Nurses and Hygiene – and brutality…

As I said a few days ago, in this post, I intended to take issue with the nurses – especially the staff nurse – over their iffy hygiene. So, on Monday, I did.

There were actually two problems, one hygiene-related and this one, which is just dumb.

By early evening, last Friday, the dressing that had been changed in the morning was causing so much pain I had to remove it. The problem was that the Aquacel pad had been folded as it was too big and no-one had any sterile scissors. Why nurses would be without sterile scissors, or  why they couldn’t have done what they normally do and sterilised a pair on the fly, using hand gel, I can’t imagine. Anyway the staff nurse folded it.

Anyway, as I expected, the dressing was too thick for comfort, and put too much pressure on the wound, so it had to go. I sterilised my own scissors, and cut a new Aquacel Ag pad to size. I also moistened it as my wounds simply aren’t wet enough to deal with a dry dressing,** which causes even more pain. And which I really don’t need.

** Aquacel looks like a fabric pad, but wound moisture turns it into a gel. However, if that moisture is insufficient it sets hard instead, and welds itself painfully to the open wound. The nurses know this, so didn’t use it for conditions like mine, until I came along, actually read the literature found out that the literature recommended moistening the dressing with normal saline solution and insisted that they did so. However, the folded Aquacel is too thick for wound moisture to convert it to a gel (and it wasn’t moistened), and simply caused far more pain than was acceptable.

So, anyway, when they arrived on Monday I told the staff nurse what I’d done with the dressing, and also took her to task about spraying saliva on my leg and getting too close to it without gloves.

The district nurses, apparently, don’t have masks – or so they said. Frankly, I don’t believe it,** but she did glove up immediately and – when inspecting my lesions – kept her mouth shut!

**In my view they should wear masks at all times when working on open wounds. It’s hardly a major inconvenience, and would doubtless reduce the incidence of infection, especially mine. For most of last year, aside from the nurses who were here every day, I saw nobody – so if not from the nurses, where did my repeated infections, and ultimately my MRSA, come from?

And then it was time to re-dress my leg, a process which, these days, I watch like a hawk. And, bugger me, it’s just as well I do, as there’s the staff nurse, folding a bloody Aquacel pad just minutes after being told that it was a seriously bad idea! So, I enquired, far more politely than the situation merited, what she thought she was doing? Whereupon a pair of sterile scissors were grudgingly unwrapped and the pad cut to size!


4 thoughts on “Nurses and Hygiene – and brutality…

    • The staff nurse I snarled at on Monday left saying she’d pass on what I said to her colleagues (about not spraying open wounds with saliva!).

      Another staff nurse arrived today. First thing I asked was had she been told? No, she hadn’t, so I filled her in and told her in no uncertain terms that it would not be allowed to happen again, ever.

      Obviously, I can’t stop it happening again, but if it does I’ll do my utmost to get the nurse involved fired.

  1. For goodness sake! They don’t bloody listen do they? I know that they are busy and I know that they have a lot of clouds floating about in their heads, but you are NOT going to forget your “run in” with “that grumpy old git that always has a go at us” 🙂 I say that part in jest Ron 😀
    The nurses who attended to me would always go and wash their hands, apply a face mask and put on their gloves without a second thought! I cannot think why they don’t do that in your area. Perhaps it’s due to cuts and that’s why they don’t have masks but when dealing with wounds, or people with chest infections etc then that is the first thing they should do, then glove up.
    Let’s hope you’ve got through to them now – but I’m not going to hold my breath!

    • Oi! Not so much of the old! 😉

      The trouble is for most of last year I was so ill I was completely out of it, and they were allowed to get away with way too much. Now they’re not

      But it’s not just the district nurses – it was no different in hospital, where the chances of killing someone are a great deal higher.

      And when I told the nurse, today, about the saliva spray her response was an indignant “Well, I don’t do that!” Fact is, most people do do that, to some degree, and it gets worse with age (and some of the nurses aren’t much younger than me!).

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