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Just started & already noticing things


Specializes in ICU,Med-Surg, Sub-Acute, SNF, LTC. Has 10 years experience.

My ADN program started this week. I have worked as a cna and m.a. so some of the hygiene stuff seemed pretty basic. Tonight I was donating blood and something happened. The tech got the donation started, then she pulled the needle out a little bit. The flow slowed way down, so she got another tech to help. Tech 2 came away from another donor, took off her gloves and started touching the insertion site & needle with her bare fingers. I said, "Please don't touch me with your bare hands." She said sorry and put on new gloves, and proceeded to reinsert the the needle, root around, and furthr manipulate the site. I said I would try again next time and she finished up. While I was leaving I asked if they performed hand hygiene between patients. She said yes, that the FDA required standard procedures. I did not observe anyone do anything but change gloves for the 45 minutes I was there. I was so angry. Now, was I just being a green student, jumping at everything, or was I legitimately ticked?:confused:


Specializes in Case management, occupational health. Has 5 years experience.

Statistics show that less than 30% of healthcare workers practice correct hand hygeine. Disgusting isn't it?

AtheistRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in ICU,Med-Surg, Sub-Acute, SNF, LTC. Has 10 years experience.

But for invasive procedures? Sheesh.

ghillbert, MSN, NP

Specializes in CTICU. Has 20 years experience.

As the patient in that situation, you totally have the right to say "please wash your hands after the last patient before you touch me".

Daytonite, BSN, RN

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

We are the worst patients. No, you were legitimate to be ticked off. I get anxious watching others draw my blood or start my IVs. I also get easily aggravated with people who cut corners on following aseptic technique. Now, knowing what I know, I would also be more worried about all the mechanical irritation of your tissues that they subjected you to.

I was on a number of QA committees when I was working and hand washing was studied on several of them. The results were always very, very. . .very bad. However, not to belittle any of our legitimate concerns here, but I worked for 30 years with over 6 years of them as an IV therapist and saw people, some of them doctors, do some terrible stuff with the handling of IV needles and central lines in people and can only recall ever hearing of more than a couple of infected sites and they were in people with things like AIDS or cancer where their immune systems were shot to Hades. Honestly, give your skin and your immune system credit. They are pretty tough on any incoming bugs. We're healthy. I think that when we work in the hospital and we see patient on top of patient coming in with worst case scenarios of one infection and disease on top of another we worry ourselves to death that we will come down with the same. I'm not saying it can't happen, but the odds just aren't with us. They did prep your skin and did use a sterile needle. That severely limited the number of microbes to even have been introduced into your bloodstream. The number of microbes introduced into a wound is important. It's easier for your body to wipe out an invasion at the front door of 10 cooties as opposed to 1,000 of them. And, it's more likely that if any cooties were deposited by the techs hands, they went onto skin and tissue rather than directly into a blood vessel for a free gondola ride to one of your organs. At the point of entry mast cells were waiting like rabid dogs with WBCs bombs to fight off any invaders. I have no doubt that any cooties that came through the front door of your arm got their just desserts already.

AtheistRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in ICU,Med-Surg, Sub-Acute, SNF, LTC. Has 10 years experience.

Thank you, Daytonite. What you said made a lot of sense. After a full week of 6 instructors shoviing hand hygiene into my brain, I guess I'm a little jumpy.

I hope I get to shadow someone like you when they finally let us off our chains and onto the floor:wink2:

I'm already an RN and have had other RNs as patients. They are one of two things - always. THey are either very nice and understanding, or they are a pain in the butt. THey are very nice because they understand the crap we have to go through regularly and they get it and don't want to add to it. They are a pain in the butt because they know a little more than the average joe and think it's important they let us know that, and find every little thing to correct you on. It's weird, like they need some sort of validation.

I never even thought of that! Taking care of somebody in the same line of work. Now that would suck.

I don't think you were over exaggerating at all... I would be ticked also! That's just disgusting not to at least wash your hands before touching another patient!

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