The fingernail police!! - page 6

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   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from surgical hrt rn
    fingernails, fingernails, the long debated issue. fake nails are a problem, there are no two ways about it. i used to have a different opinion, though. i was angry with all who told me i couldn't wear fake nails. i felt my rights were violated and i was gonna do what i wanted regardless!!!!!!

    well, i used to worked in a strictly open heart unit. we had a run of patients developing sternal infections. no one could figure out why. infection control got involved and swabbed everyone's nails; nurse aides, respiratory therapists, nurses, anyone with direct patient contact. those who had fake nails came back positive for psuedomonas (sp?). :uhoh21: yikes!!!!!! apparently, no matter how often you wash your hands, water still remains under the nail and psuedomonas develops due to the nice, warm, mosit environment, that bacteria loves so much!

    thank god, at the time, that i had already taken my nails off! i would have felt like a big jerk!!!!!! all i could think about was my attitude prior to all of this. i had felt my rights were violated. well, what about the rights of the patient? what about our promise to do no harm? all i can say is, i am a changed woman! no fake nails for me!
    just a quick question--- (not quite germane to the fake nail debate)-----did that swabbing include physicians???? they are among the biggest offenders lacking in the handwashing dept. just curious...
  2. by   ZinnianWolf
    I don't like the fake nails, but that is just me. My experience with them weren't so good. When I was a CNA, I was making a bed and while mittering a corner, I hit my nail on the bed frame and the nail became inflamed. I would get holes in my gloves because of the length and accidentally scratched a few patients. After about two weeks I had them removed for patient safety and for the fact that they were too difficult to work in. The designs that I see on some of them are really nice, but if studies show that there is a higher risk of passing on infectious diseases with them, than for the sake of the patient, I say they shouldn't be worn. I think that people should realize the reasons why they are not allowed and also realize (which I am sure all of the nurses do) that the people who come into the hospital or clinic are already there because they are sick so why do something/wear something that can add to this further. I say don't pour more gas on the fire that is already burning. I understand that sometimes you need to do something for yourself to relax or whatever, but how far are you willing to go, and where does your concerns lie if not with that of the patient.
  3. by   tntrn
    So, when will we be required to include "remove your acrylics" in our discharge teaching? And when will we have signs posted everywhere reprimanding the public with whom we deal that they are endangering their loved ones and us by continuing to wear them? And when will the nail salons be legally closed because of the potential epidemic acrylic nails pose? And who exactly is protecting US from all those thoughtless women out there who have the audacity to come into our hospitals wearing acrylic nails? Yes, I am feeling a little bit cynical over this. I have made the decision to have mine removed today; but I will be making a big deal, a really big deal, over every hang nail, split nail or any other kind of nail problem I have henceforth.

    I started wearing acrylics to prevent nail problems, very successfully I might add. At our place, the gals who've already removed theirs complain constantly about split and cracked nails, even cuticle infections, and of "playing" with their nails more than they ever did before. You know, twirling their hair, fingers at their faces, etc. Just trying to figure out how this is a better tradeoff. Studies notwithstanding, and I have read them, I think there are always two sides to every story.

    Oh, and BTW, you can't always pick 'em out in the crowd. I've always kept mine short; personal preference and the need to function in my own world. Others can function fine with longer ones, but I'm not one of those. Also, hand and finger shape and size make a difference. But they don't have to be long, thick, or pointed or square, which in most cases is a dead giveaway.
    And my acrylics are not even close to being as sharp on the tips as real nails would be. Not long ago, I had mine done in a group of ladies having a girls' day out, and at lunch someone mentioned my change of mind about having my acrylics "done". She didn't recognize them as being acrylics and this from a gal who has acrylics done all the time. So there's always a stereotype, isn't there?

    So as of today and for now, I'm going to comply. Time will tell whether this is will be successful for me. Flame away. I can take it. I'm an old broad with 28 years in the trenches and have seen more changes than I can count, some of which have changed back and some of which needed to be changed.
  4. by   fergus51
    tntrn, I think there is a big difference between healthcare workers and the general public. If the general public is hanging out with vulnerable patients in the germy hospital, then by all means I will let inform them about the dangers with acrylics. When in the NICU moms had to get rid of the acryllics before handling their sick babies (they also didn't wear watches, etc).
  5. by   kyboyrn
    If you choose vanity over patient care, then you are in the wrong profession. Truth be known, I am a man. I have a beautiful girlfriend, and I have never once really looked at her nails or any other womans. Keeping them clean is one thing, necessary in everyday life as well as nursing, but to make a big life decision like leaving a job over some tacky fake nails is ridiculous. Spiff up everything else, and just keep your nails short and clean. It's not big deal. you'll learn to live without them. Truthfully, nobody really cares how pretty your nails are but yourself.

