Are you allowed to wear your rings - page 2

Starting in July we will no longer be allowed to wear any rings or watches. This is in the NICU, OB, Post-partium, and Level 2 areas. The thing is that the infectous control people did not fully... Read More

  1. by   prmenrs
    I'm with the CDC on this one. I did spend 7 years of my career in Infection Control, too. Most of the folks in our unit did not wear watches, and we had LOTS of clocks! People wear their rings, both wedding and engagement. I, personally, would be more worried about scratching a baby then transmitting germs. And people wear gloves a lot more these days.

    I think a lot of "policies" like the one magRN's unit is starting belong to the "Hocus-Pocus School of Infection Control".

  2. by   magRN
    I believe all this started because of something stated in the Pediatric Journal...but I don't have any real info. on that.

    About the water...we can no longer have fluids or anything in the unit because the pt care areas are not seppartate from the central desks...this all came from JACHO.
  3. by   Mimi2RN
    Mag...I always wonder what little thing JCAHO will come up with next. You can bet that those inspectors have not often gone for hours without getting a drink or sometimes food.....and who needs a bathroom? There are times we don't get chance to leave. It's good that we can find something close by, but sometimes even that is too far.

    Now I have a good idea...we should have clocks built in on every isolette and warmer, tuned in to the radio signal so they will all coordinate.

    We are allowed to wear rings, but nothing elaborate. Also no-one wears artificial nails, even though we don't have a policy concerning them.
  4. by   NICU_Nurse
    Regarding the water issue, we aren't allowed anything personal (no bags, no water bottles, nothing AT ALL) on the unit. I find that the nurseries are often HOT and in no time I'm sweating my makeup off and my coiffure is plastered in a not-flattering way to my forehead, or my bangs are sticking up like damp twig-like creatures off my forehead in odd but interesting angles. This is made worse by the fact that I live in one of the hottest, most humid swamp-cities in the country and our hospital is VERY old (meaning no good a/c, not that we're allowed to have a cool nursery in the first place). I have spent many frantic moments running out of the room, down the hall to the lockers, swigging half a bottle of water, locking my locker, reaching the door, and realizing I'm thirsty AGAIN but won't be able to go back for another two or three hours.

    Recently, the hubster has recommended a solution. Ever seen bicyclists? They make these little "bladder"-like water pouches that strap on like a backpack, and have a sippy-straw thing that comes up under your shirt and over your shoulder, hooking over your ear like a telephone operator's headpiece? You just turn your cheek and Voila! Refreshing goodness in a carry-along pack. Never have to set it down, can't get contaminated, holds like, a liter or two of water. I am in BIG favor of those. As a matter of fact, I think they would make FANTASTIC gifts for Nurse's Appreciation Week. I of the dry mouth and fricked-up unprofessional looking hair would certainly appreciate such a present.

    So, it's either that...or one of those beer helmets with a bottle of Evian strapped to either side of my head. We could get them in a really calming color- good for the babies (adds to the soothing environment and all that). This bears more investigation, I think!

    PS. We have a policy written against artificial fingernails (hospital-wide in all patient care areas) as well as a unit policy against jewelry and watches/bracelets. Nothing below the elbows. Some of the parents don't like it, but too bad. Now, if we could just get someone to write something about forcing ALL parents to wear gowns and gloves when handling the babies (we don't do this currently, and I hate it) I'd be much, much happier.
  5. by   Teshiee
    I can see gowns but gloves? If the parents scrubbed for 3 minutes like us why would they need gloves when it is THEIR baby they are touching? If that is the case why even have them visit at all?
  6. by   NICU_Nurse
    Oops, you're right, Teshiee! I meant gowns only.
  7. by   magRN
    We quit doing the cover gowns a few years ago...someone somewhere did a study...and it saved tons of money. Now with this ring and watch thing, the family can still wear them...just not the medical staff. The reason being they will attend only their baby.

    Ya know....I like that clock on the isolette and warmer thing....ya could make yourself (or your hospital) a ton with that idea)! I'll be hard for the transport nurses too. They have to keep time very closely...I think most of them will still have a watch for transport.

