Hygiene After Hospital Shift


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4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

After giving it some thought, I realized that when I first started out in nursing (in school) I really was a germaphobe. Even changed my shoes in the parking lot, slipping out of my 'nursing' shoes and putting them into a plastic bag to put on the floor in the back, then slipping on 'non-nursing shoes' for my drive home, etc. Yep, intended to keep whatever "Yuck" I might have stepped in on the hospital floors out of my car, and then (theoretically) out of my home. In winter, I switched to driving home with nursing shoes on, then leaving them inside the garage, by the entry door (still not in the house).

I USED to strip off my work scrubs upon entering the house, right into the washer.

Fast forward: the nursing shoes migrated to be allowed JUST inside the garage door, in the hallway, so they wouldn't be freezing cold when I put them on next. Then, they migrated to where the "regular" shoes were kept. Still hold that practice, but NOT because they're 'nursing shoes', but because they are SHOES: all our family shoes are taken off at the door, and left in a rack or on the foyer floor near the door.

Fast forward on the work clothes, too: After a time, the scrubs I used to peel off instantly upon arriving home were worn into the house, and taken off to put in the 'regular' laundry hamper when I headed for the shower. I still shower upon arriving home from work, but that's not a 'nursing thing' for me, that's a 'life' thing for me: I don't like to relax in my home, wearing clean pjs/sweats without first having taken a shower to clean off the day's grime. Every day, not just work days :)

So I guess I have evolved from the most manic germaphobe where my clothes and shoes were concerned, to being pretty casual about it.

No one in my family, having been exposed to my work habits over the years, has ever come down with anything other than the normal seasonal colds, and even then they are pretty few and far between. Same for me.

Oh, and where is the most likely origin of my family's various ills? Elementary/middle/high school classes and events, community events, and shopping centers, from what I can guess!


14 Posts

Specializes in ICU/ER.

I buy the white bottle chlorhexidine scrubs from eBay in bulk and use those in the shower after nasty shifts. It's cheap to buy too.

I usually go out to breakfast before I come home. The one and only time I've stripped in the laundry room and showered straight away was when I had 3 (out of 5) pts on c-diff precautions, and they were all projectile pooping and multiple full bed changes. Otherwise I don't freak about germs.


171 Posts

Has 4 years experience.

When I'm in the hospital coming on or leaving a shift, I keep my scrubs on because... I'm still in the hospital! When I get home, I don't sit or touch anything. I leave my shoes in the garage, wash my hands, and head straight to the shower. I even have a separate hamper for my scrubs.

Specializes in Surgery.

Yes, shower when I get home. I can't get over feeling like I have a germy film on my skin and begin to cook dinner for my family like that, but that's just me :-)