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In nursing school, I was taught to glove before inserting an I.V. device. But in my first nursing job, I've seen a lot of deviation from this practice, which I thought was standard. For instance, I saw one nurse insert an I.V. device without gloving. She explained that palpating veins can be difficult with gloves on.


I want to make sure I'm acting ethically by practicing according to best-practice standards, but I don't want to offend my new (and more experienced) colleagues. Any suggestions for me?-E.U., GA.


Acting ethically is about acting fairly, honestly, and according to the highest standards, as you know. If professional caregivers don't know or follow best-practice standards, then their patients aren't being treated fairly.


The standard of care is to wear gloves during any procedure that might expose you to the patient's blood or body fluids-most certainly including I.V. therapy procedures. During your new-nurse orientation, you should have learned about department or hospital policy and procedure on I.V. therapy. Compare it with what you know about best practice for I.V. therapy. Is the policy itself flawed, or are some nurses simply not following it?


As a new employee, are you working with a preceptor or mentor, someone who'll eventually evaluate you and validate your competencies? If so, share your concerns with her. Also raise the issue with your nurse-manager and the hospital's infusion therapy and infection control nurses.


Don't worry about being the new kid on the block. Promoting safety in the workplace is everyone's responsibility.