afraid I may have spread mrsa

  1. While helping another nurse reposition a patient who had MRSA of the urine, I only donned gloves. My uniform touched the bedrail and when I came out of the room I wiped off the front of my scrub with alcohol. Now afraid, what if I spread mrsa to other patients. I was always vigilant with handwashing. Should have worn the gown. Live and learn, learn, learn.
  2. Visit luellamae profile page

    About luellamae

    Joined: Jul '12; Posts: 10; Likes: 1


  3. by   nurseprnRN
    It used to be that MRSA was pretty much confined to hospitals and other care facilities. Then came what was called "community-acquired MRSA," and it was thought that you could tell the difference. Now, eight or ten years into the MRSA era, there are no more distinctions made. That's because MRSA is ubiquitous (everywhere).

    If your patient was on contact isolation and you ought to have been wearing a gown, then the sleeplessness and shame you are feeling will be enough to keep you on the straight and narrow regarding isolation requirements from now on. But the chances are very slim that you will become the modern MRSA Mary, so try not to think about it anymore.

    And hey-- if you thought your uniform was contaminated, you could have covered it with a gown for the rest of your shift, or changed into scrubs. For next time.

    Note: to get full impact of this message, it should display in Comic Sans, green. Thank you.
  4. by   RNsRWe
    Well, not sure what to say here, as you're not asking a question, etc. It seems to me, though, if this patient had a foley and was not demented (ie: grabbing it, pulling it out) the likelihood of there being MRSA on a side rail might be low. Chances are you didn't spread the infection. However, chances are still there that you DID, so....yes, live and learn.

    But a question from me: why didn't you get a scrubtop from linen supply when it dawned on you what you'd done, rather than finish a shift with potentially infectious material on the front? Linen supply, or the ED, maternity, OR: anywhere they keep extra scrubs on hand.
  5. by   RNsRWe
    GrnTea: guess I owe you a beer! You were faster on "submit" than me
  6. by   luellamae
    I did not think to change. There weren't uniforms on our floor, guess I could have gotten one from OR. I was a fairly new nurse at the time and guess I did not realize the severity of my actions. The patient did not have a foley. It was someone with incontinence. There were no secretions on me I had just touched the rail. I have learned alot since then but things from my med/surg days haunt me sometimes. And thank you for your comments. I appreciate them
  7. by   loriangel14
    Highly unlikely you passed anything on.
  8. by   Sun0408
    We no longer test for MRSA on admission. If a pt is cultured to r/o infection and it comes back positive, then they are placed on isolation.. But what about prior to that or the unknown infected pts that are never cultured... It could be on our "clothes" daily and we would even know it.

    ...wash hands both before and after all pt contact....
  9. by   loriangel14
    Ironically our isolated patients are allowed to leave their rooms as long as they wash their hands.We have to gown and glove to go into their room but if they are in the hallway we wear no PPE.
  10. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from loriangel14
    Ironically our isolated patients are allowed to leave their rooms as long as they wash their hands.We have to gown and glove to go into their room but if they are in the hallway we wear no PPE.
    Ok, THAT'S crazy. The rare occasions an isolation patient would want to/be able to be out in the hall, we'd insist on them gowning AND gloving! They were going to be touching the handrails, nurses's station counter, whatever, so....gowns and gloves or you DON'T leave the room.

    Same with visitors (although they can be a stubborn lot): if you don't gown and glove while in that room, and then remove your stuff at the door to dump in the can and THEN wash your hands, you'll be reminded only about a hundred times--or until you understand the plan.
  11. by   anotherone
    Yes it is very important to gown and glove. seroiusly. but I always remember that then the pt goes out into the community and touches everything without gloves.
    What if they start testing the staff? Can you refuse? what if they say if you don't like it either leave, or must gown and glove for every room, the whole shift etc.( just like it is here with flu shots, if you refuse or are allergic etc you must wear a mask from sept-late may or later if there is a later case. ........ wonder if this is the next thing.
  12. by   loriangel14
    It has been the rule for about the last 4 years that isolation patients can leave their rooms.I'm not sure of the reasoning.
  13. by   Esme12
    Contact precautions is to wear protective clothing IF "soiling" is likely......"brushing the bed" with your uniform isn't "soiling" unless the bed was soaked with urine.

    You aren't MRSA Mary! But I agree if you though you were "contaminated you shold have changed into scrubs.

    Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings 2007 PDF (3.80 MB / 225 pages) The CDC
    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Infections
  14. by   luellamae
    thank you all for the words of wisdom....I have read so much on the subject now.....I still worry after reading due to the fact that mrsa is on surfaces and of course the bedrail is a surface and the patient was incontinent....I have come so far since then in my career and wish I could get rid of the haunts from those days