length of your nails?

  1. Hi everyone

    Just wondering, in your NICU's, what are your policies on the length of your nails? I ask for risk of infection of course. Its funny though, we are not allowed to wear rings or watches, and must wash our hands 'till they bleed, but they dont seem to care about the length of our nails, even though studies have proven we harbor A LOT of bacteria under there. To make matters worse i just saw a news report about how long nails (that were not thoroughly scrubbed) on the nurses that worked in the NICU of several hospitals led to the death of some immunosupressed babies!! (Has anyone heard this?)

    While all hcp's should have trim and clean nails, i think we NICU workers should be extra careful since our pateints skin is so delicate...one of our nurses left little cuts in the chest of a baby from doing cardiac compressions with her manicured nails...:uhoh21:
    Am i going overboard here? I need oppinions! And what are the policies at your hospitals?

    thanks so much!
    Happy holidays!!! :Santa5:
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  2. Visit neonursey profile page

    About neonursey

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 24
    NICU nurse

    8 Comments

  3. by   TiffyRN
    Our policy is not specific other than no artificial nails and that they are to be kept "short". Mine are kept very short. I bit my nails until I started NICU. After 30 years of biting them I couldn't stand any length on them at all so I clip them very short and filed smooth. The nurses on my unit are pretty compliant with the policy. I think I've only seen one nurse wear artificial nails and it was only for a couple of shifts. She had them put on for a wedding then took them off after.
  4. by   BittyBabyGrower
    Ours states no longer than 1/2inch past the tip of the finger. No artificial nails. We are allowed to wear up to 2 rings and our watch. Our ID did a study and it showed that jewelry really didn't have much of an impact on infection as long as good handwashing was used.
  5. by   sparkyRN
    Same guidelines here. However, we still do not wear watches and it is preferrred, though not required, that we only wear smooth wedding bands. I leave my engagement ring at home because I accidently scratched a baby with it years ago. Also a good reason not to wear a wristwatch.
  6. by   dawngloves
    My nails break all the time so I have no idea of our policy.:lol
  7. by   wensday
    Short nails policy, no false nails, only plain band wedding ring allowed.
  8. by   BranRN
    No false nails or long nails where I work however not sure if the policy states an exact length since I keep mine short anyways. No jewerly whatsoever execpt stud earrings and of course no watch.
  9. by   MsJessikia
    lets see... we dont really have a length specified either, just short with no acrylic nails. We are only supposed to wear a band, but i dont think anyone complys with that one (just scrubbing it extra good) and oddly enough, there is nothing about watches in our policy.... hmmmm :imbar
  10. by   Gompers
    Quote from MsJessikia
    lets see... we dont really have a length specified either, just short with no acrylic nails. We are only supposed to wear a band, but i dont think anyone complys with that one (just scrubbing it extra good) and oddly enough, there is nothing about watches in our policy.... hmmmm :imbar

    Same deal here, on all counts.

    We've had some MRSA and other buggies lately, and they are threatening to swab our hands. I say do it, because then we'll probably end up having some more strict guidelines.

    I just try to do my part by using a clip-on watch that hangs from my ID, keeping short, unpolished nails, and keeping my engagement ring pinned to my uniform. I plan on getting a plain, smooth wedding band specifically so I can wear it at work. (The ring set I really liked had a gorgeous diamond-dusted wedding band, but I never want to take off that ring once he puts it on me, so a smooth band it is.)

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