False Nails (Does it promote infection?) - page 6

I am curious to what people think about this subject. At the hospital where I work they are really emphasizing that no care giver direct patient care or indirect patient care are permitted to wear... Read More

  1. by   ziggyRn
    I'm a pain in the butt when I am a patient...no health worker with very long and/or fake nails touches me or my kids without gloves on...B/P whatever, I don't care.
    Also get really crabby when a nurse,tech or Dr thinks they can touch me without washing their hands.
    In fact I'm a nightmare patient...had a dressing done a few months back by a nurse with long hair hanging almost right in it, chewing gum too.
    Went to the charge and complained. Zig.
  2. by   Creampuff
    I'm wearing them. I don't believe they are any more of a bacteria bed than your own natural nails, so as long as you are washing properly and gloving when necessary--it can't be a problem.
  3. by   Heather333
    I work in NICU and we cannot wear artificial nails or even nail polish. No matter how often you wash your hands and wear gloves you cannot keep bacteria and fungus from getting in small cracks and lifts in the nail. I wore artificial nails before I was in nursing school and was very careful about keeping them clean. I still had problems with fungal infections and had to stop wearing them.

    Just because your artifical nails look clean doesn't mean that they are. If you get some type of fungus or bacteria under there, there is no vascular supply to send any type of WBC's to try and take care of microorganisms. It's just a breeding ground for all kind of nasty germs.

    Heather
  4. by   mark_LD_RN
    yes they do,one hospitaliworked athad a large outbreak of postpartum infections, infection control nursescame around and cultured everyone and everything it was tracked back to a coworker of mine in L&D who had fake nails,sothey are now banned from use at that hospital.
  5. by   CaliNurse
    I can remember the last semester of nursing school somehow I did get away with wearing my long candie apple red polish on artificail nails. I remember thinking that when I started working I would have $$$ to keep this up.

    I can't remember when I stopped thinking about artificial nails but I have not worn them for about 13 years. I guess shortly after I started earning money for my services.

    I now work as the DSD in a LTC unit in an acute hospital. Thats right I have the best of both worlds. I monitor all infection control for the LTC units and the epidemiologist handles the acute side.

    Some pointers I would like to make -

    Viruses, fungus, bacteria, etc is not visible to the naked eye. What make anyone think that because something looks clean that it is? Our hands "look" clean but we still wash them.

    Secondly, What makes you think that gloves are 100% effective? If they were why do we wash our hands. Did you know that Non-latex gloves have a greater risk than latex gloves. Think about condoms ..... people use them and some do get pregnant! It is not 100% secure. Don't think that because you have gloves on you are 100% protected.

    With the last point being made our patients are not 100% protected from us just because we have gloves on.

    VRE
  6. by   CaliNurse
    I can remember the last semester of nursing school somehow I did get away with wearing my long candie apple red polish on artificail nails. I remember thinking that when I started working I would have $$$ to keep this up.

    I can't remember when I stopped thinking about artificial nails but I have not worn them for about 13 years. I guess shortly after I started earning money for my services.

    I now work as the DSD in a LTC unit in an acute hospital. Thats right I have the best of both worlds. I monitor all infection control for the LTC units and the epidemiologist handles the acute side.

    Some pointers I would like to make -

    Viruses, fungus, bacteria, etc is not visible to the naked eye. What make anyone think that because something looks clean that it is? Our hands "look" clean but we still wash them.

    Secondly, What makes you think that gloves are 100% effective? If they were why do we wash our hands. Did you know that Non-latex gloves have a greater risk than latex gloves. Think about condoms ..... people use them and some do get pregnant! It is not 100% secure. Don't think that because you have gloves on you are 100% protected.

    With the last point being made our patients are not 100% protected from us just because we have gloves on.

    VRE lives 7 to 10 days on a hard surface ! I have never found the same statistic for MRSA, which is more common. There are infections being spread everyday in every hospital. Usually by one of us as a means of transmission. Either it is a piece of equipment or our hands.

    I have seen some very strange pratices in the few years at my facility. Some days I am floored by what I see ( and I work at a good facility ), and some days I just say "Why am I surprised?"

    LTC
  7. by   CaliNurse
    I can remember the last semester of nursing school somehow I did get away with wearing my long candie apple red polish on artificail nails. I remember thinking that when I started working I would have $$$ to keep this up.

    I can't remember when I stopped thinking about artificial nails but I have not worn them for about 13 years. I guess shortly after I started earning money for my services.

    I now work as the DSD in a LTC unit in an acute hospital. Thats right I have the best of both worlds. I monitor all infection control for the LTC units and the epidemiologist handles the acute side.

    Some pointers I would like to make -

    Viruses, fungus, bacteria, etc is not visible to the naked eye. What make anyone think that because something looks clean that it is? Our hands "look" clean but we still wash them.

