I'm supposed to wear an "Ask me if I washed my hands!" button?! - page 7

Today, administrators launched a handwashing campaign, part of which includes having patient care staff wear giant buttons that say, "Ask me if I washed my hands!" Patients are encouraged to ask... Read More

  1. by   jnette
    Quote from daisybaby
    As the buttons were being handed out, I asked my manager point blank, "Are we required to wear these?" her reply was no, but we were really encouraged to wear them. I told her that while I understood the point of the campaign was to increase hand hygiene, I felt that the methods chosen were insulting to our professional staff, and as such I would not be participating. I think she understood.

    I am all for handwashing awareness- but instead of making the nurses wear big buttons, I'd rather see colorful posters in the halls, near the sinks, etc. asking everyone- staff, patients, and visitors- to wash up. I cannot tell you how many pt's I have gotten up and to the BR who do their business and try to leave without washing their hands. If they try to scoot out before lathering up, I turn on the faucet and say, "let me get you a towel so you can wash your hands." Then I stand in the doorway until they do it.
    Thanx for the reply, and for the remainder of this most excellent post.

    I agree with all you have stated above... good job !
  2. by   NewStu
    I think the required button wearing is a insult. Just another way for administrators to slam nurses. It's sickening.
  3. by   directcare4me
    Quote from TNRNMAN
    I agree totally with needing to have more staff and more time for breaks I am a staff nurse in a very busy ICU, but it comes down to DO NO HARM and yes there is harm done lots of time with understaffing, I know all about the statistics DUH, but that does not excuse a simple task like cleaning your hands before you touch a patient, how long does that take, excuses is what kills people. :angryfire I think that when we conpromise what is proven to cause harm for ridiculous excuse we are not looking out for the patient. We are looking out for ourselves and that is not what nursing should be when it gets down to safety, yes we need better staffing that is a FACT, but that does not excuse sloppy harmful work. Consider my eyes rolled>>>>::angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
    I'm not sure I'm reading your post correctly, but if I am, I'm sure we are all in agreement with you. I don't think any of us are saying that we don't need to wash our hands, or that we don't wash our hands, or that we don't have time to wash our hands. It has sounded to me reading all these posts that we all DO wash our hands, and understand the importance of handwashing (which is why we do it). It sounds to me as if you have misunderstood most of our postings; we (I think) are saying that wearing a button like this is an insult because we do either wash or use the hand sanitizer; we are saying that it is usually other health care providers (physicians) who are less diligent about this. As well as family members, visitors, and the patients themselves.

    I do not use short-staffing as an excuse to not wash my hands and I don't imagine any of us do. I am pretty compulsive about it for my own sake, as well as patients' sake.

    If I misunderstood your post I apologize.
  4. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from NewStu
    I think the required button wearing is a insult. Just another way for administrators to slam nurses. It's sickening.
    With all due respect to you, I have a question. Would you feel the same if everyone, including physicians, were required to wear the button?

    Grannynurse
  5. by   RN5000
    Sing it Aretha..... I mean really, all we want is a little
    R E S P E C T!!!!! Just another indication of how we are still viewed in the professional sense. "Just a little bit, ooohhhh just a little bit, .........
  6. by   RN5000
    Quote from grannynurse FNP student
    With all due respect to you, I have a question. Would you feel the same if everyone, including physicians, were required to wear the button?

    Grannynurse
    I believe that is the whole point. It would never happen.
  7. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from grannynurse FNP student
    With all due respect to you, I have a question. Would you feel the same if everyone, including physicians, were required to wear the button?

    Grannynurse
    NO.

    But it's not a matter of would I do it if everyone did. The point is that THE OTHERS WEREN'T ASKED.

    Why not? Because administration would dare not insult Drs. like this - they ACTUALLY make money for the hospital. (As if we don't).

    The point is that it is the perception of management that nurses are a liabilty, not an asset. We pay so much for nurses, if we add this burden or that burden and then the next one - well that is just getting our money back and nurses should be happy we even pay them. . .

    The perception of management seems to be that a hospital dare not insult other healthcare professionals, but hey, insult the nurses all you want, they are overpaid prima donnas, anyway - that is the issue.

    As somebody posted, there may well be data supporting having patients more aware of the handwashing status of their healthcare providers. But, asking ONLY nurses be bear this insult is kind of selective enforcement, it'n it?

