Recently had a long conversation with a man I care for. He has 24 hour care and has multiple care providers. He also used to use a nurse agency. We spoke about the fact that some care providers and nurses over use gloves (like plastic hospital gloves) in situations that do not warrant them. From my internships over the years at hospitals I have learned the basic rules of when to use a glove, and it's a lot less then I thought. Anyways we talked about how he has two care providers that literally wear gloves for everything. Like transsfering, washing dishes, laundry, basically anytime they touch him or anything he has touched. It makes him feel not human, or disgusting. And I totally agree. I only use gloves really when toileting and removing or putting on his catheter. In the hospital you're told to use gloves when in the presence of bodily fluid to not only protect your self from any maybe infection but to protect a patient from any bacteria on your hands. However in the hospital there are hand sanitizers everywhere and so for example if I went into a patients room (they mark on the door before if you need gloves, which is maybe 2/50 on a floor) and you maybe held the patients hand or helped adjust a pillow you aren't expected to wear gloves. Do any of you have any stories or thoughts on this? In the case where a client/patient requests a care provider does not use gloves in a situation where 1.they're not infectious, and 2. no chance of bodily fluid should the care giver comply or at least come up with a valid reason why? Maybe there is just no awareness of this issue since able body people have never had to experience it.
Gloves , aprons etc , infection control, safety , constant training and paperwork... that's kinda drummed into us here, it's all gone a bit too far I think, I wear gloves and sometimes an apron when I need to, the apron is only to keep my uniform clean as I more than likely have other clients throughout the day, I wash my hands and have a little bottle of sanitizer, i wouldn't be too happy if a member of my family needed a care and was made to feel less than human, so I don't see why I should treat someone else's family any different to what I'd want mine to be treated , I use gloves for personal care and toileting , I don't need to use them to make tea or hold someone's hand
Gloves and other precautions to prevent the spread of infectious disease are a pretty vital component of care-giving, particularly when bodily fluids or preparation of food/serving food are involved.
Regardless of how a patient of receiver of care feel about it, they are important to protect both you and him from the possibility of transmission of disease. Imagine situations where you have a chest cold that is incubating (or something similar) and you cover your mouth with a hand when coughing, then run into a situation where it is expected to shake hands or touch someone. It is difficult to be mindful of such situations all the time. That's why it is accepted as a standard of care.
If the patient or receiver of care doesn't understand, you'll just have to explain it in terms they can understand. Not observing guidelines like this leads to preventable mistakes, and could cost you your job if you set them aside for the sake of not hurting someone's feelings.
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