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Full Version: gel polish on nurses. Must remove it or loose jobs!
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help! I have 6 nurses that wear gel polish. And if I can't proove it is just polish, they will have to remove it! I thought I would send them to Azkentz videos to watch on Gina's website, and have them watch the video on the gel manicure and removal. I thought that when they see first hand that it is put on like polish with a base,two coats of color and a top coat, that they would understand.
What do you all think?
Thanks a bunch,
Can you send with them copies of CND's advertising... or can Danny from Harmony/gelish send you a letter explaining it? I'd be interested to see how this pans out... I have two nurses who want to start wearing it. (As soon as I get off backorder!) Good Luck.
Nurses cannot wear this. I have one nurse and she gets away with it because it looks like nail polish and the inspector (whatever they call them) doesn't have a clue it is gel. But she has told me if they knew she would have to remove it. They will not understand no matter who explains it because it is not removed with polish remover, like polish. As soon as they see it must be soaked for a few minutes they will believe it is an enhancement.
I have three nurses who are clients...two ER and one ICU and all have overlay with glitter with no problems.
I am really confused...what's wrong with nurses having nail polish? i think its okay...part of being a girl... Smile
it's not so much about the polish as it is against enhancements of any kind. Several years ago a baby died in a neo natal clinic from being infected from a bacteria under a nurse's nails. BUT, another nurse who had long natural nails had it, too, because they were dipping from a communal hand lotion container. The one nurse who no enhancements did not have the bacteria under her short nails.

Now most hospitals will not let the nurses wear nails.
If you are part of any kind of patient care at all (housekeepers, aides, lab, radiology, therapy, etc.), our town hospital doesn't permit enhancements of any kind. No polish is allowed, either colored or clear. Office workers are not included in the ban.

Many restaurants also don't allow enhancements or polishes because they may come off or chip, thereby contaminating food.

If you want the job then you have to just deal with it.

I offer fun toe enhancements for them. Most of the nurses and restaurant workers here are wearing rockstar toes or french acrylics or gels.

I also encourage the hospital and restaurant employees to get regular manicures to control cuticles and help with dry skin. I have alot of mani clients just for that.
Not all nurses can't wear enhancements. The nurses in our local regional health area can and do wear them. I think it depends on the hospital.
scratchmyback :
> Not all nurses can't wear enhancements. The nurses in our local regional health
> area can and do wear them. I think it depends on the hospital.

Yes, I do not believe it is law, but instead left up to individuals places to make there own policies on such things.


Each hospital has their own regs and standards. Some won't allow a nurse to wear anything, while others will.

My suggestion is to write Doug Schoon ([email protected]) and ask him for his expert opinion on gel polish. I would be specific as to which brand you are using so he can make the correct statement based on the chemicals involved in that product. I would also ask him about CND's Shellac. They advertise it as a hybrid gel polish. Ask him what that means and if the medical community should be concerned or not with nurses wearing the new products that are coming out. I would think their new gel polish would be much better to wear than regular polish, since it is virtually chip resistant.

It's too bad the medical community didn't address the real issue of the death of the children.....medical staff not cleaning their hands properly, long enough and use of community lotion.
Nurses here are only allowed to wear a clear polish and have to keep their nails short. I 've been putting a clear gel overlay on the nurses that need added strength.
Doug Schoon has already somewhat addressed this issue before. Hospitals are basing their protocol on a study done by the CDC in the 70's, but it makes no sense because the same study found a higher bacteria content on neckties--but you do not see hospitals banning those on their doctors. It is frustrating, but not much you can do will change the boards minds on the issue when they have the backing of the CDC--misguided though it may be!
I know our hospitals around here are No Enhancements or polish. Now I have done real short gels with a sheer pink polish or a cream tip french and they have gotten away with it. Now when I was on the delivery floor having my daughter a few years ago, my delivery nurse had very long natural oval nails. I couldn't believe she was checking my dialation with these thin super long natural nails. Talk about pain. In my opinion, it's the longness that habors the bacteria, not whether it's an enhancement or not. And as we all know, some people practice better hygene than others, enhancements or not.