    This water issue is a hard one, and most of us break this rule,except when the big wigs are around. (yet another reason to work nights). Now for the most part, we all use covered water bottles. The water device used by bikers was of the MD's is an big time bike rider. (Me TOO)!

    Having listen to all of you, I'm feeling better about the no rings thing, but still think it should be based on research. Now that I recall, we never used to wear rings....but I never had any to wear and now I do...not to show off, but personal emotional type a comfort from some dear to me who died.
  8. by   prmenrs
    Gowns also come under the "hocus-pocus" category in my opinion. We got rid of them, too, when the attending who thought they were magic retired. BIG decrease in the laundry bill, and no increase in infections. If you think about it, this is a way to acclimate the baby SLOWLY to the micro-organisms in the family's home.

    In addition, I believe we don't know the part our sense of SMELL plays in feeling secure; by allowing the baby to get closer to mom and dad without the barrier of a gown, it may be comforting to that baby, reminding him/her of mom's smell. I may be wrong, but I have seen it work w/my son more than once, and I don't think the sense of smell has been investigated enough in this regard.

    OK, enough California touchy/feely for now-sorry.
  9. by   NICU_Nurse
    If I lived in California, maybe I'd agree with you more!


    So, to be more specific, let me amend that to say: I just wish THIS PARTICULAR hospital required visitors to wear gowns. You absolutely wouldn't believe...(shaking head)...look.

    Let's just say that it would definitely be in the babies' best interest in a large number of cases, but higher up's don't insist on it, so it isn't done. But it should be. I'm talking basic infection control principles here, which in this case, need to be more stringently exercised. And that's the last I'll say about it. ;>)

    PS. I'm just as touchy-feely as you are, Sandi, so don't feel alienated!
  10. by   Anaclaire
    our hospital stopped insisting parents and visitors wear gowns back in the early 1990s after some study showed they made no difference in infection control... seemed to be a hold-over from the 1940's and 1950's. we do however keep gowns available for parents/visitors who's clothes are not reasonably clean (mechanics with axle grease on their shirts, etc.). our parents/visitors must wash their hands well before entering the nicu each time.

    we have never (since 1991) in our nicu been allowed to wear watches for infection control reasons. our higher-ups say that our watches often touch one baby or one baby's isolette insides and can then transfer bacteria to another baby since we aren't washing our watches between babies. i don't know how true that is, but i simply complied and didn't wear a wristwatch. many of us, especially transport nurses, wear lapel watches. i hang one on my right front chest area since i tend to hold babies on my left shoulder area. i also wear my name badge and anything else that could protrude and bother/hurt the baby, on my right side as well. our nicu has clocks on each wall and they are all set the same and controlled by a central clock in our maintenance area. works pretty well.

    we are allowed to wear wedding bands if they are plain ones, but no rings with stones in them. supposedly the bacteria is nearly impossible to remove from the area under and around the stones. i used to date a jeweler and he showed me how truly disgusting the layers of dirt, oils, shed skin cells, lotions and other "stuff" that collects in the underside of rings can be. it can be absolutely gross sometimes. lots of our nurses didn't wear their wedding bands either. a couple of nurses lost theirs when they pulled of their gloves in a rush and the ring came off with the glove. one nurse lost hers down the laundry shoot! many nurses use a large safety pin to pin their ring and watch to the inside of their scrubs pocket... in case the pin comes unhooked, the ring/watch will fall into their pocket.

    as far as the water issue goes, our higher-ups thankfully consulted us when designing our new nicu a few years ago. they designed a counter which fits along one wall outside of the intensive side of our nicu where we can keep drinks including water, sodas, coffee, etc. we have a nice coffee pot on the counter, and our breakroom (which houses our refrigerator, restrooms and dining table), is just on the other side of the counter. also the counter has windows all along the top third so we can see into the nicu when taking a sip. (under the counter is a bunch of drawers and cabinets we use for all kinds of storage.) the counter/window area is not where visitors or anyone else can see into the nicu. osha regulations in our state say we cannot have food or drinks in the same area where body specimens or drugs are handled. we are incredibly fortunate to have the ability to grab a sip of water so readily! another thing they did when designing our nicu was to install our own air conditioning and heating unit which keeps the humidity set at 30% (i believe) which is optimal for the babies. helps us too because humidity can be awful in the deep south!