Germ fatigue...

Nurses General Nursing


Specializes in New PACU RN.

I don't know if I'm the only one and some of you might be disgusted but sometimes I'm too tired to do laundry so I will wear my scrubs twice if they were not soiled.

In my first year of nursing, I always kept my scrubs and regular clothes seperate. I also kept my shoes outside. But now I've gotten to the point that my shoes, fresh off the hospital floor, are thrown in the closet to mix with my regular shoes. My scrubs go in the same hamper and wash as my regular clothes. Also, if I'm exhausted when I come home, I'll just wash my face and hands up to the elbow and crash into bed without taking a shower.

I haven't gotten sick yet but I'm not as much of a neat freak as I was before.

How about you guys? Anyone as 'germ fatigued' as I am? :o

I wear my hospital shoes inside the house and don't wash my scrubs and clothes separately (unless I've gotten blood or vomit or something on them).

I only shower after I get home (I always shower before work) if I've been around someone or something especially disgusting. I work in the ER so it's got to be exceptional.

I've never had to call out sick to work the entire time I've been nursing. No one in my house has gotten sick because I wore my shoes inside or didn't immediately decontaminate upon arrival. If I had babies in my house, I would be a bit more cautious. I think people get way too uptight about things.

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management.

I guess it depends on your comfort level. I NEVER wear my shoes inside my house, but I work in the OR and can tramp some pretty nasty stuff onto my floors. I also have a dog that loves to lay on the cool tile in my kitchen, and the thought of her putting her belly on a piece of tissue that I happened to bring home from the bottom of my shoe is too much for me to bear. I will also offer up that I have OCD, so I am not normal anyway!

I personally do not even wear my scrubs home, but as I stated earlier, I work in the OR, so I can change in the locker room. However, when I was working on the med/surg floor waaaayyy back in the day when I first started nursing, I did not wear my scrubs twice. When I was in nursing school, I had a rather unusual assignment. I was tasked with taking culture swabs of the scrubs that I had worn during the day, and also taking swabs of scrubs that I had not worn, but were in my closet. The results were really gross, and although I realize that we have normal flora on our skin, the plates that grew multiple strains of bacteria guessed it...the scrubs that I had worn while doing patient care. I only had one strain of bacteria from my unused scrubs. The other plate looked like a whacked out artist threw multi-colored paint all over it!

I will never ever ever wear my shoes in the house. I work in the ER and I'm constantly stepping in urine, blood and other crap. I'll take my shoes off and put them in a bag and into my trunk when I go home.

I keep my scrubs separate and they will never make contact with my other clothes.

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

I don't wear my work shoes into the house, but I do wear them to drive home. My scrubs go into the laundry basket with everything else.

And there are occasional days where I know I have been around especially disgusting stuff and feel the need to strip and shower immediately upon getting home, but those days are rare. I sometimes even *gasp* sit down to eat dinner while still in my scrubs. ;)

I wash my hands & arms up to my elbows before leaving work.

Specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

Honestly, it depends on my day. If there were bodily fluids involved, I'll lysol spray my shoes and strip at the door. Otherwise, I'll just slip off my shoes and place on the mat inside the door and place scrubs in with the general wash. Most days, it's just the relaxed mode. Only a few times have I felt the need to do a Silkwood-inspired shower, and that involved lice, matted feces, and vomit.

This hasn't happened since I switched to ICU from the stepdown unit I was on, however this is partially b/c I'm precepting.

I was lucky, some mornings, to make it to my bed. That being said, if I laid on the couch and watch more than 15 minutes of DVR'ed material w/out passing out I was golden. I have *knock on wood* been pretty good about keeping other peoples nasties away from me. If I'm not visually soiled, I don't give a rats butt. I keep my shoes in the same spot in the kitchen (right inside the garage). I *do* take shoes off immediately b/c it's a frequent happening to step in pee/otherwise unknown materials from prior shifts. As far as my scrubs? Forgetaboutit.

I have, on occasion, wore the same scrubs >1 time. Never EVER more than once, though. I worked 1.5years w/ 2 pairs of scrubs and worked three nights a week. Do the math ;)

I have, on occasion, wore the same scrubs >1 time. Never EVER more than once, though. I worked 1.5years w/ 2 pairs of scrubs and worked three nights a week. Do the math ;)

Remember nursing caps? Those were worn how long before they were laundered?

And does anyone really think that MDs wear a fresh lab coat every day?

Remember nursing caps? Those were worn how long before they were laundered?

And does anyone really think that MDs wear a fresh lab coat every day?

Luckily our school got rid of them before we got there, though I am a guy so I don't think we needed to wear them - nothing to bobby pin them onto ;)

I can guarantee the lab coats get washed as much as the nursing caps, but shoot ... I've seen much worse in my career, so NO dirt on my scrubs is *much* better IMHO

Specializes in mental health, aged care/disability care.

I work in aged care so sometimes I need to change as soon as I get home, but if there is nothing icky on me I don't shower until the next morning when I am going to work. We don't wear scrubs - just tailored pants and shirt, and they go in the wash with everything else unless they are icky. Only then do I wash them separately.

Each to their own. I scrub my hands so many times while I'm at work that nothing is coming home on them. When we had a gastro outbreak, I was one of the few staff who didn't get it so I figure I must be doing something right. :)

Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

The floor I work on has a particular odor..Jevity and smelly feet, I think. It's because the floors are carpeted in the halls, so they hold onto smells. I can smell it clearly on my skin and in my scrubs after a 12-hour shift, and it grosses me out, so I strip and take a hot shower as soon as I get home. My scrubs do go in with the regular laundry, though, and all my shoes come off at the door, not just my work shoes.

I went through 2 years of CNA, 2 years of clinicals and now 2 years of LVN and am about to finish and go back to the the hospital where it all began. Personally I grew up with a neat freak and I've never been one. Not out of rebellion though, but out of common sense. Mom even agreed with this much. If you see dirt, wash it. Clutter is nasty. Clear it. But grime is grime. No need to treat it special. I don't even sort my laundry! If it can't handle mixing I don't wear it. Scrubs especially. And as for freaking out in my house, forget it. I figure I'm slowly making my immunsystem and those I live with stronger by exposing them bit by bit. Of course I protect them and myself from the big nasties. I'm no masochist. But wearing shoes in my house...I do... and I don't want to see your socks either. :lol2:

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