Hello everyone! For this post I have decided to share a conversation I had with a clinical classmate. I would love if some of you nurses/healthcare students to weigh in on this topic!
I had a classmate tell me “I never wear gloves when assessing my patient”. I was visibly shocked and immediately replied “I will always wear gloves when assessing any patient”. My classmate began to berate me in front of the rest of our clinical group saying I was judgmental and how as nurses we are supposed to be nonjudgmental. However, a nonjudgmental attitude does not trump infection control 101. Here’s what I said to my classmate (in a nutshell)…
Wearing gloves is Infection 101, basic Fundamentals of Nursing content. My classmate replied saying he would wear gloves if the patient had a weeping wound. I replied “How would you know?”. For instance, the majority of our patients on the floor that day were incontinent AND IMMOBILE, I will not perform assessments/positioning without gloves. My patient began having a bowel movement during or linen change. I also made sure to point out our fellow classmates’ patient who was HIV/AIDS diagnosed and incontinent.
What if you ended up caring for someone who has been to scared to even go get checked up, but may be positive for one of these and you were dealing with possibly broken skin, vomit, saliva,etc? What if you turn your patient over and there is a large weeping wound? You need to have gloves on so you can attend to/assess the matter immediately. As nurses we not only need to protect our patient’s but also ourselves and basic infection control is a part of this. In no means am I saying that a patient is dirty, but if I look in their chart and they are incontinent, I will make sure to don gloves when performing ‘certain’ tasks and assessment is absolutely one of them.
Needless to say, my classmate was visibly upset, but insisted I was judgmental and had a poor attitude to be a nurse. I replied back that I won’t continue to argue simple infection control when I am aware of my patient’s situation.
What do you all think? Am I being judgmental?