Are ER nurses prone to getting sick more often than other specialities?

  1. Are ER nurses prone to getting sick more often than other specialities? The reason I ask this is because let's say someone comes with something contagious and they're coughing all over you..........in other specialities like ortho, nephro, neuro...it doesn't happen that often.....

    Let me know if ER nurses prone to getting sick more than other specialities? And how do you protect yourself?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   debx
    I've been in the ED for many years and I'm healthy as a horse. I believe that we are exposed to so many germs that our immune systems are stronger than the average bear. Granted, when I first started in the ED, I was sick more often, but with time I had an immune system that's as strong as steel!
  4. by   CritterLover
    actually, i've always felt it was the opposite. we get such continuous exposer to so much that it seems like we develop a very strong immune system. i'm sick less now working er than i ever was when i worked in icu. in fact, i don't think i've been sick since i started working in the er. (of course, as i say this, i feel a sore throat coming on....)
  5. by   ERNurse752
    I see a lot of people who get sick more often the first year, then it tapers off after that.

    Of course, I always fear the wave of N/V/D that comes in every year, b/c I always seem to catch that. I'm hoping to break the cycle this year...
  6. by   Dixielee
    I agree with above. I think because we are exposed to literally everything, our immune system is more able to fight it off. I have gone years on end without ever calling in sick, and if I do get sick, it is usually more of an inconvienence than real illness. I just hope my body keeps hanging in there! It is my feet that I worry about. Can you get a foot transplant???????????????
  7. by   traumaRUs
    I agree with above posters. My immune system is absolutely tops. In almost 9 years, I've called in for one shift.
  8. by   needsmore$
    I agree as well
  9. by   sillyme
    Have'nt gotten sick from anything I've been exposed to here in the ER.
    The times I did get sick, got it from my kids.:kiss
  10. by   sarah123
    I volunteer in an ER lobby (the only way for a CNA to get close here), maybe 11 weeks now. And I do think I came home with something new every week. Not bad, I've never been one to get sick, but "bugged" for sure. I really do believe though that, before long, there will be enough exposure to enough things that it will be much less of an issue. I'm two weeks in the clear. So.... maybe it is starting to work already. It would be great to see some statistics on this though.

    Anyway, I love it, being around the ER, the staff is so tight, and it is great exposure ;-) while I do the school thing.

    ...just some green somones thoughts

    Sarah
  11. by   CEN35
    I think it depends on the person. I have had asthma my whole life. The 7 years I worked ER, I had at least 2 resp infections a year, the flu every year, and one sinus infection a year. I left two years ago to come to pacu. I still get the once a year (between october and december) respritory crap, but that's it. So I think the risk and possibility is much greater. At least for me it was.

    ricky
  12. by   LLLLeah
    I am a compulsive handwasher and never touch my face at work but in the 5 months I have been working in EDs I have had 2 bouts of gastroenteritis, 2 mild head colds and I have one doozy of a URTI right now. More illnesses than I have had in the previous 5 years. I'm really hoping this will taper off.

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