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Possible contamination?

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Hi, everybody.

I am typing this post due to noticing that there seems to be a lot of clinical unprofessionalism that I have observed over the years in the healthcare sector, particularly with nurses doing invasive procedures such as blood tests which is what this post is all about.

I have gone for many blood tests due to various health related issues.

When I had these blood tests, I have noticed that on many occasions, in fact all, that the nurses performing these blood tests did not wash their hands, wear gloves or even cleanse the puncture site with an antiseptic wipe after palpating it with her bare fingers before inserting the needle. When questioned on not cleansing the area after palpating it with her bare fingers before needle insertion she just said "We don't need to do that." Why, I don't know. She never gave any reason as to why she didn't need to cleanse the area after messing with it. Basically she contaminated the area before puncture, risking a patient's life.

I seriously feel like I am and have risked my life just for a blood test! I should have just walked out without giving a reason as her practice was just unacceptable. I wished I had have walked out now as I am really worried that she's infected me with some sort of blood-borne virus. I shouldn't have to feel like this. They (well at least I used to think) should know not to expose their patients or themselves to deadly blood borne viruses which they very well do know exist but are just not following the correct protocol.

Basically I see her practice as not being the slight bit bothered about her patients' or even her own safety. There were many patients who were, like me, unfortunate enough to have an appointment with her, oblivious as to her deadly practice, which I think is awfully sad in this day and age of so-called health and hygiene protocols that these so-called healthcare professionals are supposed to follow but most often don't.

She has probably infected and made ill or even led to their death any number of patients who she's dealt with and the thought of that is just very scary and sad. She has put many patients at risk for no need. All she had to do was to wash her hands, put some gloves on and cleanse the area. How hard can that actually be? She was just too lazy to be bothered with her patients' safety which is very ignorant indeed. I would not tolerate this sort of practice from any rank of nurse but especially not a Sister Practice Nurse which is what she was but failed to act like.

Blood borne viruses could easily be transferred from that nurse's hands into the patients' blood stream and that's it they're infected, putting these patients to premature death.

It's just absolutely not acceptable. These nurses are supposed to have done clinical practice...though it seems they learnt absolutely nothing as they practice like someone who just walked off the street and even someone who did walk off the street would know more on clinical hygiene and competence than these nurses seem to. Even I know all about what should be done and what shouldn't.

It's rediculous...why hospitals and GP surgerys employ these people is beyond me. It's no wonder there are a lot of complaints related to healthcare these days. As a patient you don't want to have to end up coming out with a 'new', more deadly problem. Healthcare should be all about helping the patient to get better, not killing them by infecting them with some blood borne disease! These people should be regularly checked for clinical competence at least yearly.

I personally can't trust these so-called healthcare professionals as they are obviously not up to the job at the best of times. I'd rather do these tests and procedures myself as I know what to do and am more genned up on correct practice.

My mom came in with me on that day and watched her do it. I asked her when I got back home what she thought of the way it was done and she said that it was fine and that I wouldn't catch anything from the way she practised but I don't believe this in the slightest, reason being, she said that it doesn't matter. Basically she always seems to think they know best which she can be mistaken. Gullible may be the word I'm looking for...

The questions I still have on my mind are:

1/ Is it possible that I could have caught a blood borne disease from when she touched the area with her bare hands and didn't cleanse it before inserting the needle?

2/ Is it really necessary for these nurses to wash their hands before the procedure?

3/ Do they have to wear gloves or is that only the really careful ones that do that?

4/ Finally, do they always cleanse the area before they insert the needle or is it not always necessary?

I would be very interested to hear your opinions on this as I'm sure that quite a few of you have had the unfortunacy to have experienced it too.

I appreciate any help or advice that you can give.

Thanks Smile

DS
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replied December 1st, 2008
Community Volunteer
If I were you, I would speak to the doctor or the office manager about these practices and your concerns. I'm sure they are following protocol and wouldn't want to put patients at risk. You mention that you're sure they've caused illnesses and even death, but do you have proof? Most doctor's offices very closely follow careful procedures in order to avoid liability. Again, since you sound very concerned, I would speak to the person in charge of the office.
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replied December 3rd, 2008
Experienced User
Hi, kfkohio and thanks for your advice. Smile

I am sure there are patients that have been put at risk and I hear about lots of medical malpractices like this so it certainly is possible.

Again, I just don't think all practices are that protocol regulated, otherwise this wouldn't have been acceptable.

Certainly something I will be bringing up when I next see the doctor that ordered this test as it is not proper protocol. It's obvious that that nurse should always wash their hands, wear gloves and swab the area before needle insertion. I have never heard of other nurses being this incompetent. I was just unlucky to have to expereince it.

Thanks for your advice.
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