BALTIMORE (Johns Hopkins) - Can personal style accidentally cross the line and
threaten patient health?
Recent studies have made much about doctors who don't properly wash their hands.
Nurses who wear long artificial fingernails can also cause serious problems.
These glue-on nails can rip through disposable gloves. Even more dangerous,
they're often breeding grounds for bacteria and yeast. A recent study from
Michigan found that nearly three-quarters of nurses who wear such fingernails
carry a staph infection underneath them. Even careful handwashing doesn't
effectively kill all of the germs.
According to Dr. Robyn Gershon of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health,
"These data are very important to us because these data prove what we
intuitively understood, which is that the less you have, the less it is to
clean, the easier it is to keep clean, and there's less risk of infection."
Most hospitals establish their own dress and grooming codes for care providers.
But Dr. Gershon says this one is a no-brainer: artificial nails on nurses just
aren't a good idea.
Source: The Johns Hopkins
Dec. 27, 1999