Let's talk about acrylic nails ... - page 3

The "uniforms are killing us" thread had many discussions about the things other then scrubs that can make a nurse look unprofessional. Here's a place to talk about unprofessional nails ... First... Read More

  1. by   susanmary
    Staff were notified that acrylic nails will likely be banned in the near future -- they are continuing to study the results of evidence-based practice. I think long nails (real or artificial) are not appropriate in health care. I keep mine relatively short -- don't want to pinch/scratch/pose a greater infection risk to my patients. Anyway, that's my opinion.
  2. by   sjoe
    jmp writes: "False nails are overlayed ON TOP of your own nails and HARBOUR all kinds of gross things...... CDC has recommended against them and the Center for Disease Control is someone we should be listening to."

    Exactly. This is NOT rocket science, folks.
  3. by   Heather333
    Originally posted by sixes
    I have seen Nurses with real nails that are whaat I call cat claws.
    What difference does it make as long as one is practising good handwashing and wearing gloves prn?
    Nails are Nails.

    Sixes,
    If you would have read my second post, you would have seen my reply regarding natural nails :

    "I agree that excessively long nails (even natural ones) are a hazard in themselves (ie accidentally scratching a patient). But acrylic nails, no matter what the length, are a breeding ground for organisms. It is much easier to clean natural nails, even if they are cracked, by proper handwashing. JMHO. "

    Heather
  4. by   babs_rn
    I think it's incomprehensible to make policies based on a single instance in another facility. I also believe it's our constant handwashing that's killing our nails. Mine rip below the quick just as soon as they get up past the quick. They peel and tear and if I DON'T have acrylics I get the most ungodly hangnails that get infected in a second. My natural nails are so thin (pre-acrylics) that I can barely thump an air bubble out of a syringe. What's worse? Ripped, bloody hangnails and wounds where the nail ripped; or well-manicured false nails? Come ON, now.

    Oh...and by the way, I take a multivitamin, supplemental calcium, and gelatine every day. No help to the natural nail. One can barely expect a hospital nurse to be adequately nourished, adequately hydrated, adequately rested, adequately ANYTHING.... which is one reason I am no longer a hospital nurse.
    Last edit by babs_rn on Mar 26, '03
  5. by   kittyw
    There were research studies about false nails. Not just one single incident.

    There are other ways to "thump an air bubble out of a syringe"
    that don't involve using your nails.
  6. by   Heather333
    If your nails are that much of a problem, then perhaps your MD can help. There is probably a reason, other than constant handwashing, that is causing your nails to be so weak and painful.
    I wore acrylic nails before I went into nursing. Yes, they looked nice. I had very weak nails that peeled, broke-off, and bent all the time. But the longer that I left off the acrylics, the strong my nails got. I have not had nails for over 2 years now and my nails are in the best shape they have ever been.
    Working in NICU, I have to perform a 3-minute scrub before every shift and must practice thorough handwashing all the time. I use Eucerin lotion prn during my shift and that seems to help with the cracking and dryness.

    Heather
  7. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by babs_rn
    What's worse? Ripped, bloody hangnails and wounds where the nail ripped; or well-manicured false nails?
    The false ones.

    I have thin, weak nails also, and I've never used them to thump the air out of a syringe. I always use my pen. Delivers a much quicker, forceful thump and always moves the bubble with one or two taps, where I usually thump away with my fingers.

    Heather
  8. by   JMP
    Research Based Rationale for Elimination of Artificial Nails

    Outbreaks:

    1. Candida Osteomyelitis and Diskitis after Spinal Surgery: An Outbreak That Implicates Artificial Nail Use. Parry MF, Grant B, Yukna M, Adler-Klein D, McLeod GX, Taddonio R, Rosenstein C. Clin Infect Dis 2001 Feb 1;32(3):352-7 (ISSN: 1058-4838); The Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NY, USA.

    3 laminectomy patients with post op Candida diskitis found epidemiologically linked with an OR tech who had artificial nails.

    2. Long or Artificial Fingernails Implicated in ICU Outbreak of P. aeruginosa. Moolenaar RL, Crutcher JM, San Joaquin VH, Sewell LV, Hutwagner LC, Carson LA, Robison DA, Smithee LM, Jarvis WR. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2000 Feb; 21(2):80-5 (ISSN: 0899-823X) Acute Disease Division, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City, USA.

    46 NICU patients acquired P aeruginosa, 16 of them died - linked epidemiologically with 2 nurses - one with artificial nails, one with long natural nails.
    3. Endemic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in a neonatal intensive care unit. Foca M, Jakob K, Whittier S, Della Latta P, Factor S, Rubenstein D, Saiman L. N Engl J Med 2000 Sep 7; 343(10): 695-700 (ISSN: 0028-4793). Department of Pediatrics, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, USA.

