My supervisor tells me that we don’t need to wear gloves or gowns anymore when caring for patients/residents with MRSA or VRE. I’m concerned about the safety of this change. Why is the SHA doing this? What can I do?

My supervisor tells me that we don’t need to wear gloves or gowns anymore when caring for patients/residents with MRSA or VRE. I’m concerned about the safety of this change. Why is the SHA doing this? What can I do?

My supervisor tells me that we don’t need to wear gloves or gowns anymore when caring for patients/residents with MRSA or VRE. I’m concerned about the safety of this change. Why is the SHA doing this? What can I do?

Answer

SEIU-West has heard these concerns from many of our LPNs and CCAs. Short answer: the SHA wants to save on gloves and gowns. They claim this new policy is safe, so long as care workers practice good hand hygiene. However, after reviewing the scientific literature, we’ve reached a different conclusion. On April 17 we sent a letter to the SHA (click here to read it) expressing our concerns that this policy change was unwise, and urging them to reconsider. As of April 22 we have received no response. As a health care worker you have the right to refuse work that you believe to be unsafe—click here for more information on the process for exercising that right. Also, as an LPN you have the right to use your clinical and professional judgment—we have contacted SALPN for their opinion on this policy change, and are still waiting for their response. We will update this post if/when we hear back from the SHA and/or SALPN.