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Gloves at all times?

Nurses   (7,228 Views | 65 Replies)

Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

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Snotty Miss Perfect Nurse that's the daughter of a patient chastised us for not wearing gloves during a med pass.  "Doesn't anyone around here where gloves anymore?".

Apparently she wears gloves at all times when in a patient's room.  I wash in, give my pill, and wash out.  I don't wear gloves to pass a medication.  

I wanted to snap "and please show me the evidenced based practice that we must do this", but of course I didn't.  

I'm also willing to learn to do things differently, I've adapted well to change over the years.  Do we wear gloves ever single time we enter a patient's room, even if it's non-contact with the patient other than to pass a pain pill?

 

Edited by Tweety

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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I don't although I actively have to remind myself that I don't always need to put on gloves just because I'm walking through the door.  There are well established recommendations on this topic and they only recommend gloves when exposure to bodily fluids or other pathogens is likely (so it could be argued that it's "likely" every time you walk into a room in the ICU).  

I think people, including nurses, falsely assume that gloves are significantly cleaner than cleaned hands, even though various pathogens can be found on the bulk gloves used in patient rooms.  

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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I do try to wear gloves if I'm going to be in contact with a med that the patient will have to swallow; my thought is that if food service workers have to wear gloves to touch our food, we should probably be wearing gloves to touch pills (even if it's overkill). Sometimes I'll skip it if I know I can aim the pill from the packaging directly into the medicine cup. I figure throwing on a pair of gloves only takes a couple of seconds.

Still, the comment from the family member was rude, passive-aggressive, and obnoxious.

13 minutes ago, MunoRN said:

I think people, including nurses, falsely assume that gloves are significantly cleaner than cleaned hands, even though various pathogens can be found on the bulk gloves used in patient rooms.  

I'm sure you're correct, but still...gross. 🤢

I get the sense that many of the things we do in healthcare give us the 'impression' that things are adequately cleaned when they really aren't. Don't get me started on the way we clean rooms and equipment between patients.

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CalicoKitty has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-surg.

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I tend to use gloves for med pass. Really, never know when patient care will happen. I don't wanna touch their meds with my fingers, and I feel like so often, when giving meds they want repositioning (are they wet? who knows) or to have something cleaned up, tossed, toileted, etc. If, for whatever reason, I don't glove up... I tend to be sorry later.

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juniper222 specializes in Pre Nursing.

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Seems like if contact is involved , gloves should be used.  I don't think gloves are always needed just by being in the room unless protocol demands. I spent 5 months shadowing RT(R)s and they almost never gloved up. But then again, they didn't give out medications. 

That person was a little snide though.

 

Edited by juniper222

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akulahawkRN has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in Emergency Department.

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I rarely use gloves for a med pass. Most of the meds I give will go directly from packaging to a medicine cup or into an IV line. If you wash in and wash out (or at least foam in/out), your hands will be sufficiently clean. I will use gloves if I'm expecting to deal with body fluids. I'll double-glove when cleaning patients as it's difficult to put new gloves on when I've got sweaty hands... the first set of gloves generally stay dry so putting new gloves over them is relatively easy.

Personally I get the feeling that "Miss Perfect Nurse" could be a closet germophobe. It's not necessarily a bad thing, just that it could result in some behaviors that may not be welcome. 

When I first started doing patient care stuff, I was told that I must wear gloves during all patient contact. As I learned more and more, the amount of time I wear gloves during patient contact has decreased quite a bit. I rarely wear gloves, but when I do, you can be sure that the wearing of gloves is a good idea. 

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FolksBtrippin is a BSN, RN and specializes in Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Public Health.

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7 hours ago, Tweety said:

Snotty Miss Perfect Nurse that's the daughter of a patient chastised us for not wearing gloves during a med pass.  "Doesn't anyone around here where gloves anymore?".

Apparently she wears gloves at all times when in a patient's room.  I wash in, give my pill, and wash out.  I don't wear gloves to pass a medication.  

I wanted to snap "and please show me the evidenced based practice that we must do this", but of course I didn't.  

I'm also willing to learn to do things differently, I've adapted well to change over the years.  Do we wear gloves ever single time we enter a patient's room, even if it's non-contact with the patient other than to pass a pain pill?

 

I was taught in nursing school to wear gloves when touching something wet or infected, wear gloves when passing meds and don't wear gloves when touching dry, non infected skin. 

When I worked my first job and wore gloves for med pass I got comments like "Isn't that cute, look at you with your gloves on" from senior nurses. 

If I can't avoid touching the med with my bare hands, I like to wear gloves. 

 

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I never heard of such a thing. Wearing gloves to pass meds? Does that Miss Snotty Nurse change gloves between each patient and room? Seems like that would really slow down the med pass. I thought gloves were needed if you were going to be in contact with body fluids, and sterile gloves for contact with surgical sites. And I have a latex allergy, so if I end up as a patient in your hospital/floor on your assignment, please dont touch me with latex gloves. 

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Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

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8 hours ago, adventure_rn said:

I do try to wear gloves if I'm going to be in contact with a med that the patient will have to swallow; my thought is that if food service workers have to wear gloves to touch our food, we should probably be wearing gloves to touch pills (even if it's overkill). Sometimes I'll skip it if I know I can aim the pill from the packaging directly into the medicine cup. I figure throwing on a pair of gloves only takes a couple of seconds.

Still, the comment from the family member was rude, passive-aggressive, and obnoxious.

I'm sure you're correct, but still...gross. 🤢

I get the sense that many of the things we do in healthcare give us the 'impression' that things are adequately cleaned when they really aren't. Don't get me started on the way we clean rooms and equipment between patients.

I can agree with this.  If I actually have to touch a pill such as breaking it in half if they don't have a pill cutter in their room, I'll put gloves on for exactly that reason even though I've washed my hands directly after entering the room.  The rest of the time I just pop the pill out of the packaging into the cup without gloves.  (Are those cups sterile???)

The same with hourly rounds.  If they don't need anything, but maybe a refill on water, I'll take the water picture and fill it up without gloves.  

I try to follow good practice but not be too germaphobic either.  After all I don't put on gloves to open a door in a restaurant or when I use their bathroom.  I just wash my hands.  Although sometimes I do feel like wearing a mask on planes.

Edited by Tweety

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Tweety has 28 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

3 Followers; 28,987 Posts; 48,469 Profile Views

8 hours ago, juniper222 said:

That person was a little snide though.

Yes.  I usually can win over the "nurse as a family member of the patient" with professionalism and talking to them as a professional.  But there are those that apparently in their careers have always done everything perfect and judge you at every move, without being nice about it and throw out the "I'm a nurse and......" card.   LOL.

I get it, when it's my family member in the hospital I hold them accountable to a certain standard of care, but I don't demand perfection.  I know what it's like to be a floor nurse, how hard and stressful it is, that my family member isn't their only patient and I give them a break.   It took one med-surg nurse several hours to discharge my sister once and I kept my mouth shut.  The unit had things going on and my stable sister wasn't #1 on the list of things to do.

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

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I agree with some of the other posters. I don't automatically go into a room with gloves on unless it is warranted. I do wears gloves most of the times when I am giving PO meds in case I need to touch the pill (gets stuck in the packaging maybe?). Otherwise I only wear gloves unless I am going to, or likely going to, come in contact with body fluids or if isolation standards call for it. 

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Are health care workers wearing gloves for routine patient care, such as med passes, blood pressure, etc. tying  to protect patients from getting the health care worker's cooties?  Or  to protect the health care worker from getting the patient's cooties?

Confused RN😕.

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