It’s Time for the School Nurse to Retire Essay

1014 Words 5 Pages
It’s Time for the School Nurse to Retire

Do you remember me from the emergency room? You gave me that IV and took my blood sample. You did not use gloves. While you were stabbing into the crevice of my arm repeatedly I considered how unsanitary it was that you were ungloved. In case you had forgotten, as you were in the middle of a twelve-hour shift and I imagined you were tired, I asked whether you were supposed to wear gloves for needlework. You explained that you became a nurse before AIDS was “a big deal,” and found it difficult to “feel for the vein” with gloves on. Well, my dear, now that AIDS is indeed a “big deal,” I suggest you adapt to the new HIV precautions, “universal precautions.”

Universal precautions, the national
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The second reason was difficulty locating a vein. A common tactic in attempting to comply with the universal precautions and overcome the difficulty of finding veins is poking a hole in the index finger of the gloves. This unfortunately still violates universal precautions and undermines the effectiveness of the gloves to isolate body fluids.

Perhaps it is not training in needlework that prevents certain nurses from wearing gloves, but training in attitudes. Rural nurses are more likely than urban nurses to take safety for granted. According to a recent study in The Journal for the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, “selective compliance was related to nurses’ HIV attitudes” and that “Rural nurses’ use of personal protective equipment is not homogenous but discrete and idiosyncratic.” This constitutes a diagnosis-dependant isolation system, though infection is always present prior to diagnosis, making these attitudes quite dangerous.

As if on cue, you made a mistake during this procedure—it looked to me as if you were too slow to change the vials to house my blood samples—and my blood gushed all over your lovely, exposed hands. You seemed unconcerned. I guess I don’t look like someone with HIV, whatever that looks