It seems that healthcare workers are often asked if they can wear acrylic nails on the job. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines, healthcare workers are able to wear acrylics (nails) provided they have received the proper training and certification.
In short, you can wear whatever you want as long as you have been trained and your nails have been properly inspected. If you do not, it’s probably best if you don’t.
Acrylic nail products, while completely safe, can contain bacteria or fungus or can encourage the growth of such organisms. Fungus is one of the leading causes of workplace infections and illness. It can be responsible for everything from ear mites, nasal polyps, sinus infections, athlete’s foot, thrush, and nail infections.
Why Can’t Healthcare Workers Wearing Acrylic Nails While Cleaning Rooms?
Why can’t healthcare workers wear artificial nails? Recently, in an in-depth report on the dangers of long-term exposures to chemical disinfectants and medications found at work, it was noted that the majority of health professionals who were exposed did not have any visible symptoms of infection or disease.
The report stated that many employees who were working in the vicinity of these chemicals and medications had no idea they were exposed until they experienced a fungal infection and the telltale discoloration and cracking of their fingernails.
In addition, numerous patients found dead or recently deceased within the facilities were also not cleaned properly, leading to the build-up of bacterial infections within the facilities’ patient population.
The lack of proper cleaning procedures is a serious threat to the general health of healthcare workers, and workers should not be allowed to work with any products or substances that could cause them harm while they are working.
If an employee is wearing nail polish and fingernail gel that have a gel base, it can be difficult to clean the surfaces effectively without actually removing the fake nails. If the employee is also wearing a plastic shield, it can be difficult to access those areas if the employer is not using a strong vacuum.
Furthermore, fingernail gels can contain harmful bacteria and other irritants that can make it extremely difficult to breathe and touch areas that may be infected with fungus.
How Long Can Nails Be in Medical Field?
It may sound ridiculous to ask, How long can nails be in the medical field? But, research shows that the nail is one of the most useful and frequently used tools in the healthcare industry.
As a medical professional you deal with people’s lives everyday and you will be required to handle sharp objects, rub sutures or use some other type of instrument to put a mark on their skin or otherwise mark them as being ready for surgery or treatment.
Nails do get dull and need to be sharpened regularly. It is therefore logical that in the job that you are seeking to have at least some knowledge of how long artificial nails should be in use before it becomes a problem.
Artificial nails for the purposes of this article refer to acrylic, fibre, laminated and silk artificial nails. These are the modern versions of the early models of false nails that were used in the healthcare industry.
How long you can use artificial nails in the healthcare field depends upon the healthcare worker and the agency that he/she works for. Some healthcare workers like to work with patients’ nails straight away while others need more time.
It is therefore fair for the agency and the healthcare worker to agree on the time scale and manner of using the artificial nails in accordance with the healthcare worker’s preferences.
Is Short Nails More Convenient For Healthcare Workers?
If you were to ask a healthcare professional, does short nails provide better grip and security, the answer would most likely be “no”.
Although some healthcare workers such as Podiatrists, Orthopedists, Dental Assistants, Plastic Surgeons and other healthcare professionals use shorter nails on their hands and fingers in order to provide the best gripping security and ease of use for these healthcare professionals, most of them do not like artificial nails.
A lot of them think that acrylic nails provide more grip and security for these healthcare professionals and most of them don’t like the look of artificial nails over real human nails.
As stated above, these healthcare workers who are in the healthcare industry are a special case because their jobs require them to handle sharp, hard objects which can damage their hands and fingers.
It is best for these healthcare professionals who work with their hands and fingers on a daily basis to have longer nails and healthier and cleaner nails.
This does not mean though that they cannot have artificial nails or cuticles for when they need to work outside the home.
It’s just better for them to have artificial nails for those times when they are working outside the home. Just because a healthcare worker does his or her job outside the home doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t take care of their hands and fingers at all times.
Is Gel Nails Considered Unprofessional For Healthcare Workers?
In the world of nail art, acrylic nails have gained momentum as more women opt to have their nails done professionally with gel nails. But the question is do artificial nails and gel nails really make a dent in the healthcare industry?
It seems that it may be pushing them away, but not everyone is on board with the new trend. Whether it’s about ethics or cost, artificial nails are starting to go the way of the dinosaur and healthcare professionals are starting to say no thanks.
There are two major issues at play when it comes to the use of artificial nails and healthcare workers. One, there is the issue of insecurity.
If a healthcare professional accidentally spills a vial of fake nail gel on their hand, they can cover it up with a band-aid quickly but the wound will still be present. This could lead to infection and the possible onset of some kind of malady.
The second issue is directly related to the subject matter at hand: safety. Healthcare workers that regularly wear artificial nails could be at risk for a host of unsanitary conditions including: bloodstream infections, hard to treat infections, frostbite, dermatitis, and many other unsavory conditions.
Can Healthcare Workers Wear Artificial Nails?
Why should healthcare workers be allowed to wear artificial nails instead of natural nail clippers, nail files, and nail polishes? What’s so bad about artificial nails anyway? According to the Medical Society of Cosmetic Dentistry, “there is no clear evidence that wearing artificial nails has an effect on the performance of healthcare personnel.”
The association goes on to say, “Nails provide a barrier between a patient’s skin and underlying bones, and it is not clear that artificial nails have any adverse effects on these barriers.”
However, some dentists have put forth the argument that some types of artificial nails may cause chipping or damage to teeth and the gums.
Further studies are being done to look into this problem. According to the American Dental Association, “there have been limited studies comparing the performance of nurses with those of dentists in providing a dental exam.
One study compared dental students with Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), who were not allowed to wear acrylics.” The study found that LPNs reported more pain and greater difficulty maintaining artificial nails than dentists.
Acrylic nails do have their drawbacks. According to the American Society of Clinical Dermatologists, acrylics can trap moisture, which allows bacteria to grow; some patients have even developed infections from these conditions.
Nail biting and sucking are other common practices of individuals engaged in various healthcare occupations, such as nurses, doctors, and pharmacists. In these cases, individuals not using proper equipment can transfer bacteria from one site on the body to another.
Many people with diseases such as diabetes, HIV, and hepatitis are sometimes prescribed or required to wear artificial nails, especially fingernails and his fingernails.