As far as I know Doug has not addressed the issue about gel polish. From what I've read he addressed enhancements vs natural nails. I am curious to see what his take on gel polish is.
Thanks everyone! Well all I was able to do is give my clients the shellac info and a typed letter from my salon that explained the differences between wearing trad. polish versus gel polish and that they are both an overlay. Only the gel will not chip while they are at work,etc. And also the differences between gel and acrylic.
I didn't have time to get ahold of Doug yet. But i plan to.


> help! I have 6 nurses that wear gel polish. And if I can't proove it is just
> polish, they will have to remove it!

I am sorry but where does it say that Gel Polish is just polish? And Gel Polishes, can chip and cannot be guaranteed not to.
The issue with Nurses is a sanitation one when it comes to anything capping the nail, since they can lift or tend to be longer at the free edge they can harbor more bacteria, and if its under the nail in a lifted spot they Cant clean it out... Its a health thing. I do not agree with them that only enhanced nails are the problem since long natural nails can have many nasties under them. But if polish, gel, acrylic, shellac, eco s/o and so on have a crack, a chip, or a lift it will have bacteria under that spot that no one can get to...
So in my opinion I would prefer the nurse stick with the regulations of their work place and get a buffing to make them shiny. Its part of their job requirement and like the rest of us who have to follow our states rules, so should they.
Sobeit, I think everything you said is true! But I also believe that if they are aloud to ear reg polish then they should be aloud to wear gel! I have no lifting problems at all. And they wear gloves anyway!
These nursed are aloud to wear polish that I am talking about.
Thank you. You make a good point!
So you are informed, try this article by Doug.. it might help the cause..

Hospital Workers & Food Handlers & Nails
> Sobeit, I think everything you said is true! But I also believe that if they
> are aloud to ear reg polish then they should be aloud to wear gel! I have no
> lifting problems at all. And they wear gloves anyway!
> These nursed are aloud to wear polish that I am talking about.
> Thank you. You make a good point!

Shoot i would put regular nail polish in the same color on their pinky finger and have them show that it can be taken off in seconds LOL!!!
I am a registered nurse by profession now and wanted to clarify your posts....The Center for Disease Control has mandated that ANYONE with direct patient contact NOT wear artificial nails or constructs. This stems from the incident mentioned in one of the posts where several infants died of MRSA found under the artificial nails of several of the nursing staff in a neonatal ICU unit (btw...not from the hand lotion initially; it was spread to the bottles of lotion by the nursing staff). If ANY nurse says they can wear artificial nails, they are WRONG! ALL healthcare institutions have made it their policy not to allow this; it is in fact now a regulatory standard by the major regulatory agency. However, this law went into effect before the advent of gel polish. If the process is a polish-like application with a premixed solution, it is not constructed on their nails and most places would likely allow this. But if it is a combination of powder mixed with agent, this is NOT allowed (in fact, it is not a true gel application from my understanding). Hope this clarifies it for those clients with questions.


Well, in that case then, that doesn't exclude wraps and gels. There are no powders in those products. And I know for a fact that not all health care agencies are following the CDC's regs. I've even had a doctor come in to get her nail enhancements done.

As far as the lotion, the issue there is that they had a product that everyone was using and handling and caused the bacteria/germs to spread from person to person to children. Which is against regulations, I believe.

I would have to agree with Doug about hand washing being the culprit in that I've seen time and time again people don't wash their hands long enough. And I would think that every time a health care professional washes their hands, use of a new nail brush should be used each and every time under their nails, because there is bacteria/germs under our natural nails also. The only time I've ever seen that done is just prior to surgery.
Here's more information from the Joint Commission, with additional links to the reports from the CDC and the WHO:

And a preview:

"Q. Where can I find the current Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines?

