Disfigured hands - suitable sterile gloves

Nurses Disabilities


My daughter has recently started as a trainee nurse apprentice with an NHS Trust in England.  She was born with deformed hands, with one hand having three short fingers and the other hand having four fingers which are not of normal shape (wider and 'bobbly') and shorter in length than our fingers.  She has very good functionality and has not encountered many issues in her 17 years and we have always found ways around anything she has initially struggled to do.  However, on starting this role, she has realised that she cannot wear the standard shaped sterile gloves - the finger glove ends hang loose and get in the way.  When she did training to take blood, the trainer just told her to turn them inside out which worked perfectly, however the team she works for (Community nursing) have said that this isn't a suitable solution as the gloves are not sterile.  Currently she is unable to do anything hands-on, having been in the role 7 weeks which is very frustrating and having attended an occupational health appointment they have been unable to find a solution.  We have suggested risk assessing to allow her to wash hands, turn gloves inside out and then use alcohol gel, but they have said this would be unacceptable.  It's proving really frustrating for my daughter as she is unable to do anything but stand and observe others.  Does anyone have any suggestions or potential solutions or experience of this elsewhere - for example is there a way to risk assess?  We are worried that this could be the end of her nursing career before it has even started!!

Editorial Team / Admin

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 11,536 Posts

Specializes in OR, Nursing Professional Development.

What exactly does "taking blood" mean? In the US, lab draws are not done with sterile gloves. 

I do work with a nurse in the OR who is missing fingers. She uses steristrips to secure the unneeded glove fingers to the palm of the glove, all done sterilely. 


3 Posts

Hi, the taking blood was just an example - as a trainee community nurse, she does a whole variety of things including changing bandages and dressings - she isn't currently able to do this as it requires sterile gloves.  As part of her training she will also work on various wards within a hospital setting so I'd like to find a solution so that she can work in any health setting and be able to progress in her career.  Thanks

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