artifical nails off..angry nurse - page 9

Hi Everyone..i found this site looking for information on artifical nails and nurses.So,iam a brand new member. I do home health and have had artifical nails on for 18yrs .Dec.30th i was told i was... Read More

  1. by   Bubbles
    I purchased Nail Tek III from my dermatologist - cost $10.00 - used it for many months with no improvement. My nails will only grow so long and then break and split. Not only does it look ugly, but I have one nail that is ridged and splits into the flesh. It hurts!! And I am constantly aware of my nail and how awful they look. Also, my mother and one sister have the same problem with the same nail. Have gone to acrylics finally for past two months - wear them very short - not crazy about having them - but at least they don't hurt! OTE=fuerza757]Hi,

    I too use to work for an agency and am very surprised that they wrote you up. I use to have artifical nails and then continued with the overlay method for several years. When I returned to the clinical setting I gave up the nails because of the high risk of infection. I found a wonderful product called
    Nail tech II. It is a clear top coat. It is protein based. Yes my nails looked terrible they where very brittle and paper thin, but by the second month of use, my nails became hard and healthy again. They grew and broke several times but finally they stopped braking. I also tried something I read in a magazine, using olive oil on my around the cuticles 1-2xweek.
    Another tip is to keep them at a reasonable length.That was 2 years ago and I must tell you, it is so good to go to the nail shop for a wonderful manicure once a month instead of every two weeks now when I look at nails I am so happy because they where in such bad shape, I love that they are healthy, natural and all mine. Today, They grow so rapidly that I have to cut them down frequently. It will take sometime. My nails where also discolored. But in time it will fade with proper care. You really did the right thing.
    Good Luck.[/QUOTE]
  2. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Kimily
    Wow! You really, really like being right! haha, Thats okay though, makes for interesting conversation. I do agree that there are some documented misfortunes where fake nails are concerned, my point is this, As a nurse simply forgettting to wash your hands ( with or without nails I might add ) and touching someone on reverse isolation precautions may cause a reprocution, forgetting to wipe the hub of your IV site EACH AND EVERY TIME You insert a med or a flush may cause infection, Med Errors, Going to work sick because you have no more sick days and cant afford not to, and breathing on someone can cause serious issues for some patients. Dont you get it yet? Everyday..in many ways you can cause harm, however unintentional. Nails are simply one issue, not for you or me to decide, and certainly the right of anyone who wants to wear them to deal anyway theywant to with being able to , or not being able to wear them, without someone making them out to be lousy nurses. Even you can make a mistake without artificial nails, I hope if that time comes , Your support system is better than yours appears to be for others. One last point, I personally do not wear nails, my real nails are kept clean and manicured and at sport length. If I worked around NICU babies, they would most likely be shorter out of neccessity, Not everyone does or wants to. TO each his own, I am also very well educated and take my patients care and safety very seriously, I thankyou for assuming I would not though, it made me realize thinking you know everything and thinking your way has to be the right way, causes way to much trouble , and I hope I never ever become that way.
    You still don't get it. Ummm, Where did I say I was perfect? Where did I say I make no mistakes? I just know if something is wrong, and I am aware, I would not be making a "mistake" continuing to do so. I would be doing something WRONG. There is a difference. If you think I am saying all this to be "right", well you are truly clueless. I give up. Maybe someone else can enlighten you....before you make a patient sick, I hope .....but try and refrain from being defensive. It gets in the way of learning and changing for the better.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Feb 7, '05
  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Forcemaster
    My hospital has just begun a revision of it's uniform policy to ensure it is up to date with current thinking, and as such is beginning a big crack-down on people who flout the regulations that ALL healthcare staff (i.e. Nurses, Doctors, Radiographers, Physios and OTs et.c) had to read and ALL healthcare staff have to adhere to without fail, all in an effort of cutting down our infection statistics.

    To sum up the nail issue for us in as few words as possible...

    Nails must NOT extend beyond the ends of the finger.
    Nail polish must NOT be worn.
    Artificial nails of any type must NOT be worn.

    All 3 of these issues are related to patient safety. Long & artificial & nail polish have been proven as a harbour for bacteria and risk damaging the skin of patients.

    It has also been shown that the coatings that are often appiled to nails does chip and end up in patient's wounds and act as a vector for infection.

    Patient safety comes above our right to 'look good' while at work... harsh but true.

    Does this mean that nurses who wear these are not good nurses?

    I would argue that any nurse who endangers their patient through ignornace is in need of education, and any nurse who decides looking good rises above the needs of patient safety is in the wrong profession... Again, this may seem autocratic, but you can't argue with the evidence.:stone

    Still... back to the origional post... Should you have been written up for this without more warning? It seems as though you were written up on what? The second time? I always tend to go for the 3 strikes rule...

