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Nursing, Climbing and Cut Hands


Original Post
zliibbe · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 10

I know there are climber-nurses out there. I'm currently in nursing school and I'm looking for a crowd-sourced solution to a problem. I inevitably get cuts on my hands, whether it's gobies from crack climbing or the small cuts you get when constant chalk use turns your skin into paper mache. But when I'm on the floor I'm constantly washing my hands, using hand sanitizer, etc. and I want a way to protect my hands that will handle that abuse, but also protect me from all the nasty stuff you can pick up in a hospital. Band aids don't work because they hold on to germs and get nasty really quickly. Even just giving up and rubbing hand sanitizer on open cuts and constantly washing my hands isn't that great. Is there something that stands up fairly well that I can protect my cuts AND sanitize my hands. Second skin? 3M Cavilon?

Anyone have this experience? Any suggestions to protect hand wounds in a way that stands up to multiple alcohol/hand sanitizer application and/or hand washing? Thanks in advance.

Edward Medina · · Ridgway, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 853

Use a half sheet of tega-derm (for securing IV catheters) over your cuts. It bonds very securely to your skin. Peel away at the end of your shift.

zliibbe · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 10

Edward, does that work fairly well over knuckles? I haven't had the best of success with that, unless I have something like benzoin tincture to bolster the adhesive (which I don't see often in the hospitals I work in)

Edward Medina · · Ridgway, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 853

I have good success. But I am a bit of an aberration in the climbing world as I do not have hairy knuckles :D

SteveZ · · Denver, CO · Joined Sep 2007 · Points: 408

The tagaderm works well for me too, on non-joints at least (like gobies on the back of your hand). Otherwise dermabond (or superglue) is great though it'll stay on there for more than just the shift. Also, wear gloves...always :). Good luck on school.

What's up Eddie!

Nick Jackson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 135

I wear hand Jammie's (Weak, I know). Kerodex is helpful, and there's some silicone based stuff I use as well. I don't like tegaderms because they don't breathe and end up getting rather gnar at the end of the day. The best treatment is prevention in this case, I think.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
zliibbe wrote: Is there something that stands up fairly well that I can protect my cuts AND sanitize my hands. Second skin? 3M Cavilon?
Yea, gloves. I thought gloves were standard practice anyway? I cant remember the last time I saw a doctor or nurse handle anything that has even the most minute chance of containing something infectious without wearing gloves.
zliibbe · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 10

Of course we all use gloves and of course they are standard practice. Health care workers also sanitize their hands all the time. I'm looking for something to protect my hands/cuts while I'm following standard practice. For example, putting hand sanitizer (or washing hands) on a cut every 5 min for 12 hours turns scabs and healing wounds back into open cuts. No bueno. Thanks for the suggestions so far folks. Keep 'em coming if you have other ideas.

bking7 King · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2011 · Points: 5
Nick Jackson wrote:The best treatment is prevention in this case, I think.
This: We all know that you're tough enough to stick your meat in anything and ignore the pain and chafing sensation, but tape gloves go a long way. Likewise decent skin care cuts down on flappers and split tips.
Obviously some skin damage is unavoidable.
For big nasty Gobis I've always liked tegaderm over bacitracin. At the rate I change gloves, sweat, and sanitize it ends up needing changing halfway through a shift, but having a solid antibiotic at least gives some peice of mind. Super glue on knuckles and small things seems to work okay.
If you happen to be scrubbing into the OR or other sterile situations tegaderm probably won't fly.

Also worth pointing out: Staph makes Gobis heal slower. As much as hand sanitizer sucks on open wounds and leaves me swearing under my breath, hand washing protects YOU and the patient. Soap and water feel slightly better, slower, but you can switch to more of that on shifts where you're extra torn up.
Double gloving doesn't hurt either.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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