    Secondly, What makes you think that gloves are 100% effective? If they were why do we wash our hands? Did you know that Non-latex gloves have a greater risk than latex gloves. Think about condoms ..... people use them and some do get pregnant! It is not 100% secure. Don't think that because you have gloves on you are 100% protected.

    With the last point being made our patients are not 100% protected from us just because we have gloves on.

    VRE lives 7 to 10 days on a hard surface ! I have never found the same statistic for MRSA, which is more common. There are infections being spread everyday in every hospital. Usually by one of us as a means of transmission. Either it is a piece of equipment or our hands.

    I have seen some very strange pratices in the few years at my facility. Some days I am floored by what I see ( and I work at a good facility ), and some days I just say "Why am I surprised?"

    LTC has so many more regulations you would think that it would be an act of memory by now. During environmental rounds one day I found a cover jacket in a residents closet. When I asked who's it was I was surprised to find that it belong to a relatively new grad who just became a granmother. She lived in the same home as this new baby. I asked her if she really wanted to put her new grandbaby at risk because she was. To this day her infection control habits have not improved.

    I usually find that new grads have better infection control techniques because it hasn't been that long since they were under the watchful eye of their instructor. Once someone goes into the fast paced skipping steps of infection control it is very difficult to break this habit.

    Once I had to speak to a lab tech who came to the unit to draw monthly lab on about 15 patients. She went into 8 rooms before I said something to her. I wanted to give her room to hang herself.
    She traveled room to room with the same pair of gloves on. Since then I have witnessed her 3 additional times. Her excuse is that she doesn't have enough time. She really doesn't know who I am but she knows that when I am there that she better follow the rules. I really hate for people to think that way because my goal is for them to get the theory behind what is required and not who is present to enforce the regulations.

    I do love my job but some days when I am asked to cover the unit LTC or acute I really enjoy being just a nurse again. I also like being involved with infection control because I feel that I am still helping to improve the quality of their lives.

    Enough of my babbling....... I will leave everyone with one last thought -

    During your next shift watch 2 staff members that you admire wash their hands. You may be surprised at what you will see!

    Good luck to us all and to the never ending crusade to stop the spread of infection.


    Cali
  8. by   RNGranny
    Here in SouthernCalifornia, there have been hospital studies that have traced outbreaks of nosocomial infections directly back to the long fingernails of health care workers. Not a good idea to have them. If I had a nurse or CNA taking care of me, especially handling IVs, wound care, etc., and who had long nails, I would make a very loud complaint. Not worth it!
  9. by   baseline
    Hmmmm....makes me wonder about the increase in fungal infections in our patient population......I'll definetly run this one by the ID girls on Monday.....Verrrrry Interesting.......I used to wear acrylic nails, but didn't do direct patient care.....
  10. by   sassynurse78
    Besides all the studies done and facts regarding artificial nails, let me share an experience of mine, once I once got artificial acrylic nails to have of course for vanity, on my two week vacation. I went back to work with them actully forgetting about even having them, opening pills was like a puzzle (how to get the package open with my short not long nails on) but the kicker was when I put on gloves and while taking someone off the bedpan my glove ripped and I got BM under one of my nails. YUCCKKKK. I washed and washed and used a nail clipper to get behind my nail and still could not get it all out. I went home soaked them and took them off. Never ever again until maybe I am retired!
  11. by   renerian
    My sister got fungal infections under all 10 nails, had to have them off for a year and take diflucan for that entire year to clear it up. I would never wear them. Her nails are ugly now.

    renerian
  12. by   emily_mom
    We are not allowed to wear them at work, and no nail polish either. I had fake nails once, for my wedding, and I will never get them again. I couldn't get them off, went to the place I got them and they couldn't either. I had to let them grow out and keep cutting them....ick!

    I think you get lots of things under your nails and don't realize it. When I was a waitress, I'd wash my hands all the time. Yet, I'd come home with the equivalent of a five course meal under them. Now, in health care, we're just dealing with the things we can't see....

    Kristy
  13. by   chartleypj
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by nurse-lou
    [B]Ok I need to add my $0.02 here,

    I have artificial nails. I wash my hand religiously and wear gloves when I am supposed to and as far as I know have never gotten an infection. I know a nurse that is a certified OR nurse and is a member of AORN and she told me that as far as AORN is concerned, that artificial nails are OK with them.

    nurse-lou,

    RE AORN recommended practice; check out this website.

    http://aorn.org/clinical/faq3.htm
    I work with more than one periop nurse whose nails are destroyed from fungus infection associated with artificial nails. A.N. are not allowed in the OR I work in. We also wash our hands religiously and wear gloves.

    Paula

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