    1 Informal chat
    2 Verbal warning
    3 Formal Written warning

    And to those who have thin/cracked nails etc... You need to approach your hospital about setting up a contract with a reputable local manicurist to give all health care workers a discount on nail/hand care. It helps

    A very good voice of reason. Excellent post. Thank you.
  4. by   KrisRNwannabe
    From reading on the CDC webpage, the thing with nail polish is chipping. like if you had a chip then bacteria could get under the polish and grow. i had never heard this before but it seems reasonable. i guess it would be easier to see lifting nail polish than lifting under the acrylic tip. which occurs alot from your own nail growing and then seperating from the tip
  5. by   GoBabeGo!
    i just took my nails off, well you know what i mean, and have been using "calcium shield" by orly. i got it at sally's beauty supply. i also use vitamin e on my cuticles and massage it in to stimulate nail growth. the polish is clear, which is just about the only thing most places will allow. good luck!

    gobabego!

    ps - my nails are still short and have the swirls where they were buffed by the nail tech. this is week three and i see new growth! i'm so very excited to be on my way back to strong healthy nails!!!
  6. by   MultipurposeRN
    I don't know why patients should be at risk for infection from nurses' nails...after all, are we not to be wearing gloves for all patient contact? In which case, what may be hatching under a person's nails shouldn't be coming into contact anyway. And good grief, has anyone seen the state of some of these specialty mattresses that some patients are on for weeks at a time ? They may get wiped down, but not thoroughly cleaned til the patient is off the bed. Even with changing the cover periodically, don't tell me they don't harbor mega bacteria. As do most hospitals, period, no matter how much cleaning you do. Charts, chairs, desktops, computer keyboards, clipboards, families who don't wash their hands and paw all over the patients...there's almost endless vectors. Of course, nurses are an easy scapegoat, as usual. There was also a study that showed Drs stethoscopes were extremely germ-laden..I don't recall that being as big a squawk as the nurses who harbored fungus.
  7. by   pinknurse
    I too have had artificial nails for 19 plus years. I have never had an infection and quite honestly have cleaner nails than some who only have their own. It amazes me that the CDC addresses artificial nails when instead they should study normal nails with and without nail polish. I think the bacteria counts may surprise them.

    Perhaps our places of employment should culture our "artificial nails" and those who have "real" nails and then make policy decisions.

    Change only happens when people are pro-active. I am not ready to DC my nails.

    PN
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from MultipurposeRN
    I don't know why patients should be at risk for infection from nurses' nails...after all, are we not to be wearing gloves for all patient contact? In which case, what may be hatching under a person's nails shouldn't be coming into contact anyway. And good grief, has anyone seen the state of some of these specialty mattresses that some patients are on for weeks at a time ? They may get wiped down, but not thoroughly cleaned til the patient is off the bed. Even with changing the cover periodically, don't tell me they don't harbor mega bacteria. As do most hospitals, period, no matter how much cleaning you do. Charts, chairs, desktops, computer keyboards, clipboards, families who don't wash their hands and paw all over the patients...there's almost endless vectors. Of course, nurses are an easy scapegoat, as usual. There was also a study that showed Drs stethoscopes were extremely germ-laden..I don't recall that being as big a squawk as the nurses who harbored fungus.
    you wear gloves for EVERY patient contact? Do you not think that is perhaps a bit intimidating to your patients? Gloves are not called for in EVERY patient contact.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from pinknurse
    I too have had artificial nails for 19 plus years. I have never had an infection and quite honestly have cleaner nails than some who only have their own. It amazes me that the CDC addresses artificial nails when instead they should study normal nails with and without nail polish. I think the bacteria counts may surprise them.

    Perhaps our places of employment should culture our "artificial nails" and those who have "real" nails and then make policy decisions.

    Change only happens when people are pro-active. I am not ready to DC my nails.

    PN
    '

    I think that is fair. Culture all nails, cause you are right, real nails that are not scrubbed can be NASTY underneath. I would welcome Infection Control personnel culturing me, as I would want to know if I am a potential threat to my patients.....

    which begs a question. Does no one scrub up before beginning a shift? I scrub my hands AND nails before starting, cause I don't know what I may be bringing from home. Even our PETS can carry bacterial and other microbes that can be deadly to hospitalized patients. Just a thought.
  10. by   hipab4hands
    I hope i can reach that point,iam still very angry and my nails hurt.It angers me that our work has so much control over us.Guess i need to get a new job,huh??Ha!ha![/QUOTE]

    I don't know how long you've been a nurse, but I know for at least the past 16 years, that I have been a nurse, artificial and long natural fingernails have been a big no-no. This was enforced from the first day of nursing school.

    By the way, each profession has its own dress code and hygiene standards-ask police officers, firefighers, flight attendants, etc., Either you accept these restrictions or you go into a different line of work, it's your choice.

    I have never been able to grow long long nails, so short and neat nails have always been the standard for me. I don't think that its that big of a deal to do without long nails.
  11. by   fergus51
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    you wear gloves for EVERY patient contact? Do you not think that is perhaps a bit intimidating to your patients? Gloves are not called for in EVERY patient contact.
    Not to mention the fact that gloves do NOT eliminate our ability to spread germs to our patients. We wear gloves to protect ourselves, not the patient. They aren't good at protecting our patients because they aren't sterile. If you pick up a pair of gloves with your bacteria laden hands and put them on, they are dirty too (unless you are using sterile gloves and sterile technique every time, which is pretty unlikely).
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    It'll never happen. Besides, there's no way to 'police' who has on acrylics and who doesn't. Sorry.
    Never say never.
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from fergus51
    Not to mention the fact that gloves do NOT eliminate our ability to spread germs to our patients. We wear gloves to protect ourselves, not the patient. They aren't good at protecting our patients because they aren't sterile. If you pick up a pair of gloves with your bacteria laden hands and put them on, they are dirty too (unless you are using sterile gloves and sterile technique every time, which is pretty unlikely).
    precisely.

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