Tricks/Tips for getting plastic/shrink wrap off packaging

  1. 0
    Does anyone have any tricks or tips for getting plastic/shrink wrap off items while gloved? Thanks!
  2. Get the Hottest Nursing Topics Straight to Your Inbox!

  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    preparation is key! unwrap before you glove up.
    Esme12 likes this.
  5. 0
    When we have people on contact precautions, the supplies are frequently stored in the patient room and there is no way to do that.
  6. 2
    Use brute force when necessary to rip it out. Packages dont always need to be open the "perfect" way using the grooves etc LOL
    dudette10 and Esme12 like this.
  7. 2
    "when we have people on contact precautions, the supplies are frequently stored in the patient room and there is no way to do that"

    three choices: leave your gloves off and unwrap the stuff before you touch the patient or bedding, then scrub, then glove. the patient is the thing that's the contact precautions, not the objects in the room. if necessary, clarify that with your infection control nurse.

    you can also keep some disposable suture removal scissors in the room for this purpose.


    last, consider keeping the more-difficult-to-open things outside the room on the precautions cart or something else. this serves two purposes-- you can open them out there, and they won't get inadvertently contaminated in the room so they don't go to waste when the patient is gone.

    brillohead and Flare like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from GrnTea
    The patient is the thing that's the contact precautions, not the objects in the room. If necessary, clarify that with your infection control nurse.
    I honestly didn't know that. It will be interesting to bring this up. Lol. I'm a student and have had clinicals on two different wards. One had a lot of patients on contact precautions for MRSA, VRE, and varicella. I was told not to enter the room without gown/gloves already on. The other unit I was on was a burn unit and we gloved/gowned to protect the patients from infection. I thought it was kinda rediculous that I could take food/drink out of the galley with my bare hands but had to gown/glove before stepping in the room to put it on the patient's tray. Seems a little inconsistent. As far as leaving things in the hall, I think they leave them in the room to prevent having to ungown/glove get the item we're out of in the room and then regown/glove to return. Often it was moisture barrier cream which you didnt realize you were low on until you were in the middle of cleaning the patient. I suppose there is an element of preparation to that and I'm going to try to develop an awareness of that. Thanks!
    GrnTea likes this.
  9. 0
    And I was having trouble with a tube of some moisture barrier cream that was plastic wrapped like fort knox. Seriously couldn't get a grip on it anywhere.
  10. 2
    Quote from grntea
    the patient is the thing that's the contact precautions, not the objects in the room.
    i'm going to respectfully disagree with this. surfaces and objects in the patient room can most certainly become contaminated with the pathogen, which is why contact precautions require you to glove up upon entering the room.

    leaving a dedicated pair of scissors in the room for this purpose would be the most appropriate action. the scissors can be disposed of appropriately after the patient is discharged.

    cdc - precautions to prevent the spread of mrsa in healthcare settings | mrsa infections
    dudette10 and Hygiene Queen like this.
  11. 3
    You can also leave a partially-opened (metal) paperclip in the room -- you can poke through the plastic with the tip of the paperclip. Once you get the tip through, you can then "unzip" the plastic by dragging the paperclip across the item.

    I've used pens to open things, too -- pressing hard to make a "line" on the plastic will often score it enough to make it tear on the scored line.
    BloomNurseRN, jt43, and ~*Stargazer*~ like this.
  12. 0
    Thanks!


Top