Gloving and Handwashing

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    Some of the team in the NICU where I work want to implement the policy of gloving with all infant contact. We already wear gloves for all the standard reasons and are very diligent with handwashing and foaming. My concern is that wearing gloves with absolutely all infant contact will result in a false sense of security and eventually to sloppy handwashing and foaming. Also if we are to glove, then why not gown up for all infant contact as well? Am I nuts or is this a valid point? I'd like your opinions please.
    Last edit by shermrn on Feb 17 : Reason: content
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  4. 10 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I didn't know there were NICUs that *didn't* glove for all infant contact. Every NICU I've worked in (and I've worked in three - not as a NICU nurse, but for perinatal research) has required gloves for all infant contact. IME, it didn't reduce the amount of washing and foaming. We would still wash before entering the room/donning gloves and wash or foam after every glove removal.
  6. 0
    We have to foam in and out of each bedspace. We glove for all care, but do take them off when we hold them for comforting.
  7. 0
    I wonder if there is evidence to support it?
  8. 0
    Hmm, we do not currently have a policy of gloving with all contact/cares, although I'm surprised with how little some of the nurses actually glove. Having come from an adult floor, I am very much in the habit of gloving if I might come in contact with fluids (ie, diaper changes, blood sugar checks, lab draws), but that isn't consistent across the board in my unit.
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    We do blind surveys and found people to be very compliant. It did take a lot of redirection and reminders, but it is a strict rule that as soon as you enter or leave the bedside you foam in and out.
  10. 7
    Every once in awhile, people need to be touched by another person. Without a glove on.

    I've always thought that handwashing was to protect patients, while gloves were mostly to protect us (unless we have open areas on our hands...). Of course, that is just my thought - don't really know if this is true. Of course, I work with adults and have only been inside a NICU once in my life.
    ~miss_mercy_me, mamagui, Satori77, and 4 others like this.
  11. 2
    Quote from Do-over
    Every once in awhile, people need to be touched by another person. Without a glove on.

    I've always thought that handwashing was to protect patients, while gloves were mostly to protect us (unless we have open areas on our hands...). Of course, that is just my thought - don't really know if this is true. Of course, I work with adults and have only been inside a NICU once in my life.
    I agree. I hope I'm never made to wear gloves when I'm cuddling a baby. I wash/scrub my hands religiously, but I don't wear gloves as often as most of my peers. I think those babies NEED to be touched, skin to skin.
    Satori77 and SoldierNurse22 like this.
  12. 1
    We don't wear them to cuddle, only for general care and feeding with EBM. I always feel bad for the kids in isolation forever
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  13. 1
    Our NICU decided not to implement the gloving with all patient contact policy. They were able to find some research to back up my suspicions on the false sense of security/sloppy handwashing thing. The glove policy would have been for all patient contact, even cuddle time, so I'm happy about the decision. Thanks for your comments.
    HyperSaurus, RN likes this.


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