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Patient hygiene-How far is too far?

Nurses   (1,386 Views 41 Comments)
by derikajames derikajames (Member)

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Forever Sunshine has 7 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

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I am not convinced that it is personal. For example, what if a patient did not want a catheter inserted or a mammogram performed? I would tell them that despite the procedure being uncomfortable, it is necessary to ensure their health.

The patient has the right to refuse. Anything.

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~Mi Vida Loca~RN has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

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I am not convinced that it is personal. For example, what if a patient did not want a catheter inserted or a mammogram performed? I would tell them that despite the procedure being uncomfortable, it is necessary to ensure their health.

If they don't want it done, it isn't done. Period! They can sign out against medical advice if they refuse treatment. But I have seen many patients refuse catheters. But you were talking about having to shave patients and outside of surgery I have never seen anyone have to shave someones genitals. You are not allowed to force a patient to have any procedure, whether it's for their own benefit or not. If it's a child, or someone not mentally competent and the family is refusing something that could be life saving, then courts can get involved. But your regular patient can refuse any treatment.

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Thank you for the information. I was under the incorrect impression that because of its ability to reduce infection and its use as a basic tenet of hygiene, that shaving of pubic hair was required.

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~Mi Vida Loca~RN has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

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Thank you for the information. I was under the incorrect impression that because of its ability to reduce infection and its use as a basic tenet of hygiene, that shaving of pubic hair was required.

Nope, and I have been a patient more times then I have ever wanted to be primarily all female related issues. My grooming habits have always been my own choice as were all the other things I had to have done.

Also, as far as infection control and shaving. Keeping things "groomed" can help reduce bacteria and infection, but keeping it completely shaved, can cause infection because of skin break down.

I am glad you got the answers you were looking for :)

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9 Posts; 110 Profile Views

Also, as far as infection control and shaving. Keeping things "groomed" can help reduce bacteria and infection, but keeping it completely shaved, can case infection because of skin break down.

There are other methods, such as depilatory powders, cremes, and plucking that would not compromise skin integrity.

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~Mi Vida Loca~RN has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

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There are other methods, such as depilatory powders, cremes, and plucking that would not compromise skin integrity.

Those actually would too, you are breaking down the skins barriers. depilatory powders and creams can severely damage skin. I have seen some very nasty burns from them and they were used correctly, "plucking" (I prefer tweezing since we aren't chickens) can also set you up for ingrown hairs and you are again, disrupting the skins natural barrier. Hair actually has a good purpose. That doesn't mean that I don't have my own grooming habits that I do cosmetically as my choice. But if we are going to talk about facts, pubic hair has it's purpose as well. The human body was pretty smart in how it's created and it's natural defenses are pretty darn effective and practical.

At the end of the day though we chose to pick our battles and what we are willing to compromise when it comes to our bodies. In the hospital, it's always the patients choice. If you were a nurse and you forced a procedure upon a patient, you would find yourself in court and your license at risk.

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52 Posts; 1,664 Profile Views

I have to say I never heard about shaving the pubic region for hygeine or any of those powders and cremes either. Washing the area would be good enough. I had my first child 21 years ago and no one even asked me if I wanted a shave. And plucking pubic hairs? Are you serious? That has got to be the most painful thing for a patient to endure.

Also you do know if a patient refuses a treatment and you try to do it anyway, you can be charge with assault and battery. Both or one charge depending on what you do.

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caroladybelle is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

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I was under the incorrect impression that because of its ability to reduce infection and its use as a basic tenet of hygiene, that shaving of pubic hair was required.

It is not nor has to my knowledge ever been "a basic tenet of hygiene". There are some (few) cultures that do so per their belief. There are people that do so as a personal preference, or due to requirements of their lifestyles (ballet/dance and very skimpy clothing/sheer garments, etc. as needed, atheletes and swim wear).

And there used to be MDs that required it because it was "convenient". But current data has demonstrated that shaving surgical sites actually increases infection risk.

However, as to the original question, your fiance needs to get over himself and his issues, because there will be no "accomodating" for married woman not to perform basic nursing tasks on males, because spouse has personal issues.

For that matter, I would think it MORE appropriate for married women to attend to that task than for single woman to do so, if you think about it logically. They likily would be presumed to have more practical knowledge about the equipment.

Besides, one wouldn't want us single gals to get soiled reputations, or expose us to the unknown.

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~Mi Vida Loca~RN has 6 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics.

5,259 Posts; 30,990 Profile Views

 

Besides, one wouldn't want us single gals to get soiled reputations, or expose us to the unknown .

Ok that did it, so thankful I wasn't drinking a beverage while reading this. :lol2::lol2::lol2::lol2: It's my bed time! Now that I am an out of school unemployed nurse, I don't know what to do with my time. lol

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lckrn2pa has 19 years experience and specializes in ER.

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That's funny

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RKpianoman has 4 years experience.

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From a nursing student to a hopeful-nursing student, don't worry! It's not like you'll show up to your first day of class and they'll toss you to the wolves. You'll get lecture after lecture about protective functioning, skin integrity, peri-care, so-on and so-forth. By the time you actually have to bathe a patient, it won't seem like a "bath" in the way you think of it now at all; it'll just be another procedure that you do to prevent infection, inspect skin, and build trust with your patient. Also, you'll find that a majority of your patients will be more than happy to do their own peri-care. You just hand them what they need and let them do the work (with you there to help if needed, and to make sure it gets done). You're getting ready to be a professional, and cleaning sensitive areas is something that must be done professionally. If you or your fiance have serious doubts about you being able to do that, maybe you should spend some time shadowing RNs and CNAs at a local hospital and make sure this is the right choice for you. There's very little room for personal space in nursing. That being said, there's nothing attractive at all about performing peri-care as a nurse...nitrile gloves and tepid water just kill the mood! :p

Hopefully this thread has calmed some of your fears about that part of nursing; you seem like you're a really smart person who's putting a lot of thought into your choices before you make them. With any luck, you'll be a stressed, sleep-deprived, out-of-shape, yet strangely happy nursing student before too long!

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Florence NightinFAIL has 2 years experience and specializes in Medical - Surgical.

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If you have any qualms about that I wouldn't recommend that you get into nursing. I could say that you could go somewhere like OB where you only care for women, or community nursing where you are not likely to do basic care. However, what are you doing to do about the 4 years of nursing school where you have no choice and what the instructor says goes?

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