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- Oct 27, '09 by FlutterbyNurseWe are only allowed to have drinks in breakrooms or restrooms. We were all given the OSHA printout that mandates this-no drinks are allowed in patient care areas or anywhere that blood or body fluids might be found-so our nurses' station in the pod is out too because people put specimens on the counters when they are labeling them. Our hospital is very strict about this and I think my kidneys are suffering for it.
- Oct 28, '09 by karnicurncThanks for the schematic drawing! It does help to see how your unit is set up. Our policy is vague - based on OSHA, which is even MORE vague: There will be no food or drink in patient care areas. So what EXACTLY is a patient care area? The curtained bedspace, certainly, where all the care activities occur. But what about the little nurse's station in the middle of the pod with computers, phones, countertops, where NO patient care activities occur? It is very frustrating!
- Oct 28, '09 by karnicurncThe OSHA guideline is very vague and states: "Eating, drinking, smoking (!!!), applying cosmetics or lip balm, and handling contact lenses are prohibited in work areas where there is a REASONABLE LIKELIHOOD of occupational exposure." Not a miniscule risk of contamination, but reasonable likelihood. This phrasing is the basis for my argument. If the nurse's station counter is needed to label specimens, why can't that be done in a designated area away from the drink area?
- Oct 28, '09 by iHeartNICUHmmm, well we don't label anything at our computer workspaces normally. We use bedside tables to keep our flowsheets on and we usually have all of our pateint's papers there and we usually label there too. So, that being said, it seems like at our computer stations there is not a reasonably likelihood of occupational exposure.
I'm a kidney transplant patient and need to have access to water and it would waste a lot of my time to have to walk all the way to our breakroom and back every time I wanted a sip of water. Not only that but the nurses that watch my babies while I am gone probably wouldn't be thrilled that I'm leaving the area 100 times a night. If our breastfeeding mom's can keep water at the bs and somebody tells me I may not, I would most definitely have a problem with that. Yes they are breastfeeding and need to be hydrated but my kidney needs to stay hydrated too.
It's weird to me how we are in a profession to care for people (or babies) yet a lot of times it seems like we are prevented from taking care of ourself.......
- Oct 29, '09 by karnicurncIndeed that is very frustrating. Several nurses have developed UTIs since our policy changed to no drinks in the pods. I have been lucky. I did read somewhere that it was suggested that the nurses/doctors sign a waiver that removes the liability issue of a person's drink becoming contaminated and a subsequent illness occurs. Interesting concept. OSHA is trying to protect us from ourselves! I have been thinking about using a covered bin, like a big plasic shoebox with a lid that the covered drinks could be housed in on the counter. That would be very well protected and way beyond a reasonable likelihood of contamination. Hmmmm...