Bad Habits Nurses Develop

Nurses General Nursing


You are reading page 13 of Bad Habits Nurses Develop


372 Posts

Specializes in PICU, Nurse Educator, Clinical Research.
This one confused me. Were you sticking patients with the same lancet? Otherwise, I don't see how the patients were contaminated with others' blood. Could you explain, please?


Oops- was tired and not making sense! When she told me about the article, I asked the same thing- if the same lancet was being used on all patients (I'd only seen the single-use, retracting lancets).

Went back and found the article: the MMWR from March 11, 2005.

The facility in question only used the single-use lancets; the outbreak was determined to have been caused by (a) glucometers not being cleaned between patients, and (b) workers not changing gloves between patients.

I've seen a couple of CNAs who nearly drenched the strip when they got the blood sample, then got blood all over the end of the glucometer when they inserted the strip. These were isolated incidents, though, and both times, the CNAs did clean the glucometer and dispose of the soiled gloves.

Hard to believe so much blood hitched a ride on the gloves and/or glucometers from patient to patient, isn't it? Makes you wonder about some of the other practices at that facility....gross. :barf02:

TiffyRN, BSN, PhD

2,315 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research.

Oh, I also worked in a clinical research lab and supervised phlebotomists; they would wear one pair of gloves through a blood draw session (about 50 subjects per phlebotomist). When I had a fit, one of them told me OSHA had approved it.

Strangely enough, this is not inconceivable; OSHA is not concerned with patient issues. They are concerned with employee health and safety and as previously mentioned, gloves are "personal" protective equipment. I have heard of conflicting/contradictory regs before where OSHA will be at odds with other regulatory agencies.

And certainly, that doesn't make it right to wear one pair of gloves for 50 patients.

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