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To have asked her to wash her hands?

(49 Posts)
Sistermister Thu 02-Mar-17 20:08:16

I went for some routine blood tests today.

As usual in these situations, the nurse asked me to roll up my sleeve and put the tourniquet around my arm. She prodded the vein a few times with her finger and I noticed that she had pretty dirty fingernails. Was about to put the needle in when I said "really sorry to ask but do you mind washing your hands and disinfecting the area?"

She glared at me and said no. Her hands were perfectly clean and that washing them would be more for her protection than mine confused


Juveniledelinquent Thu 02-Mar-17 20:09:59

Well done you! She should actually have been wearing gloves to take blood.

kittybiscuits Thu 02-Mar-17 20:10:45

You were not being unreasonable and if her hands were visibly dirty, you should complain.

Sistermister Thu 02-Mar-17 20:11:16

I actually asked her whether she should be wearing gloves. But she said that it wasn't recommended because it's more difficult to feel the vein confused

Any medics out there who could shine a light?

mnbvcxzl Thu 02-Mar-17 20:11:54

When you say dirty what do you mean?

Sirzy Thu 02-Mar-17 20:12:04

There are actually big signs up at a local hospital telling patients it's fine to ask staff to wash hands.

If she wasn't wearing gloves (even if she is really) she should have washed her hands in the room, where you can see,before doing it.

Oliversmumsarmy Thu 02-Mar-17 20:13:00

Normally they wear gloves. Never known bare hands for any type of examination or where there is going to be skin to skin contact.

Sistermister Thu 02-Mar-17 20:13:32

When you say dirty what do you mean?

Visible dirt under her fingernails

Lugeeta Thu 02-Mar-17 20:14:27

The gloves are for her protection but she should have def washed her hands if you asked her.

Guavaf1sh Thu 02-Mar-17 20:15:05

It is more difficult to feel the vein with gloves and the success rate falls, leaving a greater chance of bruising. Unless you have big veins. For people with tiny veins using gloves can make it next to impossible. It is however mandatory to have clean hands and if asked she should have washed them

KoalaDownUnder Thu 02-Mar-17 20:15:08

I'm shocked that she refused once asked.

That's not on.

mnbvcxzl Thu 02-Mar-17 20:15:09

Like mud?? Eww! I've never seen that on someone who doesn't do dirty manual work or has just gardened!

harderandharder2breathe Thu 02-Mar-17 20:16:32

I've seen on here before medical types say gloves are for the medics protection not yours and aren't recommended for drawing blood anyway. Not a medial type myself though

Yanbu to have asked her politely if she would wash her hands. Even if there was no risk, it takes hardly any more time than refusing to wash them!

Neverknowing Thu 02-Mar-17 20:17:14

I think you're totally right, that Sounds horrible!! You're braver than me though I don't think I could ask someone who's about to stab me to wash their hands wink

Juveniledelinquent Thu 02-Mar-17 20:17:45

Health workers should wear well-fitting, non-sterile gloves when taking blood; they should also carry out hand hygiene before and after each patient procedure, before putting on and after removing gloves.

Sistermister Thu 02-Mar-17 20:18:47

She said that she had already washed them before she saw me and that she washed her hands so often that they were red and raw. I felt backed into a corner and didn't push it confused

Sistermister Thu 02-Mar-17 20:19:50

Wish I had insisted now though. What's the worst that could happen?

Sistermister Thu 02-Mar-17 20:20:00

Worried now!

elpinguino Thu 02-Mar-17 20:21:30

Yes we are supposed to wear gloves for blood taking. I usually don't, because it can make it impossible to feel veins and I'd rather not have to put a needle in a child more times than I really have to. I do however wash my hands before I do any procedure, and reapply alcohol gel immediately before actually picking up the needle - as in, after tourniquet on, vein identified and area cleaned. YADNBU, she was, and it was definitely wrong for her to refuse to clean her hands when challenged.

llhj Thu 02-Mar-17 20:23:53

Absolutely nothing will happen. There's no worst. Please don't worry. It's just good practice for all medical procedures but not mandatory for bloods.

Bellebullerebelle Thu 02-Mar-17 20:24:01

When I went in for surgery recently I told the nurse I have terrible veins and he asked if I minded if he took off his gloves to do it. He said he shouldn't really but took them off, washed his hands, sterilised the area and then got a vein first time. Your blood taker sounds weird! I once had a guy take my blood who looked really nervy, and I couldn't see an ID badge anywhere. I didn't have the guts to ask to see it but I hope there isn't a black market for cancerous blood ;)

DrFoxtrot Thu 02-Mar-17 20:24:20

YANBU about the visible dirt envy

Although gloves are recommended they are not an absolute must and as PP have mentioned, more for her protection than yours. I would also only clean the area with a swab if you have visibly dirty skin.

I think she should have washed her hands or put gloves on after you asked though. Or at least rubbed some antibacterial gel on or something.

elpinguino Thu 02-Mar-17 20:24:30

Don't worry, the chance of this actually causing any problem is very very minimal. Would be more worrying if it was a cannula for infusions rather than just drawing blood. It's just not good practice, and really wrong to refuse to clean your hands again to reassure a patient.

lia66 Thu 02-Mar-17 20:24:46

My 5 year old caught cellulitis when she wasn't swabbed before an injection last year. Ended up in hospital on iv ab's.

If the nurse had touched your arm at the site with her bare hand she could have introduced bacteria into your body when she did the injection.

Cellulitis can be very serious for the immune compromised and the young and elderly.

My friend is an A&E nurse, apparently swabbing isn't done as the norm any more but at her hospital they call it no harm nursing and so do it anyway. Better safe that sorry.

Sistermister Thu 02-Mar-17 20:24:57

Thank you for the reassurance llhj
Appreciate it

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