    And therein lies the insult.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  8. by   ecugirl
    Methinks thou doest protest too much. As an Infection Control nurse of almost 15 years, I can tell you from study after study and from personal observations of staff, that staff DO NOT wash their hands nor do they clean equipment from patient to patient. I can't tell you how many times I have watched staff; not just nurses either; come out of a patient room, remove gloves and go straight to the computer to chart...never washing their hands. And I challenge you, whenever you are a patient, be it yourself at your doctor's office or an Urgent Care or Emergency Room OR your child at the pediatrician's...watch and see who washes their hands before touching you or your child...you will be appalled! This is a nationwide effort to respond to JCAHO's Patient Safey Goal of compliance with the CDC Guidelines for Hand Hygiene to ensure staff are washing their hands and involve patients in their care. This should be viewed as a good thing for patient care. At my hospital we have been doing this since 1991 with signs posted in the patient room stating, "Has your healthcare worker washed their hands? ASK THEM!" You shouldn't be so intimidated by this question if you are doing the right thing.
  9. by   fledgling
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    This would be about the same as "Ask me if i pick my nose" button to me.
    I just snorted coffee
  10. by   sbic56
    Quote from ecugirl
    Methinks thou doest protest too much. As an Infection Control nurse of almost 15 years, I can tell you from study after study and from personal observations of staff, that staff DO NOT wash their hands nor do they clean equipment from patient to patient. I can't tell you how many times I have watched staff; not just nurses either; come out of a patient room, remove gloves and go straight to the computer to chart...never washing their hands. And I challenge you, whenever you are a patient, be it yourself at your doctor's office or an Urgent Care or Emergency Room OR your child at the pediatrician's...watch and see who washes their hands before touching you or your child...you will be appalled! This is a nationwide effort to respond to JCAHO's Patient Safey Goal of compliance with the CDC Guidelines for Hand Hygiene to ensure staff are washing their hands and involve patients in their care. This should be viewed as a good thing for patient care. At my hospital we have been doing this since 1991 with signs posted in the patient room stating, "Has your healthcare worker washed their hands? ASK THEM!" You shouldn't be so intimidated by this question if you are doing the right thing.
    It is the singling out of just nurses for this campain that is irking people. Asking us to wear a button is degrading. I think we all agree that good handwashing is important, but it's wrong to treat nurses this way in trying to enforce it. The signs are fine, but no buttons on my body, please!
  11. by   Mulan
    Quote from kiyatylese
    That is so wrong. :chuckle (sorry I think it is funny too) Like somebody would really say:"No I did not wash them. Did you want me to wash them for you?" It is just stupid.
    Exactly. People are more than likely going to say, "Of course I did", whether they did or not.
  12. by   BabyRN2Be
    If that doesn't want to make someone through a rock through one of the windows of those ivory towers management sits in, I don't know what will.

    It's demeaning and insulting. Like the OP said, if I had to wear a giant button at work, I'd be waiting tables at TGI Friday's, too.

    Next you're going to wear a button next to that that says, "Ask Me if I'm Wearing Clean Underwear Today."

    Insane.
  13. by   jgrace
    I couldn't agree with you more!!!!!

    (I'm a fellow RN)

    Quote from daisybaby
    Today, administrators launched a handwashing campaign, part of which includes having patient care staff wear giant buttons that say, "Ask me if I washed my hands!" Patients are encouraged to ask this of their nurse/CNA/etc. every time s/he walks into their room. Every time.

    I find this incredibly insulting both to my intelligence and to my professional practice as an RN. I cannot imagine what patients must be thinking: does it imply that we don't know enough to wash our hands? What else do they need to be checking up on, if we can't be trusted to have washed our hands after patient contact?

    I understand that the aim is to decrease the spread of microorganisms. We all learned that in Nursing Fundamentals. I've listened to all the inservices on handwashing, antimicrobial foam and gel, and standard precautions ad nauseum. But this is way over the top. I don't ask my mechanic if he remembered to put all the parts back in my car and I don't ask my accountant if she used a calculator to figure out my taxes. I don't think I should be asked over and over if I'm doing my job, either.

    We've had a hard enough time trying to be recognized as professionals without this nonsense. If I wanted to wear giant silly buttons at work I'd be waiting tables at TGI Fridays.

    I told one of the administrators I'd consider wearing one if all the docs had to wear them, too. It's been a long time since I've seen some of them lather up before performing a bare-handed dressing change.

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