The fingernail police!! - page 4

I knew it was coming,but...the hospitals around here are "outlawing" fake nails and/or overlays. I can see their issue with bacteria, etc..under the nails.. but it bothers me that they are dictating... Read More

  1. by   HyperRNRachel
    Well, I choose my overlays. The day my home health agency tells me we can't have them, it will be the last clinical shift I work. I am FT now with an insurance company, and per diem HH.

    Glad you have your priorities straight......hmmmm, fashion or providing good health care????

    I know I want a nurse whose main concern is how good she looks.....I can always be given a little ole antibiotic for a simple little MRSA infection. Fight the good fight! Maybe you can bring back smoking while providing care. And while you are at it...hand washing and we really need that ????
  2. by   Vsummer1
    I had to take my acrylics off for nursing school, and never put them back on. Hospital policy here is: no acrylics, nails 1/4 inch long and only neutral polish allowed. Necklace may be worn, no bracelots but watches are allowed. Two rings maximum. Two earrings in each ear only, with no other piercings allowed. That they had to actually put the policy in writing makes me wonder about some of the "professionals" that worked here!
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from hoolahan
    Maybe when you have actually been a nurse for 23 years, like me, you may understand the issue. I am also a licensed nail tech. After 23 years, it isn't so much the nail issue, it's the "last straw" issue. If I could afford to be strictly a nail tech, I would leave nursing in a heartbeat. I am a person/mother/family member FIRST and a nurse second. My nails are in the cruddy condition they were from years of such frequent hand-washing with harsh hibiclens soaps in ICU's.

    I REALLY RESENT people ***-u-ming that because a person enjoys having thier nails look nice they don't care about their patient's. How DARE anyone here presume that I don't care for my patient's!!! And it was also ***-umed that those who have fake nails are long, mine aren't long, they are just strong, and I get less hangnails and infections from the dry nails/skin/cuticles. I do not get my nails done so I can show them off at work for Heaven's sake. Not everyone is so shallow as some of you super-nurses presume!

    BTW, if you don't want me to take care of you, FINE!!! Your loss, not mine!
    Years do not necessarily make a person wiser. The experience within is what counts.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from fergus51
    Did you read the links provided? It isn't about hygeine or handwashing or even scratching. Acrylic nails support the growth of certain pathogens to an extent that real nails don't. They can look as clean as can be, they aren't. Simple as that.

    If nurses don't follow basic infection control practices, there is a real problem out there.
    This state the problem i have with the fake nails, overlays, whatever people want to call any of it, the above quote outlines this perfectly.
  5. by   Brickman
    Arcrylic nails harbour pathogens. No ifs ands or buts. Arcrylic nails harbour pathogens. It has nothing to do with how well, or how often you wash your hands. It doesn't matter how short, or long they are. It is the presence of the arcrylic itself that is the problem. If anyone doesn't understand this then I can't imagine how you made it through nursing school.
  6. by   Headhurt
    Quote from hoolahan
    BTW, if you don't want me to take care of you, FINE!!! Your loss, not mine!
    Geez, with that kind of attitude, I wouldn't want you to take care of me...regardless of what your nails look like. I agree with the previous need a break from nursing.
  7. by   Biscuit12
    Quote from ERslave
    Nice looking nails arent synonymous with unclean nails, either. Its not a matter of appearance over are assuming that just because someone has overlays - they dont know how to wash their hands or wear gloves (?) If a nurse or healthcare worker is spreading bacteria under her nails - she probably doesnt have good handwashing tech, anyway.
    The problem here isn't that folks with overlays don't do a good job of handwashing and glove wearing. The fact is, that even when you do a good job of these things, overlays STILL carry more bacteria, and studies have shown that this is true. It's a patient safety isssue, and not something that you can compensate for with handwashing and glove wearing.
  8. by   hypnotic_nurse
    If you really like getting your nails done, and like the look of polished nails, why not get a pedicure instead of a manicure? You can get those neat designs on your toenails and it won't interfere with anything. You can always wear fingernail polish on your days off.
  9. by   Energizer Bunny
    I had acrylic nails 8 years ago and by the time I was ready to have them filled, I had an incredibly itchy rash all over my body. They gave me steroids and they didn't work, they gave me lotions and they didn't work, heck, they even gave me some sort of toxic stuff that I had to cover so the dog wouldn't get it and that didn't work. Once I got those nails off and quit re-scratching (my entire body was affected and was bleeding from my incessant scratching) it went away. This was something I had to deal with for over a month! We don't know for sure that my rash and the pain and itching that came with it came from the nails, but I wouldn't be willing to take a chance on anyone else getting it just in case. There is no reason for fake nails in nursing... and just think of the money you are saving!
  10. by   Jamesdotter
    I've followed these threads about nails with some interest. When I took bacteriology in nsg school, we cultured our hands, before and after washing, with and without nail enamel (this was before the days of acrylic nails). Seeing the little bugs grow, especially staph aureus, was convincing enough. I don't think anyone in our class would have even considered arguing the point.
  11. by   V. Nightingale
    Quote from hoolahan
    Well, I choose my overlays. The day my home health agency tells me we can't have them, it will be the last clinical shift I work. I am FT now with an insurance company, and per diem HH.

