Latex Allergies & Nurses
By Violet Edwards, Nursing Student BSN, Medgar Evers College
I wish to convey my concern for the safety of nurses. We are faced with challenges and risks each day on the job and are expected to provide safe quality care, yet our safety is constantly compromised. Latex allergy is still a problem in the hospitals and I am partially happy that you brought this topic to light.
I agree that “nothing in the world can be latex free," but it is imperative that all hospitals aim to be latex safe. Nurses are expected to give safe quality care so therefore their environment should be conducive to such. As stated in the article, latex gloves are not the only medium of allergy for the nurse in the workplace so creating a latex resource nurse to work with the latex committees is not solving the problem.
Some nurses are forced to leave areas that they love because of their latex allergy. They end up in areas that are less fulfilling and hence they get bored and leave the job while the hospital loses a potential great employee. This should not have to happen seeing that there are other alternatives such as being latex safe.
I understand that to make a facility latex safe is costly, but I think that if its done at other hospitals and it works well then all hospitals should adapt the principle. It may end up costing the same or more to put into place the ALAA recommendations than to create a latex safe hospital. It is fair to say that some action is being taken to protect the nurse, but much still needs to be done to ensure that the nurse is safe in order to practice safely.