No Gloves?!

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!

No Gloves

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? 



8 thoughts on “No Gloves?!

  1. Just a thought – obviously I wasn’t there, but your classmate may have been talking more about your tone than the content of what you were saying. Or even if it was innocent this time, they were projecting that on to you because you’ve been perceived as judgemental before. Sometimes we can use tones or make facial expressions without really realizing we are doing it – for instance my nursing instructor told me about a student she had that would always roll her eyes without realizing she was doing it – and that obviously came off as dismissive and rude to other people. So the instructor helped her out by pointing it out to her everytime she did it so she could become more aware. I know I’ve had problmes in the past coming off as rude or frustrated with people when I didn’t really mean it that way… As future nurses we need to make ourselves aware of how we come off to people. Perhaps a better response wouldn’t have been to continue your point immediately, but instead to have said something like “Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to come off as judgemental. I just think that we should wear gloves whenever we have contact with a patient, because you never know what you’ll find.” Saying things like “Infection control 101” and “basics of fundamentals” honestly can come off as judgemental as well because it makes it sound as though you think they are not smart enough to have retained the basics. Word choice has just as much to do with how we come off as our tone and facial expressions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. Most people think I’m judgemental or rude because I have a serious personality and rarely ever talk. Luckily we were in the break room, with a closed door. Please keep in mind that my writing is quite harsh/unfiltered compared to how I actually speak in real life. I did discuss this with my classmate and explained myself. In fact, I forgot to mention that this topic was actually extremely controversial in my program because that classmate’s Fundamentals clinical instructor taught students to never use gloves. I probably should have mentioned that.. I never meant to insinuate that my classmate never learned the basics. I also in no means meant to make it seem like I am smarter than anyone else, I wholeheartedly believe I am the lowest in my program. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries, I couldn’t tell by the way it was written exactly what was said… so I just threw that out there as a possibility of how they might have taken it. Well, if the teachers are going to be teaching it differently then how is there NOT going to be controversy or confusion?? Geez! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No! I appreciate the feedback! My classmate also mentioned it to me which was awesome. Honestly, we are all confused at this point because now it’s become an issue. Luckily our clinical instructor this enraged cleared it up and explained the parameters. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wear gloves when I know I will be dealing with bodily fluids, turn patients who I know are incontinent because chances are they are dirty and need changed anyway or when implementing procedures which require gloves. When I do assessments which are not invasive I typically do not wear gloves and you will see most nurses don’t. However, it is your call! If you want to wear gloves to be extra cautious that is up to you. It is a very smart move.

    I do not see how your classmate thought you were being judgmental at all. There are procedures in which you NEED gloves and there are some where they are optional. There is nothing judgmental about that at all. I hope this helps you feel better about the disagreement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading everyone’s thoughts has helped me feel a lot better! I agree with what you said. I was a little confused when I was berated because 90% of our patients in that unit are incontinent. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!


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