Clinicals: Worried about isolation rooms?


I'm about to start clinicals in the near future but for some reason, I'm worried about isolation rooms. I know we have certain types of precautions and PPE we have to wear before entering the rooms and judging by all the hospital staff, that is enough....... but should I be doing more?

I have been informed of all the possible illnesses such as C.diff, TB, etc. patients that I will might potentially be taking care of during my clinicals and it kinda freaked me out since I'm super new in my program (it's our first clinical ever!) and worried that I might be stupid enough to contact something. Not only this but I will be going home to my kids and I do not want to get near them if I have been doing 12 hours in isolation rooms all day.

So am I really worrying for nothing since PPE is enough? Or what more should I do to protect myself?


Specializes in OR/PACU/med surg/LTC. Has 12 years experience.

This is a part of the nursing job that you need to get use to. If you use PPE the correct way, you should be protected.


268 Posts

PPE has been vetted for years. You should no be worried about contracting anything as long as you follow the protocols in place.

If you're worried about bringing something home to your kids, then bring a change of clothes in your bag and change out of your scrubs after your clinical. Toss your scrubs directly in the wash when you get home, and take a shower before swooping the children up for a hug. Keep your shoes in the garage, they'll have the most contamination on them.

If you properly use the PPE at the clinical site and then clean yourself when you get home, you'll have no problems with contamination at home.

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 8 years experience.

As others have said, wear your PPE as you have been instructed and you will have few, if any, issues with bringing any unwanted critters home. I definitely agree with leaving your shoes outside or in the garage as they will be the most contaminated of everything you'll wear. Showering, changing clothes, etc also are great ways to keep "hospital" stuff out of your house.

Also, make sure that you remember to remove the PPE in exactly the correct manner as this will minimize any potential contamination of your clothing, any broken skin, or your mucous membranes. C.diff isn't a problem if you have a very healthy and robust gut full of good bacteria. However once it's in there, if you kill off those good bacteria (antibiotics are great for that...) then the C.diff has a chance to start growing rapidly and then you start having all the problems associated with a C.diff infection.

MRSA in and of itself isn't all that dangerous. Our bodies deal quite effectively with S. aureus on a daily basis. It's when your immune system becomes compromised in some manner that S. aureus can really take off... and if it's MRSA, then it's just very difficult to fight. If you have been fitted with an N95 respirator, make darned sure that you have that exact model and size on the floor where you'll be doing your clinical because that's what you know fits correctly. I've been fitted with a couple different N95 respirators, I also know how to fit them, so in my case, I'm highly likely to be able to find one that will adequately protect me against TB or any of the other critters that are also airborne and require a N95 respirator for protection.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

The isolation patients are the safest ones you will care for- they're identified and you have the PPE.

It's the ones not yet diagnosed with whatever the 'cootie of the day' you SHOULD be worried about.

Caveat: I work in the germiest place on earth- a children's hospital. I almost never get sick - and when I do, it's not from them!