New fear unlocked. In a viral video, a nurse revealed that one of her patients got an infection after not cleaning the area in and around their smartwatch. Now, she’s warning others on how to avoid being in the same situation.
In the TikTok, Jess (@jess_maria3), who’s seen filming still in her nurse’s uniform at work, shares that she just had a patient who got a staph infection from their Apple Watch.
Staph infections occur when there’s an overgrowth of the staphylococcus bacteria—a type of germ commonly found on the skin and inside the nose of healthy people, according to the Mayo Clinic. While this bacteria usually doesn’t cause problems or only a minor skin infection, it can become more serious if it gets deeper into your body, entering the bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs, or heart.
When on the skin, a staph infection can lead to boils and a painful rash. Staph infections are usually treated with antibiotics and by cleaning the site of infection. These infections are highly contagious and can be spread from person to person.
In her TikTok, nurse Jess shows exactly how people should clean their Apple Watch band to avoid infection. She’s seen using an individually wrapped alcohol pad, swiping it along the back length of her watch, and then turning it over to clean the front of the band.
“This is your reminder to clean your Apple Watch band,” Jess says.
The video struck a nerve with viewers, gaining more than 3.4 million views and over 1,300 comments.
“This is your sign to clean your watch band especially if you wear it to workout,” Jess added in the caption.
@jess_maria3 This is your sign to clean your watch band especially if you wear it to workout #applewatch #thisisyoursign #hack #nursehack #nursesoftiktok #healthcare #medicaltips #medicalhack #tutorial #nursetip #nurseeducation #nursingtips #reminder #doctor #medicaltiktok #healtheducation ♬ original sound – jess
Many commenters were surprised the patient got an infection from their smartwatch.
“Apple watch, phone, ear pieces ( airpods or otherwise) and glasses should be cleaned twice a day with alcohol,” a person said.
“Y’all don’t disinfect everything constantly?” another wrote.
“I noticed I was getting ringworm from mine and just disinfected it,” a commenter shared.
Others, seemingly confused about the fact that Jess was referring to a patient and not a fellow hospital employee, kept asking whether or not American healthcare workers have a bare-below-elbows policy. This requires certain hospital staff to remove their watches, stoned rings, bracelets, long sleeves, long nails, and nail polish.
The United States does not seem to have this policy widely instituted.
The Daily Dot reached out to Jess via email.