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Second Opinions > Do You Allow Gel Manicures in the OR?

Do You Allow Gel Manicures in the OR?

A reader writes:

"I have gotten a lot of questions about if the Shellac nail polish is safe in the OR and don't feel there is enough information on this product to say yes. It is not considered an artificial nail. I have told the staff no but would like some evidence based on this product."

Do you let your staff work in the OR with gel manicures on their fingernails? Why, or why not?

Started by: Irene Tsikitas (Other) at May 10, 2011 (2:32 pm)

Comments and Responses

View: earliest first

I'm just a Surgical tech, and it seems to me that unless you can definitively say that there's no risk to the patient, saying more of a risk, or less of a risk is moot. The safety of the patient comes first. It's bad enough with the natural nails, so why add another possible factor to the mix with the artificial, gel, or shellaced nails.

Rafael S. (Other) at April 11, 2014 (5:06 pm) [last edited on April 11, 2014 (5:08 pm)]

We do not allow the artificial or gel nails at our facility. I personally have tried the shellac nails, as several others have stated it is a nail polish that is cured under the UV light. IT has a base coat, 2 coats of color polish, then a top coat-same as regular nail polish. Everything is removed when you get your next manicure just like regular nail polish, so it does not build up and get thick like the artificial nails. Since everything is removed at each manicure there is no area for bacteria to hide. We have not had an increase in infections since part of our staff has started using the shellac polish.

Lynn P. (Director, Surgical Services / Director of Nursing) at May 16, 2011 (2:26 pm)

We do not allow the artificial or gel nails at our facility, but do allow nail polish as long as it is not chipped. I personally have tried the shellac nails, as several others have stated it is a nail polish that is cured under the UV light. IT has a base coat, 2 coats of color polish, then a top coat-same as regular nail polish. Everything is removed when you get your next manicure just like regular nail polish, so it does not build up and get thick like the artificial nails. Since everything is removed at each manicure there is no area for bacteria to hide. We have not had an increase in infections since part of our staff has started using the shellac polish.

Lynn P. (Director, Surgical Services / Director of Nursing) at May 16, 2011 (2:25 pm) [last edited on May 16, 2011 (2:26 pm)]

We are battling the same problem. We currently have a policy based on AORN recommendations but we are finding it difficult to distinguish among gel versus shellac, versus polish, thus making our policy on no artifical nails, overlays, or wraps enforceable.
Any suggestions?

Courtney T. (Administrator/Director/Manager/Owner/Exec. Officer) at May 12, 2011 (2:08 pm)

I agree with the IC nurse and the DOS, this is just a polish that stays longer. Normal nails split, break and peel. This type of POLISH prevents this and thus is safer. Regular polish chip, this polish does not. I feel we all need to think about this. There is no product used to lengthen just polish and UV light. If AORN allows polish, this is a safer and more durable polish than regular. C. Mckee RN, CNOR

C. McKee (Other) at May 11, 2011 (2:20 pm)

Coworkers that scrub into the cases are expected to have clean, short, natural nails. No polish or coating of any kind. Employees that do not scrub in may wear nail polish. If the polish is chipped, they will remove it before starting patient care.

Lynda Simon (OR Manager / Supervisor) at May 11, 2011 (11:15 am)

We do not allow them in our O.R. As far as we are concerned they are artificial. They are an infection control issue according to AORN standards. Caryn Solomon, R.N./Clinical Coordinator HVCSF

Caryn Solomon (OR Manager/Supervisor) at May 11, 2011 (9:16 am)

I would consider it far better than nail polish. It is much different than what was called gel nails that had to be drilled.

Mary

Mary H. (Anesthesiologist/Nurse Anesthetist) at May 10, 2011 (9:21 pm) [last edited on May 10, 2011 (9:22 pm)]

This description identifies this product as having "gel" and therefore not in keeping with AORN recommendations. That said- I don't even agree with the whole "wear it for four days" that AORN talks about. If its about patient safety its a small sacrifice and my current place allows no polish or artificials for any direct patient care-giver.

Shellac FAQ'sWhat is Shellac? Shellac is the brand name for a new, patent pending nail product created by Creative Nail Design. It is a hybrid, meaning half nail polish, half gel.

The product is thin and strong enough to be applied similarly to nail polish, but it is cured in a way that gives it great flexibility and durability. It also has the incredible shine associated only with gel nails.

Jennifer Misajet (Director, Surgical Services/Director of Nursing) at May 10, 2011 (8:09 pm)

The shellac is a polish that is processed with UV light to make it last longer and resist chipping far longer than a regular nail polish would. It does not extend the length of the nail, merely coats the nail with a clear or tinted color. It is removed using acetone, the same thing that removes regular nail polish,it just requires a longer soaking time to completely remove. Our nurses are allowed to wear this type of polish provided it is clear or very lightly tinted.

Lisa F. (Director, Surgical Services/Director of Nursing) at May 10, 2011 (4:49 pm)

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