artifical nails off..angry nurse

  1. 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 to take them off...so i contacted a nail tech and told her my situation and she (as well as one other salon) told me they were putting a gel(like a hard nail polish) over many of the nurses who had to take their nails off....so this is what i did.
    On Jan.11th while talking to one of my supervisors about some paperwork,,i was reminded i had to take my nails off,,i said these are my own nails with a gel hardner over my nails..she said she would have to check that out...i tried to also with infection control but they never called me back.
    When i returned to work 2 days later,,instead of telling me what they found out,i was written up,and told i could not work that day and was sent home.Iam very angry :angryfire
    I took the gel off,and now my nails are sore ,hands look ugly,i cant peel an orange,scratch..nothing.Iam feeling very helpless and down.
    Has anyone else experienced this when taking off their nails and how did you handle it? Are we not able to even have a gel temporarily over our thin weakened nails,,till the new stronger nails appears?
    Please help as iam writing a rebuttal to this written warning.Thanks
    Lady Sapphire
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  2. 160 Comments

  3. by   stbernardclub
    I can understand why nurses do not need to have artificial nails on or even long nails, just another way to harbor bacteria that may or may not all be removed with good handwashing, but...I am surprised a Home Health Agency came down so hard on you. They are usually more laid back. You will get used to not having the nails...trust me..
  4. by   tntrn
    Lady Sapphire:

    Join the club. It took about 6 months for my nails to actually grow out, and I have very tiny nail beds. Since then my cuticles and finger pads are cracked and sometimes bleeding much of the time. That never happened before. I guess I don't see how that is more healthy than acrylics or the gel overcoats.

    My own nails have never been strong and are prone to splitting. My hand quilting has suffered. But since we really have no recourse anymore, I decided to make the best of it and have started taking violin lessons. My acrylics were never worn more than 1/4 inch beyond my finger tips, but my natural nails probably would never grow that long without breaking or splitting anyway, so I have mentally justified it by doing something I'd always wanted to do.
  5. by   sjt9721
    Bug an Infection Control person until you get an answer. Our IC clinical coordinator mentioned some type of topcoat/overcoat that is approved to use & looks nice. Good luck!
  6. by   Lady Sapphire
    Thanks for replying..so it is true that i cant even have a gel hardner over my nails?Has anybody addressed your cracked and sometimes bleeding finger pads?I agree ,i would think that would be more or as detrimental then the artifical nails.So you made lemonade with the lemons,they threw at us nurses,huh?
    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!
  7. by   Lady Sapphire
    [QUOTE=sjt9721]Bug an Infection Control person until you get an answer. Our IC clinical coordinator mentioned some type of topcoat/overcoat that is approved to use & looks nice. Good luck![/QUOTE
  8. by   Lady Sapphire
    Quote from stbernardclub
    I can understand why nurses do not need to have artificial nails on or even long nails, just another way to harbor bacteria that may or may not all be removed with good handwashing, but...I am surprised a Home Health Agency came down so hard on you. They are usually more laid back. You will get used to not having the nails...trust me..
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I can't believe it was just recently that they put that policy into effect. It's been known for quite awhile what an infection risk those things are.

    While i do not agree that the supervisors were right in NOT contacting you about their findings, you should have checked about the gel overlay before you even had it put on. Gel overlays aren't any different than the acrylic when it comes to the infection control factor.
  10. by   Blackbird
    Hi there,

    When done properly, a thin coat of gel can be applied to the nail in order to assist with strengthening it but, ultimately, what strengthens the nail is diet. Nails reflect the state of your health so if they're brittle or weak then a glance at what you put into your body is the next stop. Same with cracks, peeling and bleeding. People tend to get used to artificial nails grow lazy with nail care (as a matter of course because the artificials don't require as much care, not because you're deliberately unclean) and when follow up treatment is not given, the hands suffer accordingly. When artificial nails come off, you've got to be diligent with moisturiser and oil application, wearing gloves when washing up etc.

    Gel overlays are very different to an acrylic overlay not only in their chemical content but in the way they are applied, set and maintained. Nail techs who are trained in acrylics cannot automatically jump to gel - it requires a particular type of training. To lump both together is a fallacy.

    Having said that, long nails harbour bacteria, not just artificial nails and I would say that any good policy will address both and demand that it's short nails for all in a health care setting. As a qualified nail tech, I'd say sorry, but you shouldn't be wearing them.
    Last edit by brian on Feb 5, '05 : Reason: modified font for easier reading
  11. by   sjt9721
    http://www.prostrongncp.com/

    Our IC nurse told me about this product. It isn't an overlay but a polish (for lack of a better word).
  12. by   tntrn
    Blackbird:

    Could you please be more specific about what kind of diet lapse would cause the peeling, splitting nails and the dry, cracked and bleeding fingers and cuticles. It's not something that started right after my acrylics came off: they've always been that way. Would sure like to know how to improve it. I use massive amounts of lotions, cuticle creams, oils, and at best, it feels and looks better for 30 minutes.
  13. by   Spidey's mom
    I just keep my real nails cut off short. I can't stand the feeling even a little bit long nails - sorta like when I need to shave my legs because I can't stand the feeling of the hair rubbing on the sheets. Sorta like nails on a chalkboard.

    We don't have any nurses here that have artificial nails. Or long nails.

    Cutting them short would solve the brittle problem, wouldn't it? Just curious.

    steph
  14. by   tntrn
    I've always had mine short, natural or acrylics, mostly because I starting taking piano lessons when I was 6. And no, keeping them short doesn't prevent them from being brittle. Or from peeling or splitting. I often wonder if it's something hereditary because neither of my sisters or my mom have great looking natural nails either. Mom was able to grow hers long, but then one or another would crack in the center and she'd have to cut them all back short again and start all over. It's kind of like people who grew nice straight perfectly aligned teeth; they don't always appreciate those who weren't that fortunate. In this case, however, the method of improving the appearance is now outlawed for some of us. And there are others who preach to us about what we should be doing. Hey, just tell me how to acquire strong, attractive natural nails that do not split and peel and I'm there. But please don't assume that I'm lazy about my hand and nail care, or that I eat poorly, or that I could do it if I really wanted to do it. Stevielynn, that last part was not directed at your question, which I considered to be one asked out of true curiosity. There are others who make these rather condescending assumptions without truly considering there might be information they are unaware of.

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