"air fresheners" at work

  1. Notice the quotation marks, they're there for a reason.
    I work in a residential hospice, 9 bedroom home. I'm here now and it's break time but I'm having a really, really hard time right now.

    Someone donated a bunch of febreeze-type "air fresheners" and they're stinking up this place horribly. I get migraines from these types of scents and it is so strong, it's affecting my asthma. They're everywhere and short of pulling them out of the sockets, which I may just be doing next round, there isn't anything I can do.

    I've left a note and plan to mention it to the day staff, but if they insist on having these "fresheners," which do anything but freshen, they're going to have their night nurse calling in sick over the Christmas break. There's no way I can work with this for another night.
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    About clemmm78

    Joined: May '06; Posts: 1,284; Likes: 770
    Specialty: 25 year(s) of experience


  3. by   HvnSntRN
    Why don't you talk to Occupational Health about how these "air fresheners" are causing you to have an increase in respiratory problems for you.

    That should be sufficient to motivate management to get them off the premises.

    I have a problem with certain products too. One of my colleagues uses a certain hairspray that makes my eyes burn and water to the point where I can't function around her. My eyes swell up so much that I can't even open them. I talked with my manager immediately after being exposed, so she saw how severely I reacted, and the next time I worked there was a prominent sign reminding staff of the scent-free policy in the hospital. I have only rarely had a problem since then.
  4. by   CapeCodMermaid
    In LTC you can be cited by the surveyors for using air fresheners to mask odors. The theory is the air is supposed to be clean and not smell like anything.
  5. by   Tweety
    I agree, this is an occupational hazard to you....migraines and asthma. Your employer hopefully will back you up. You won't be popular but those are the breaks. Good luck.
  6. by   DizzyLizard
    Our facilities no scent policy was ignored until several staff members went to occupational health and complained. I actually went into status asthmaticus from a pt spraying a white musk body spray in the air to cover the odor of her colostomy odor. I was not happy! I never had resp issues so this totally blindsided me! Did I mention I wasn't happy? Now occupuational health tours our facility unannounced to make sure there aren't any air freshners and pts don't have body sprays, scented lotions, etc. There are papers posted everywhere reminding people of the scent free enviroment. Like Tweety said, those of us that are highly sensitive aren't very popular but that's the breaks. We all have the right to a safe work environment. Besides, what about all the respiratory patients on the unit (vents, trachs, etc) that make them more vulnerable? We have to keep them safe as well.
  7. by   banditrn
    Oh, do I sympathize with you - that stuff makes me sick, too. Along with strong scented lotions, perfumes, etc. Some of the scented cleaners also do me in, too!! First I get a head ache, then I get nauseous - and it's getting worse as I get older - my mother was the same way.

    At the hospital, in ICU, all that stuff was banned, but when I went to Ambulatory surgery, the other nurses behaved as tho I was making the whole thing up.

    Do whatever you have to do to get rid of that stuff - some of the residents may thank you for it.
  8. by   TazziRN
    If a practice makes even one staff member ill, it cannot be allowed. Our maintenance dept always checks to see if I'm working before doing any painting because I will get sick from the fumes. People who are allergic to certain gloves will have special ones ordered for them alone. If you get nowhere with your coworkers, talk to your manager. If that doesn't work, talk to Occ. Health.