Did I Contact C. Diff?

  1. 0
    Hello Everybody, so I had my 5th day of clinicals with a C. Diff positive patient. I took all the necessary precautions (gown, gloves, hand washing) when taking care of my patient but I'm a little worried I might have contracted C. Diff. I have these paranoias where I have contracted C. Diff by a spore on the curtain that rubbed up against the back of my head or a spore got on my glasses and... all these thoughts are running through my mind. Any advice?

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  2. 9 Comments...

  3. 2
    Honestly, you're going to be in many, many situations where you contact patients who have contagious conditions. Some conditions you might not even know about until after you've been in the patient's room without isolation. That's why standard precautions and appropriate isolation measures are important.

    If this is your first time working closely with a patient that had C-diff, then it's normal to feel a little worried. But you've got to make sure that this anxiety doesn't become in issue with your nursing care. Meaning, you can't give substandard care to a patient on isolation because you're afraid of catching something.

    Remember that, for most conditions, standard precautions and your own immune system are going to protect you. As you get more experience, your paranoid feelings should diminish. If they don't, I suggest speaking to a trusted nursing instructor or advisor about the issue.
    dudette10 and RunawayN like this.
  4. 1
    I have worked at nursing homes 5 years total and come in contact with people with cdiff all the time and haven't caught it/transmitted it to my family. I think you will be ok =0)
    RunawayN likes this.
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    Aslong as you aren't immunocompromised and on chemo.....you should be fine.
  6. 0
    As Ashely said, standard precautions are your best friend. I particularly get a chuckle when, after leaving a room, I notice the iso. signs getting put up. First they weren't, now they are!
    Pretty much, the world is a festering boil of grossness (I came to this conclusion after MicroBio.) & I'm thankful for my skin, my immune system, and soap and water!

    *Keeps your hands off your face and wash them often.*
  7. 0
    I would also recommend doing some research on c-diff as becoming more knowledgeable about it may help alleviate these fears.. It is an opportunistic infection. Believe it or not there is a certain percentage of population that walk around with c-diff living in their gut naturally, but it doesn't cause problems because the normal flora keeps its growth in check.

    Also when dealing with C-Diff patients, hand washing is key. The alcohol gels do not kill the spores.
  8. 1
    I understand your worry. I feel that way too sometimes, especially about MRSA.

    I have a little story about C. diff. It was my first semester of nursing school, and we had just started our rotation on a med-surg floor. My patient had C. diff and was using a bedside commode. She asked me to empty it for her, and my instructor told me I should take it down the hall and dispose of it in the hopper. And I asked my instructor "So I'm just supposed to carry it down the hall? Just like that?" And she looked at me sympathetically, and said "yes." So I took the pan out of the bedside commode and proceeded down the hall with the tray of poop wafting in my face as I walked past visitors and staff. It just seemed so wrong, but that's what I was told to do. I did that several times that day and I was SURE I would get C. diff. I was about 8 weeks pregnant at the time. I was fine, though, never got sick.

    Later that week I was talking to my mom, who is an RN, and I told her about this experience. She was horrified and said "Cover it up with a towel or something! You're not supposed to do it like that!" Well I felt stupid I didn't think of that. I'm in my third semester now and have been exposed to a lot of things, and the only times I've been sick, I've caught it from my son who is in daycare.

    Try not to let the "germ anxiety" consume you. Luckily no one will think you are crazy if you are constantly washing your hands.
    RunawayN likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from RunawayNstudent
    Hello Everybody, so I had my 5th day of clinicals with a C. Diff positive patient. I took all the necessary precautions (gown, gloves, hand washing) when taking care of my patient but I'm a little worried I might have contracted C. Diff. I have these paranoias where I have contracted C. Diff by a spore on the curtain that rubbed up against the back of my head or a spore got on my glasses and... all these thoughts are running through my mind. Any advice?
    c diffs one of those things that you will know it if you got it, If you are going to stress about what could happen all the time you will drive yourself crazy, just show up, do your best and it will all take care of itself
  10. 1
    Quote from RunawayNstudent
    Hello Everybody, so I had my 5th day of clinicals with a C. Diff positive patient. I took all the necessary precautions (gown, gloves, hand washing) when taking care of my patient but I'm a little worried I might have contracted C. Diff. I have these paranoias where I have contracted C. Diff by a spore on the curtain that rubbed up against the back of my head or a spore got on my glasses and... all these thoughts are running through my mind. Any advice?
    Just be conscientious and you will be fine. This is where your good health habits will protect you. Wash your hands, eat a good diet so that you are always nourished, get enough sleep, etc. You can drive yourself crazy thinking of all of the different ways you will get sick and your energy is better used to care for your patient!
    RunawayN likes this.
  11. 0
    Thanks everybody, I know I'm just worrying about nothing. Personally, I'm more worried about missing school because it's such a fast paced program!


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