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What to do with your rings when you scrub?

Posted

Specializes in Cardiology.

Hey everyone-

I was wondering what you do with your rings when you scrub? I don't scrub all day long and I don't like being without my rings all day, so leaving them at home or in my locker isn't ideal. Does anyone have any contraptions set up to hold your rings (maybe in a pocket) while you're scrubbing? The only thing I've heard is people using a large safety pin to hook them to their badge. Any other ideas out there?

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

Safety pinned to scrub top- but through the bra strap. That way it doesn't stay in the pocket and go to laundry, never to return, and you can't take the scrub top off without taking the rings off the safety pin. Mine go straight from safety pin back to finger.

I only wear a wedding ring, but it means a lot to me, so I leave it at home. I've tried tying it to the string in my scrubs, only to almost throw it in the laundry machine. I've tried safety-pinning it to by scrub top, same thing. When I forget and leave it on, I put in on the key ring that is attached to my badge, and that works, but I don't like it, it's rough on the ring. I know a surg-tech that lost her diamond ring somewhere during the day, and it broke her hearrt.

In the final analysis, any kind of jewelry is a potential bacteria catcher, and I take care of precious people. Just my humble opinion.

NurseSnarky

Specializes in OR; Telemetry; PACU.

Leave them at home...I put mine in my scrub pocket once. Went home late on a Friday night only to wake up Saturday morning realizing they were in my POCKET!! I called an ED friend, laundry hadn't been taken luckily and she kindly dug through the laundry and found my rings. NEVER again! I also was broke of the habit of wearing watches in the OR (little germ magnets).

I also knew a nurse who lost her diamond at work too...fell right out of its setting. Can't remember now if it was ever found.

ShariDCST

Specializes in CST in general surgery, LDRs, & podiatry.

I ran the loop of a sturdy rubber band through my rings, and then back through itself, in a larks head knot. Then used a sturdy safety pin to pin the other end of the loop with rings safely together inside the cup of my bra. The rubber band is gentle on the bands of the rings - can't scratch them like a safety pin would directly - and I've NEVER left my bra in the hospital scrub machine!

jeckrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR. Has 17 years experience.

Standards are they are not to be worn in the OR/CMS so the best is to leave them at home or have some type of holder in your locker.

AmyCardsNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Cardiology.

Thanks for the replies everyone - I don't work in a sterile environment all day (I float back and forth), so I would like to be able to wear my rings for the hours that I am not which is why I was asking if there was a way people secured their rings. I like the hooking it to your bra ideas... I can't imagine leaving my bra somewhere :) (my job is nothing like Grey's Anatomy..haha)

ChristineAdrianaRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric and Adult OR. Has 7 years experience.

The rubber band vs. safety pin point is a good one, wouldn't want to do damage to the gold.

I don't have wedding rings yet, but it's something I've thought about. One of the girls at work said her doctor husband lost his weddingbang because he tied it to the drawstring of his scrub pants...that just seems like you're asking for it, to me.

jeckrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in EMT, ER, Homehealth, OR. Has 17 years experience.

thanks for the replies everyone - i don't work in a sterile environment all day (i float back and forth), so i would like to be able to wear my rings for the hours that i am not which is why i was asking if there was a way people secured their rings. i like the hooking it to your bra ideas... i can't imagine leaving my bra somewhere :) (my job is nothing like grey's anatomy..haha)

from the aorn magizine sept 2006

question: i have always worn my wedding ring. i would feel lost without it. why should i remove my ring now that i am working in the perioperative area? is this really necessary? doesn't hand washing take care of any concerns?

answer: hand washing removes soil and transient microorganisms from nails, hands, and forearms.1 transient microorganisms are microorganisms that colonize the superficial layers of the skin and that often are acquired when caring for patients or touching contaminated surfaces.2 hand washing also reduces the quantity of resident microorganisms connected to deeper layers of skin, which are more difficult to remove. rings may harbor organisms that cannot be removed during hand washing, so health care workers (hcws) should remove rings from their hands before washing or scrubbing. higher bacterial counts have been found when rings are worn, indicating that it may not be sufficient to depend on hand washing to remove all pathogens.3

a hospital in chicago performed a hand hygiene study in coordination with the centers for disease control and prevention (cdc).4 the study used three randomly chosen hand hygiene products. hands were cultured before and after hand hygiene was performed using an alcohol-based hand rub (ie, 62% ethyl alcohol), a medicated hand wipe, or plain soap and water. a 10-fold increase in skin organisms was found for nurses who wore rings. the pathogens isolated were staphylococcus aureus, gram-negative bacilli, or candida species. if more than one ring was worn, there was an increased risk of potential pathogens contaminating the hands. the use of the alcohol-based product demonstrated less hand contamination.4

wearing rings increases the risk of cross-contamination. perioperative personnel should refrain from wearing rings in this setting because hand washing and scrubbing are required frequently and may not be performed adequately when rings are worn.

NurseSnarky

Specializes in OR; Telemetry; PACU.

The rubber band vs. safety pin point is a good one, wouldn't want to do damage to the gold.

I don't have wedding rings yet, but it's something I've thought about. One of the girls at work said her doctor husband lost his weddingbang because he tied it to the drawstring of his scrub pants...that just seems like you're asking for it, to me.

I see this sometimes...yikes! Most just take off their watches, rings, and place on the desk with their cell phones.

ShariDCST

Specializes in CST in general surgery, LDRs, & podiatry.

Have seen this numerous times myself, when they approached me to be gowned and gloved, there's a wedding band tied into the scrub pants string, gleaming in the lights. I made it a habit to remind them "Don't forget your wedding band when you're all done - your wife will kill you!" And it always seemed to make an impression - I got thanked more than once for that little comment, because then they did NOT forget! Especially helpful with med students and residents who hadn't gotten years of experience with it yet.

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience.

I put mine on a safety pin and then pin it through my bra strap like Poet suggested. I also don't wear my real wedding ring to work. My hubby and I bought tungsten carbide rings to wear everyday so that if they do manage to get lost, we can always buy another set-and they are relatively cheap. We also wear these on the boat because they can take a beating and not scratch at all.

insa

Specializes in OR.

I use a small carabiner that I bought at Walgreen's. It's versatile: usually I clip it, with my wedding ring, to my car keys and leave everything in my locker. If you didn't want to leave it in a locker, you could use the carabiner to secure it to a necklace or ID badge lanyard. I'm a guy, so I can't comment on how it would feel clipped to a bra strap. But I think it's a least as secure as a safety pin, wherever you attach it, and 100% less likely to stick me.

ShariDCST

Specializes in CST in general surgery, LDRs, & podiatry.

I put mine on a safety pin and then pin it through my bra strap like Poet suggested. I also don't wear my real wedding ring to work. My hubby and I bought tungsten carbide rings to wear everyday so that if they do manage to get lost, we can always buy another set-and they are relatively cheap. We also wear these on the boat because they can take a beating and not scratch at all.

I love the alternative metals for wedding rings these days. If you check out ebay, you can find quality vendors on ther who make titanium and tungsten bands in every imaginable shape, thickness, width and design. If you're not sure which to try, titanium is exceptionally lightweight, while still strong, durable and scratchproof. Tungsten is heavier and denser, and gives a feeling of substance along with the other qualities. Youu can even find them plated in 14K or 18K gold if you prefer the yellow gold look. I have several of both kinds, and I love them all.