    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!
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    (Why are ppl mentioning their years in this profession, like it's going to make a difference in the proven fact of what's dirtier?)
  7. by   tntrn

    Although you may never notice ladies' nails and the shape they are or are not in, others do. My DH will be very sorry to see my nails in their natural state, and not just because they are prettier with acrylics. Keeping them pretty should never be done for someone else. What I mean is, you should do nice things for yourself because YOU are pleased by it. One's entire attitude is then favorably affected. On the flip side, if you do something because someone else says you should or must, then I believe resentment can build.

    As far as mentioning years of experience, and since I did it, I will just say that lots of posters mention their years of experience. I'm sure than when relative newbies comment about "my 5 years of experience" there are those like me who can remember when the idea they are just now espousing was being done, was then pooh-poohed and now is being done again. One's longevity doesn't make an expert, but neither does ones fresh-out-of-school status.
    Has nothing to do with how clean or unclean ones' nails are. You are right about that.

  8. by   Gompers
    Five years ago our infectious disease department really cracked down on acrylic nails - for all healthcare and foodservice providers working in our hospital. Our NICU was one of the most hounded areas, and for good reason. Our sepsis rate was alarmingly high, especially for things like pseudomonas, e.coli, and coag negative staph infections. But the most alarming was a slew of babies over several years who had positive blood cultures for pachydermatis (I believe that's it) - something often found in the floppy ear flaps of dogs. These kids were SICK SICK SICK. Several died. Many staff members have dogs, probably about 50% of the unit. Since cracking down on the acrylics, we haven't had a single case of pachydermatis in five years. We still have the other buggies I mentioned, but our sepsis rate has drastically increased.

    Parents and staff all have to do a 3 minute surgical scrub each day upon entering the unit. We recommend to moms that they remove their acrylics - we do see the babies with moms that refuse to remove the nails tend to have never-ending infections. But the healthcare staff is touching multiple babies and the parents are only touching their own, so we can't force them to lose the nails. And it's not like the parents are accessing their babies' central lines, ETTs, or having any real invasive contact like we do.

    On our unit the rules state that we are not to wear wrist watches or bracelets, no rings except for a completely smooth, plain wedding band that is worn during the surgical scrub, and no nail polish. Of couse not everyone adheres to these rules, and that drives me crazy. I hate seeing people with peeling purple polish, huge diamond rings with lots of crevices, and old wrist watches that get wet everytime they wash their hands. But we're trying, slowly making progress on that, and like I said there still has been a dramatic decrease in infections since the fake nail issue.
  9. by   Energizer Bunny
    THere are so many other nice things you can do for yourself that don't have the possiblity of harming others. I agree with Kyboryn about the nails. They look tacky to me too and I don't see the need for them.
  10. by   angel337
    i know a former nurse that left nursing because she did not wnat to comply with the rules of short nails, hair up, no perfume etc... When you are in nursing school you learn all of these things for a reason. she worked nursing for one year and now works in a lawyers office where she can "look good". i disagree that you can't look good in nursing. there are other creative ways to look nice without sacrificing patient care. when i worked in a bank i had the fake nails, perfume, jewlery. it was appropriate for that setting. it is inappropriate for healthcare. something people should consider before becoming a nurse.
  11. by   kyboyrn
    I have to say I see all your points. I can understand everything you guys say. I guess it's just hard for a male to relate in these kind of topics. I should probably just stay out of topics dealing with nails, hair, etc. Anyway, sorry if I offended anyone. Have a great day!
  12. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    (Why are ppl mentioning their years in this profession, like it's going to make a difference in the proven fact of what's dirtier?)
    I'm guessing that the implication is supposed to be that they haven't infected anyone yet (*** that they know of!!!***), so they are just going to continue
    to risk their patient's health. I had no idea that there were still hospitals that allowed acrylic nails, I haven't worked in a hospital in nearly 13 years and I never worked in one that allowed acrylics! There is just no reasoning with some people, I guess.
  13. by   GNik
    For any nurse to say they don't care what the studies say or they will do what they want to do regardless, is just an example of how our profession is slowly losing it's focus of the patient. To you nurses who don't care, I say don't let the door hit you in the butt as you leave. :angryfire

    Infection control is a serious issue in patient safety. If I could trace an infection to a nurse wearing fake nails or not washing hands properly or in someway contributing to the infection I'd cite that facility and the nurse and report her/him to their respective Boards.

    Follow the rules or leave the profession. We need nurses who truly care about the job they do, not how the look for that 40 hours. I've been a nurse for 28 years and it is sad to see such lack of concern for our patients for the saske of vanity. P.S. Grow up and stop biting your nails.