Wearing gloves with HIV positive patients

  1. (First time writing here)

    Yesterday during my clinical, I was interviewing a HIV positive patient. Half way through, the primary nurse asked me to talk with her in the hall, and when we spoke she told me to wear gloves whenever I was with the patient or touching things in his environment.

    The patient didnt have any open open cuts or bodily fluids out, and I didn't have any cuts and was just talking with the patient. There weren't any signs saying to use any special precautions either...
    I personally don't think that situation neccesitated the need for gloves, but I was hoping to get someone else's opinion on this.

    Also I'm a student, and the nurse was really adamant on the gloves so I didn't really ask questions.
    Last edit by Brian S. on Mar 30
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    Joined: Mar '18; Posts: 2; Likes: 5

    145 Comments

  3. by   Fiona59
    No fluids? No gloves.

    Let's leave it at, do you know if the person flipping your burgers, pouring your coffee, or writing your speeding ticket's is HIV+? Do you wear gloves when dealing with everyday life?
  4. by   nrsang97
    As long as you weren't dealing with open wounds, or bodily fluids not wearing gloves is fine. This nurse was a bit paranoid.
  5. by   cardiacfreak
    If you are doing any patient care regardless if they are HIV or not, you should wear gloves.

    If you are just talking with the patient, then no, you would not need gloves.
  6. by   psu_213
    Quote from nrsang97
    This nurse was a bit paranoid.
    Or ignorant.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    You don't need gloves in that situation, but you were right to do as the staff asked and not make waves. If their instructions aren't dangerous or unethical, just smile and nod.
  8. by   klone
    Yeah, that's a great way to make the patient feel like ****.

    You could hug and kiss the patient on the mouth and you still don't need to wear gloves (I don't recommend that from a professionalism standpoint). This nurse is practicing in the 1980s, and it frankly makes me quite angry.
  9. by   Emergent
    I think we are overdoing gloves these days. It's a waste of resources, for one. And, you find out a lot through human touch. Skin temperament, palpating a pulse, etc. And, nothing replaces the human touch.

    Yes, there is too much paranoia these days. Commonsense has gone out the window.
  10. by   LovingLife123
    I need to know what you mean by interviewing? What setting where you in? A hospital setting? LTC setting? Were you assessing at all?

    I wear gloves in any patient room. As soon as I walk in, I put gloves on. When I touch anything. Even patient belongings. It's as much for the patient protection as it is mine.

    The nurse requesting you to put gloves on may have had absolutely nothing to do with the patient having HIV. You should always be in the habit of wearing gloves when doing patient care. That's why I ask what you meant by "interviewing" a patient and what setting you were in.
  11. by   TruvyNurse
    I've taken care of many, many HIV positive patients and never have I worn gloves for simply taking vitals, shaking hands etc. I think this nurse needs to put herself in THEIR shoes. That's one way to make a person feel like crap. They are people too!
  12. by   Here.I.Stand
    What is this, 1985?? HIV does not warrant contact precautions.
  13. by   brownbook
    Quote from klone
    Yeah, that's a great way to make the patient feel like ****.

    You could hug and kiss the patient on the mouth and you still don't need to wear gloves (I don't recommend that from a professionalism standpoint). This nurse is practicing in the 1980s, and it frankly makes me quite angry.
    This post says it all. Please learn about AIDS, how it's transmitted.

    Since since early 1990 scientists, researchers, doctors, have known how AIDS is transmitted.

    If you're going to worry about catching something from a patient hepatitis is much easier to catch and thousand of people carry the hepatitis virus having no symptoms thus not even being aware they have it.

    Even knowing that, it's not that easy to catch hepatitis either.


    You do not put on gloves for casual patient encounters.
    Last edit by brownbook on Mar 29
  14. by   hherrn
    I hope you wore gloves when dealing with that nurse.
    How do you know she (he?) is not HIV positive. Did she show you a recent negative test?

    As luck would have it, your common sense in dealing with that nurse prevented you from acquiring whatever she might have. Presumable you did not have unprotected sex, share needles, or lick one of her wounds or open sores.

    Similarly, universal precautions in dealing with patients will prevent disease transmission.

    As a student, you will be exposed to all kinds of practices, from downright ignorant to brilliant. Your job is to sort through the and decide which kind of nurse you want to be.

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