Medical Professionals and Hand Hygiene

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 2
Member
10487 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

You can usually ask to ask a health care worker to wash their hands.  Some facilities even have stickers up telling you so!

Ditto for the door.

I did have a doctor leave in the middle of my walk-in visit to take a phone call that really just seemed like chit-chat and not an emergency and I really wasn’t impressed.  I won’t go back to her, there were other issues I had as well.

Post # 3
Member
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

GG_Vega:  Take it from me, chipped nail polish is a GOOD sign if you’re concerned about hand hygiene. A medical assistant with moisturized skin and a perfect manicure is probably not washing her hands often enough. 

Post # 4
Member
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

At our hospital, our Infection Control wants us (and audits us) to use sanitizer outside of the door; however I prefer to do it inside the door so that clients can see it.  So every time I get audited I get dinged points and then have to explain why the auditor didn’t see me clean my hands in the hallway….

All this to say: maybe/probably they washed their hands outside the door?

As for polish, I will say that I’m biased.  I commonly have my nails manicured in a nude polish, but short and clean.  I scrub them with a brush many many times a day.  Would it be better to have bare nails? Sure.  But others wear huge rings, long nails etc and I sacrifice a LOT for my job and having decent looking nails just isn’t something I’m going to give up along with every thing I already give up.  But chipped, gross polish is not acceptable at all.

Post # 5
Member
397 posts
Helper bee

GG_Vega:  I would find a new office… Where there standards are a bit higher. I have worked in several different private practices, and they are not created equally. The first group I worked with had all VERY high end practices, but had the most disgusting employees (cross contamination galore!) and office cleanliness/maintenance. I cringe now, just thinking about how long I worked there. 

The practice I am with now has a zero tolerance policy for the things you described. Every little detail is meticulously focused on each and everyday. And, if we catch any of the others slacking on sterilization, HIPPA violations or anything like that, we bring it to their attention.

Post # 7
Member
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Or she’s a nurse who washes her hands 75x/day and lotions like crazy at home. And she might be OCD about her nail polish because she thinks chipped nail polish is nasty….even under gloves. Just saying.

OP it’s very possible she washed her hands after seeing the pt before you. Your concern is why I often enter my pts rooms still drying my hands with a paper towel. And my hands are moisturized and my manicure looks damn good lol. No ridiculous long nails though, and no fake nails/tips etc.

 

 

Post # 8
Member
1040 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

I work in healthcare, and I do think that maintaining a professional appearance is important. I don’t wear nail polish to work and keep my nails short for hygiene reasons. I also try and wear business dress most of the time – I find that I am taken more seriously when I do. 

 

And yes, everyone in healthcare, doctors especially, need to wash their hands more than they do. 

Post # 9
Member
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

GG_Vega:  Yeah, you wouldn’t believe how beautiful my nails were before I started in the medical field. Now they’re super brittle from constant washing and hand sanitizer, and I don’t know why I even bother with the polish. 

Post # 10
Member
42453 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

GG_Vega:  With the ever increasing presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, it is vitally important for patients to speak up when hygiene is concerned.

I would have asked them to please wash their hands in my presence. One dental assistant got testy with me when I had to ask her to do so. She told me there was no need as she would be wearing gloves. I had to tell her that you still have to wask your hands as gloves are porous and may have holes. She told me they never taught het that in school. I suggested she may have been away that day.

Health care workers, just like workers in many other occupations, get lax about their practices and need to be reminded. “Please close the door for privacy sake.”

Chipped nail polish is just gross.  Most hospitals do not allow the wearing of nail polish any longer, for infection control.

Post # 11
Member
7070 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Yeah that’s pretty gross and not professional. I’m pretty sure chipped/old nail polish has been shown to harbor more bacteria and such. Yech.

Post # 11
Member
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My hospital has a policy that we are not allowed to have chipped polish – but it’s a professionalism thing, not a hygiene thing. We do have rules about length of nails (not more then 1/4″ beyond finger) and no fake nails are allowed. That rule is for hygiene/safety. 

Aquaria:  For typical polish, I’d say you’re right… But gel polish is amazing. It stays perfect for weeks, no matter what you do to it (rock climbing, hand washing, scrubbing the house, gardening…). All the ladies I work with choose gel, so our nails are flawless and we are still hygienic. 

Like cdncinnamongirl, we also are supposed to “foam up” outside patient rooms. But it shold be obvious to the patient that we come in rubbing our hands together. We have to foam up on our way in and our way out. 

On really sensitive units (like bone marrow transplant), staff has to wear a monitor that senses the hand sanitizer each time you do it. It will alarm it you walk into a patient room without using it!

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