A. View the CDC report . Download the WHO report . (Requires Adobe Reader) (Of course these will be live links when you visit the Joint Commission website.)

Categories of recommendations

Q. Does Joint Commission require implementation of all the recommendations in the CDC or WHO hand hygiene guidelines?

A. Each of the CDC and WHO hand hygiene recommendations is categorized on the basis of the strength of evidence supporting the recommendation. All “category I” recommendations (including categories IA, IB, and IC) must be implemented. Category II recommendations should be considered for implementation but are not required for accreditation purposes. Category IA recommendations are strongly supported by well-designed experimental, clinical, or epidemiological studies; category IB recommendations are supported by certain experimental, clinical, or epidemiological studies and a strong theoretical rationale; category IC recommendations are required by regulation; category II recommendations are supported by suggestive clinical or epidemiological studies or a theoretical rationale. The CDC also includes among its recommendations several “unresolved issues” for which it makes “no recommendation.”

Q. The CDC guidelines say that health care personnel should not wear artificial nails and should keep natural nails less than one quarter inch long if they care for patients at high risk of acquiring infections (e.g. patients in intensive care units or in transplant units). The WHO guidelines prohibit artificial nails and extenders for all healthcare workers. Will Joint Commission actually be requiring this?

A. Each organization must follow the IA, IB and IC recommendations from the guideline it chooses (CDC or WHO). Therefore, if WHO is chosen, no direct care providers should have artificial nails or extenders. If CDC is chosen, providers in high-risk areas must not wear artificial nails. Please note that many organizations following CDC guidelines have chosen to expand the ban on artificial nails to all care providers in the interest of safety. Regarding the length of natural nails, each organization may choose its own approach since the level of recommendation in both the CDC and WHO guidelines is “II”, thereby making compliance optional."
Thanks so much everyone!
Doctors get away with wearing nails because they are NOT employees of the hospitals; they are independent contractors and are not subject to the same regulations as staff. Employees of the hospitals are required to follow JCAHO standards and standards for each state that they practice in. JCAHO standards, which are national, have mandated this, unfortunately. I still know health care personnel that get their nails done, hoping they don't get caught.
I respectfully must disagree with some of the information previously posted. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) "recommended" that those working in critical care area, such as intensive care wards, should not wear long nails of any type and should keep their polish from cracking, since long nails and cracked nail polish can harbor more bacteria. It was only a recommendation embedded in a larger document that focused on this much bigger issue, doctors and nurses more often than not, don't take the time to properly wash their hands between patients. This is a really big problem in hospital that causes too many people to be infected by organism they are exposed to while in the hospital.

The case neonatal ICU case described in the earlier e-mail was very unfortunate. Nurses with both long natural and artificial nails were the cause. They would wash their hands, then they dipped their fingers into a 'community' hand lotion that had become contaminated with bacteria. This caused several critically ill children to die. Of course, the media jumps on this and proclaims "artificial nails kill babies', which is bunk. These nurses did that job and it's my recollection that only one of the three nurses implicated wore artificial nails.

The facts are, the mega-chain hospital Kaiser Permanente went overboard and required everyone in the hospital to take off their acrylic nails or be fired (UV gels are also acrylics, but some hospitals don't know that). Shortly afterwards, some medical associations and other groups took a similar stance. This "ban" is NOT required by the CDC, it is something that a hospital can "elect" to do. Not all hospitals have this requirement. If this has become a federal regulation, I am unaware of this and would love to see the regulation. To my knowledge, such a regulation does not exist, but I would like to see the information if it does.
Interestingly, many reports show that one of the most contaminated things to enter these neonatal wards is a "doctor's tie'. Tie's are rarely cleaned and are known to be capable of harboring potentially harmful pathogens.

I've always thought it very odd that Kaiser Permanente and others continues to allow doctors to wear ties, but force people working in the offices with no patent contact to remove their artificial nails.

Doug Schoon
Chief Scientific Advisor
CND, Inc.
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