    6 infants found colonized or infected with P aeruginosa - risk factors identified were health care workers with artificial nails or
    1. Impact of a 5-minute scrub on the microbial flora found on artificial, polished, or natural fingernails of operating room personnel. Edel E, Houston S, Kennedy V, LaRocco M. Nursing Research, 47(1), 54-59 (1998).

    The results of this study indicate that OR personnel with artificial fingernails more often harbored gram-negative rods both before and after a 5-minute scrub using microbial soap. Additionally, artificial nails had higher bacterial loads, as compared with natural or polished nails.
    2. Pathogenic organisms associated with artificial fingernails worn by healthcare workers. Hedderwick S, McNeil S, Lyons M, Kauffman CA. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 21(8), 505-509 (2000).

    Artificial fingernails were more likely to harbor pathogens, especially gram-negative bacilli and yeasts, than native nails
  9. by   NurseDennie
    I worked with a nurse who had very nice, tasteful acrylic nails. It was against hospital policy, but it wasn't really enforced.

    Anyway, one change of shift, she and I were standing in the hallway, talking and she drew up some med, "flicked" it with her fingernail and the fingernail went FLYING down the hall!!!

    WAY too funny.

    I have unpleasant nails, too. My mother had truly HORRIBLE ones, that never grew out to her fingertip and were peely and curled up and just nasteeeeee, so I'm lucky that mine aren't worst. But I don't like to spend time/money, so I just keep them trimmed short. Cheap, easy, quick (heh heh - that's me!)

    Love

    Dennie
  10. by   frannybee
    ^ Say no more. My nails stay naked.
  11. by   SC RN
    And I have one more reason to get rid of them ... the cost! We went to a "before nursing school" meeting tonight at the college (families were invited to attend) and my husband finally realized that I would not be able to work when school starts ... resulting in a $2k to $3k per month deficit in our income. We discussed it over dinner (laughing at the irony of trying to save money but eating out) and decided that $70 a month was not a necesary expenditure.

    Sigh. Look for me in the hallways ... I'll be the one hiding my hands in my pockets.
  12. by   susanmary
    Originally posted by JMP
    Research Based Rationale for Elimination of Artificial Nails

    Outbreaks:

    1. Candida Osteomyelitis and Diskitis after Spinal Surgery: An Outbreak That Implicates Artificial Nail Use. Parry MF, Grant B, Yukna M, Adler-Klein D, McLeod GX, Taddonio R, Rosenstein C. Clin Infect Dis 2001 Feb 1;32(3):352-7 (ISSN: 1058-4838); The Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT, and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NY, USA.

    3 laminectomy patients with post op Candida diskitis found epidemiologically linked with an OR tech who had artificial nails.

    2. Long or Artificial Fingernails Implicated in ICU Outbreak of P. aeruginosa. Moolenaar RL, Crutcher JM, San Joaquin VH, Sewell LV, Hutwagner LC, Carson LA, Robison DA, Smithee LM, Jarvis WR. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2000 Feb; 21(2):80-5 (ISSN: 0899-823X) Acute Disease Division, Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma City, USA.

    46 NICU patients acquired P aeruginosa, 16 of them died - linked epidemiologically with 2 nurses - one with artificial nails, one with long natural nails.
    3. Endemic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in a neonatal intensive care unit. Foca M, Jakob K, Whittier S, Della Latta P, Factor S, Rubenstein D, Saiman L. N Engl J Med 2000 Sep 7; 343(10): 695-700 (ISSN: 0028-4793). Department of Pediatrics, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, USA.

    6 infants found colonized or infected with P aeruginosa - risk factors identified were health care workers with artificial nails or
    1. Impact of a 5-minute scrub on the microbial flora found on artificial, polished, or natural fingernails of operating room personnel. Edel E, Houston S, Kennedy V, LaRocco M. Nursing Research, 47(1), 54-59 (1998).

    The results of this study indicate that OR personnel with artificial fingernails more often harbored gram-negative rods both before and after a 5-minute scrub using microbial soap. Additionally, artificial nails had higher bacterial loads, as compared with natural or polished nails.
    2. Pathogenic organisms associated with artificial fingernails worn by healthcare workers. Hedderwick S, McNeil S, Lyons M, Kauffman CA. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 21(8), 505-509 (2000).

    Artificial fingernails were more likely to harbor pathogens, especially gram-negative bacilli and yeasts, than native nails
    Nothing I like better than evidence-based practice. Now take off those false nails, trim your nails, and wash those hands!!!!
  13. by   RNforLongTime
    My facility is banning artificial nails in the near future as well based on the CDC recommendations. No matter how clean and well groomed one keeps their nails, bacteria still gets underneath the nails. Nurses and PCA's are in an uproar over this. Some downright refuse to believe the CDC reports and I have even shown them the evidence articles I've found. Some nurses have threatened to quit if they have to remove thier nails. Another said what are they gonna do fire me? Well, yes they can if you aren't compliant with the dress code.

    I wore acrylics on and off for over 6 years. After reading the article where the babies in a NICU died, I took mine off for good.

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