Last week when I was examining a patient, I scratched her. On the FACE.
I felt awful about it. It wasn't a bad scratch. And when I apologized profusely, the patient just laughed. It didn't even leave a mark, at least not one that I could see. But I definitely felt my fingernail make facial contact.
My fingernails are not the long scary kind that start curling over on themselves. I could describe them, but a picture is worth a thousand words so this is the current state of my fingernails:
I don't paint them, but I keep them clean. I can't imagine cutting them really short, just because I feel like I use fingernails as a tool of sorts. I trim them maybe one a week or every other week.
But is it appropriate to have longish fingernails as a doctor? Am I obligated to cut them shorter?