    We must wear what the hospital tells us (true for insur company too)
    We can't wear scented hairspray, or perfume

    These I can see. They are temporary, we can redo our hair after work and put on perfume and wash it off before work.

    But, I am only employed 40 hours a week, the rest of the hours I am not, so, I see no reason why, if the nails are maintained, and inspected for lifting, etc..., that they should be banned. I frankly don't care what the studies say. If my nails must go, then so must I!
    You must not need your job as badly as I need mine.

    Seriously, it's not an issue of personal hygeine, or of employers wanting to control us. It's an issue of infection control and patient safety. I love the look of acrylic nails, but no matter how well a nurse washes her hands, the acrylics harbor more pathogens that can be passed from patient to patient. Or from patient to nurse; I don't want to bring anything home with me, either!
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from earle58

    i am not assuming you're tired, but you SOUND like you need a vacation from nsg.

    and even if it's not you personally, i have seen plenty of nsg staff whose nails are extremely long and coiffed....never mind the risk of carrying/spreading infection but how in heck can they effectively do their job??? if you perceive some as 'super nurses' then it's unfortunate you're feeling so defensive. but when various studies conclude that acrylics are risky, there's not much to argue.

    i do hope you're feeling more at peace.

    I 2nd Leslie's words here. I hope you find peace-- cause you sure sound bitter and angry now, Hoolahan. I meant in no way to make this personal or an attack on anyone. I am not debating this issue on this thread anymore; when people get this personal and defensive, there is no point.

    I will just say this: if there is any chance I can reduce the risk I will cause infection in anyone, be that by not wearing jewelry, fake nails, what-not, by good handwashing technique, wearing gloves as appropriate, I will do it. These actions benefit me as well as my patients, after all. And, my need to wear things like nails and jewelry ( I wear no jewelry on my hands/wrists) does not supercede what I know is good infection control practice, especially for the newborns, where I work. Peace out, everyone. To those who are open to it, I ask you read, research, and make decisions based on this, not on emotion or what you perceive is a "control issue" by any administration or management. It's best for everyone, especially our patients.
  13. by   CA CoCoRN
    I've never been able to stand the way even silk wraps would "split" and allow stuff to be captured between my nail and the artificial nail or overlay. I could NEVER keep it from happening. It was just "microscopic" lifting, but it lifted enough so that, to clean it, I could slip the edge of a sheet of paper between the nail and the overlay. Sometimes the space was open enough that I could slip a straight pin tip in to clean it. That was goosebump inducing for me.....germaphobic, dirt-in-nail-ophobia inducing.

    That small amount of lifting would, 1) send me right back to the nail shop siting the lift and needing an immediate fix, where she'd squeeze glue and, theoretically, trap the germs in, but seal it (which always did the same thing a week or two later anyway.....which lead to 2) me chipping away at that lifted spot and eventually lifting/peeling/chipping off the entire overlay of that nail. I needed to feel CLEAN. And since that nail was now bare, I couldn't have the stuff on the other nails and be bare on one , so the others had to go to.

    My nails have ALWAYS rejected artifice, but I've tried for vanity's sake....trying to get my polish to last. I'd always "envied" those whose nails would stick and last and not lift. Even a girl at work who still has the silk wraps has very pretty hands and nails. But when I took a look at her nails, and the underside, I saw that tell tale microscopic space and that darkening around the edge of the tip which meant "stuff" was collecting there. That grossed me out...and I ceased to "envy" her.

    I work in OB and even with short natural nails, my fingers have come through gloves. That would be so GRODY to take home GBS, not to mention any potential STI/Vaginal secretion bacteria in my fake nails.:uhoh21: