Surgery Center Patients With Nail Polish and Artificial Nails: Q&A With Phenelle Segal of ICCS

By on 11:29 AM

On the discussion board of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA), an ASCA member writing on behalf of an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) recently posed a question concerning patients with nail polish and artificial nails.

Infection Control Consulting Services President Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, a leading provider of ASC infection prevention consulting and infection-related services to many other types of healthcare facilities, shared her thoughts on the issue.

Q: I have a surgeon who wants to allow patients to wear nail polish and keep their artificial nails on. Has anyone run into this issue and how did you resolve it?

Phenelle Segal: I have just returned from an ASC visit where patients with artificial nails or long natural nails are given a nailbrush with chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) and instructions for scrubbing them while in the holidng area.

I think that is a great compromise given that we can't force patients to remove the nails or the polish.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.