA, BeesMama, and 8 others like this.
  2. 8
    Quote from lilaclover6984

    A nursing home is considered a "home" environment. Clean technique is all that is required though in my practice I do personally feel better using sterile technique...

    I don't think ratting out a senior nurse for something this minor is a good way to get started nor is it a good way to improve things. Set an example with your high standards and hope others will follow. Running to the manager on this nurse is only gonna cause you problems and not likely change anything about her practice anyway. If it really bothers you just talk to her one on one.
    I work in LTC and sterile technique is still required at all times whether the person is being straight cathed or not This nurse is using poor practice and I think you need to speak up. Don't be a nurse who just doesn't care because its "minor" (which I don't consider it to be) if they will straight cath with clean gloves and a wipe for Pete's sake what won't they do????? Lazy people disgust me
  3. 18
    There's a difference between the SNF being the patient's home and it being a health care facility. In your own house/apt you are, theoretically, exposed to your own bacterial load and those of your immediate environment, to which you are tolerant. Even then, nowadays the old "clean" standard is going by the boards.

    In a care facility you are exposed to the bacterial load of many people coming and going, not just staffers but other residents, visitors, and more. See the difference? I'm with kkostelnikpn, lazy people disgust me too.

    Besides, you can get sepsis at home, too. I once had a pt with a spinal cord injury who went for six years being straight cathed every four to six hours at home and never once had an infection until a new nurse came and reused a catheter against his direction (they teach SCI patients all about their own care and how to give direction to caregivers, and he really knew). Yep, he got sick, and never again had sterile urine, and never again was able to live without periodic UTIs and sepsis. Sterile means sterile, and sterile is better. That's why it's the standard now.
    jmll1765, uRNmyway, anotherone, and 15 others like this.
  4. 1
    I work LTC and we still perform caths with sterile technique (cath kits have the sterile gloves in them).
    Nascar nurse likes this.
  5. 6
    They make nifty little no-touch caths that are enclosed in a sterile sleeve-- kit comes with a prep wipe and the cath is pre-lubed, and no gloves are necessary. Good for people with limited dexterity, and they collect the urine for disposal without spillage, so they're good for SCI, etc. folks who want to be able to spend the day out of the house. They'd save you time and the cost of sterile gloves, too. Have the purchasing people look into it.
    uRNmyway, anotherone, Hygiene Queen, and 3 others like this.
  6. 1
    What does your facility policy say?

    You say that next time you'll say something. Think about exactly WHICH words you'll say...practice saying them out loud. It's hard to confront people.
    RNinCLE likes this.
  7. 2
    A nursing home may be considered a "home" environment, but sterile procedure is still required for foley catheter insertion.
    mazy and kakamegamama like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from CapeCodMermaid
    A nursing home may be considered a "home" environment, but sterile procedure is still required for foley catheter insertion.
    She needs to check the policy at her facility. I know both of the LTC facility's I used to work in ( in BC Canada) required only clean technique for wound care and In/out caths. They were very specific about this. And stated that it was becAuse the facility was considered a home environment since the pt. was in their own surroundings and germs all the time.
    I know this is confusing to people that have only ever worked acute.
  9. 1
    Why didn't you just ask the nurse when she was doing it anyway? It didn't have to be a confrontation like " you're doing that wrong", just a question as to why she was doing it that way.
    tyvin likes this.
  10. 0
    I know! I wish I had just asked her in the moment! Dont reallly know why I didnt say anything in the moment. I guess I had already intervened alot and felt a little intimidated saying anything else. I did ask her if she had sterile gloves when preparing and looking back, I realize she never answered. I also asked her if she had iodine, she didnt answer. I found it in the drawer and asked her if she wanted me to put it on. I had asked her if she got something to put the trash in. I asked her if she had lubricating gel. Which she did (and touched the packaging with clean gloves and then pulled the foley out of the package and touched that). And I started to doubt myself, thinking maybe its ok since he self caths at home. Next time I will just ask in a nice way! And save myself this headache!


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