As an ICU nurse I had pretty much completely stopped caring about having my fingernails done. The constant washing and use of hand sanitizer made it impossible to keep polish on, so I pretty much gave up on having pretty nails.
Can Nurses Wear Nail Polish?
A majority of hospitals I’ve worked in don’t allow artificial nails or nail polish. Few allowed gel nail manicures but those destroyed my natural nail and weren’t usually considered “safe” either because they crack and chip. Anything that cracks or chips is an increased risk for contamination. So simply wearing gels or tips that damage your natural nails can make your natural nails more likely to carry bacteria. Yikes!
Jamberry Nail Wraps for Nurses!
Then I discovered Jamberry nail wraps. Not only do they not crack or chip, so you are less likely to be harboring bacteria, but they also last through all of the hand washings! They are the only product I have ever used that I consider “nurse proof”. When applied correctly, they last at least 2 weeks on hands (some get 3 weeks out of them), and at least 6 weeks on toes! Longer than nail polish and just as long as gels!
Another great thing about Jamberry Nail wraps is that they are not only super easy to apply but they’re also super easy to remove! So if your facility does not allow you to use anything on your nails you can easily wear them on your days off and then take them off for the days you work. Simply reheat them and peel them off! Or for gentle removal you can use oil to work away the adhesive. Read this article to learn more about applying and removing Jamberry Nail wraps.
Safety For Nurses Wearing Jamberry Nail Wraps
A few tips of advice to make sure that you are wearing your wraps in the safest way possible, to protect yourself and your patients:
- Keep your nails relatively short. The CDC recommends that nails be kept no longer than 1/4 of an inch. Basically when looking at your nails, from the palm side, you should not be able to see your nails over the tips of your fingers. This rule should at least be followed when caring for critical patients. The CDC also found that long nails, whether artificial or natural, were more likely to be contaminated with bacteria.
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water and/or clean nail beds with rubbing alcohol before applying wraps. This will ensure that you are not trapping any bacteria under the wrap.
- Put on wraps with care to make sure there are no lumps or bumps. If you have curved nails or any trouble removing all the lumps; try using tweezers or a metal cuticle pusher, heat it with a flat iron or curling iron (hold the tip of it against the heat), and carefully smooth out all the lumps with the heated metal. This technique also helps to seal all the edges of the wrap. Just be careful not to heat it too much (DO NOT try to use the curling iron or heat source directly against the nail, it will burn your nail wrap and your hand).
- Don’t be afraid to remove and re-apply wraps that are starting to look worn. Jamberry Nail wraps are super affordable (about $2-4 a use) so it’s not worth bringing an infection home to your family or risking patient safety. It’s also good to give your nails a break from having anything on them here and there :).
- Whether you’re wearing nail wraps or not, don’t forget to wash underneath your nails!
Follow your facilities guidelines for how they require you to keep your nails. As mentioned above, it is quite easy to remove Jamberry Nail Wraps and then re-apply on your days off! Otherwise, they are totally nurse proof and you will love wearing them at work. I was soooo amazed how well they lasted!
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