Unsanitary practice?

  1. I work in a pediatric clinic where patients and staff are routinely exposed to fecal matter and blood. We have expanded, and the "new" exam room has no sink. I've been vocal about the limitations of alcohol-based hand cleaners and the need for a sink to no avail; I've been told to stop talking about it. Any similar situations out there?
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   jchilds
    That's disgusting and wrong. I say report it and start looking for a new job.
  4. by   s0ad
    Who are you talking to about this? We had a similar issue - no sink in the hallway of our new unit, just in the med room which has locked access. Nurses complained about it and nothing. A nurse asked the doctor to throw a fuss about it - which he did - and bam in a few days a sink was installed in the hallway. Maybe you have to just find the right person.
  5. by   nursel56
    My understanding is that alcohol-based hand sanitizer is more effective at reducing bacteria, which as an old school handwashing nurse I can accept intellectually, but taking away our ability to wash poop off our (or the patient/parent)hands right in the room (barf, drool, etc) is the ultimate cheap-out and frankly, just gross.

    Additionally, I think it's reassuring to patients and parents to see their healthcare provider washing their hands.
    Last edit by nursel56 on Mar 17, '13
  6. by   Nursetastic
    Alcohol based hand sanitizers do not kill C-diff. I hear about poop, I immediately think C-diff. Personally, I'd refuse to use that room unless they installed a sink. Then I'd report it to OSHA and the JC.
  7. by   AnonRNC
    Everything I've ever read has said that sanitizer is okay UNLESS HANDS ARE VISIBLY SOILED. Then you need soap-and-water.
  8. by   Hoozdo
    Sanitizer does NOT kill C.-Diff spores. I second the thoughts of Nursetastic. Only soap and water kills it.
  9. by   RN in training
    Sanitizer is not effective for killing spores or enteric bacteria. Freakin gross!
  10. by   RNperdiem
    Is there a sink available at all?
    If not in the examining room, then somewhere you can wash you hands?
    If there is a sink, then use it, and stop complaining. In the world of office politics, if you have actually been told to stop complaining about something, consider it a warning. You have spoken and they have heard.
    Also in the office politics world: have you been complaining about this problem to a person who is in a position to do something about your problem? Do you have clout/position/power? How much would it cost to have a sink installed?
  11. by   eatmysoxRN
    Is it just one room without a sink? How far away is the nearest sink? I have seen office rooms (as a patient) where sinks were in the halls instead of the rooms and it didn't seem like a big problem.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
  12. by   CrunchRN
    RNperdiem is right. Ideally you should have a sink, but if you have decent options then you have to adjust to them. As long as you wear gloves for contact with soiled matter (wasn't that a delicate way of saying what I would really call it?) and can remove them and use hand sanitizer you should be ok for most common office situations. I would just be scrupulous about gloving and properly utilizing the sanitizer.
  13. by   WeepingAngel
    Don't medical facilities need sinks, just based on building codes? I remember an article I read about Minute Clinics (which are quickie clinics in chain pharmacies) where they would give flu shots and quickie assessments for colds and sinus infections and stuff, but they wouldn't let them build them specifically because they didn't have sinks.
  14. by   NicuGal
    When we were remodeling our facility we were requires by the health department to have at least one sink in each or outside of each room.

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