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Workwear and hygiene

Nurses   (2,042 Views 11 Comments)
by Mona77 Mona77 (New Member) New Member

Mona77 has 7 years experience and works as a RN.

3,477 Visitors; 98 Posts

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I am curious about your opinion...

Do you think that our scrubs should be only worn inside hospital,

washed and prepared for next use by hospital`s laundry?

Should we become more aware of potentially infectious clothing

that we bring into our homes...

Would that have an effect on the incidence of nosocomial infections in

a hospital/long-term care setting?

Thanks!

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6,876 Visitors; 272 Posts

I can't cite a study (wish I had one) that states this but my hospital infection control nurse recommends that you wear the hospital laundered scrubs if they are available to you in your area (all inpatient areas at my hospital can get them) -- pick them up when you come in for your shift from laundry, change in the locker room, and return them at the end of the day. She does not approve of taking the scrubs home and washing them yourself or taking home clean ones for your next shift so you can change at home. I'm guessing she has a reason for this but I'm too tired to do a CINAHL search right now.

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JB2007 has 5 years experience and works as a STICU.

9,237 Visitors; 554 Posts

I would LOVE for my facility to provide scrubs that they launder themselves, but that is not going to happen. I think that would reduce the number of infections that I bring home and that I bring from home to work. However, many places are too tight fisted to do this and will not do so until they are forced to. Sad, but true protecting the pt and their employees is not on the top of their priority list.

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5,716 Visitors; 295 Posts

In 30+ years I have not felt the need to wash my scrubs separately, leave my shoes in the garage, not hug my kids/husband etc when I came home. I can only imagine people who are already late getting into report being later and blaming having to change clothes for their lateness. Hospitals in this area provide scrubs for a few departments but it doesn't seem it would be cost effective for a facility to do it for the entire staff.

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Fiona59 has 18 years experience.

1 Follower; 52,494 Visitors; 8,258 Posts

I've only ever thrown out one uniform at work after being soiled by a patient. The rest I've just brought home and washed. It's very difficult to get hospital issue in my building despite the porters, etc wearing them. It seems as if floor nurses just don't rate them. So over the years I've developed a stash of hospital issue and keep a pair in my tote bag.

Nobody's ever got sick at home, not even the dog.

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DCtraumarn has 9 years experience and works as a Nursing Director- Critical Care.

1,603 Visitors; 90 Posts

I am a Burn RN and like the OR - we came to work in our street clothes and changed (including shoes) once we got to work since all our our patients were in Burn isolation.

I think it is good practice.

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K+MgSO4 has 12 years experience as a BSN and works as a nurse unit manager.

1 Follower; 21,482 Visitors; 1,516 Posts

If you think about it visitors come into the wards that we work on with all the lovely germs we have and then go to another ward, then to the shops, then to their home as well. How can that be stopped?? So what is the point of the hospital spending money on laundry services??

Saying that I don't go to the shops with my work clothes on cause it is just gross! I change at work and have locker that I can leave my shoes in.

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DCtraumarn has 9 years experience and works as a Nursing Director- Critical Care.

1,603 Visitors; 90 Posts

Unfortunately we cannot control what the general public wears - however we can control what we wear and our hygiene practices.

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klone has 13 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Director of OB Services.

3 Followers; 113,092 Visitors; 13,096 Posts

Do you think that our scrubs should be only worn inside hospital,

washed and prepared for next use by hospital`s laundry?

Do I think that? Yes

Do I do that? Um...

I work in an area that doesn't regularly have nasty infections that I might bring home to my kids, so it's not something I stress too much about. Not to say I don't jump in the unit shower if I get sprayed in the face with amniotic fluid.

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6,288 Visitors; 517 Posts

I have not worn scrubs to or from work in over 3 decades. I prefer to use hospital scrubs but if I wear my own, they are bagged and go straight to the laundry room to be washed separately. Work shoes stay at work and fortunately the hospital provides a place for them so they aren't stuffed into our personal lockers. And, just like we do a scrub upon entering the unit, I also do a scrub when exiting for home. Taking off the scrubs also seems to remove the job off my back and destresses me for life outside of work.

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Mona77 has 7 years experience and works as a RN.

3,477 Visitors; 98 Posts

I think for a healthy person, these microorganisms won`t mean a threat, but for immune deficient patients at home or at hospital they can be a serious danger.

We don`t know if areas of our body are colonized with a MRSA, and neither we do

of most of our patients.

The only way to explore would be a thourough screening of every patient coming in

and that´s too expensive because of contact precautions that have to take place!

In Germany the MRSA incidence has increased from 6% to 20% of all admitted patients in 2009! Surely because pts. are screened more often, but nevertheless

that`s alarming!

More than 60% of patients admitted from LTC facilities are colonized with MRSA!

The possibility of cross-contamination is increasing.

We register more and more chronic wound infections with MRSA, that makes wound management incredibly expensive.

At our hospital we are even not allowed to go outside for a few minutes in our scrubs and they have to be changed everyday, although not everyone is keeping with that hospital`s policy!

Our shoes remain at the hospital and we have changing rooms with lockers that are divided in clean and unclean! I appreciate this!

I think we should become more aware to the dangers, resulting from cross-contamination even if we are not seeing any impacts on our own family, but we are faced with aging, multimorbid and immune deficient patients and we have to protect them from serious infections!

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