Working in the ER pregnant

  1. I am a new grad and will soon start working a night shift in the Emergency Room. Being that I am almost thirty I will be thinking about getting pregnant sometime toward the fall of 2006. I was wondering has anyone out there had any experience with being pregnant while working on the night shift in the ER. It may seem like an odd question, but I am a little concerned how unhealthy this may be to the growing fetus, am I crazy?
    •  
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   austin heart
    I worked days in an ER and did just fine through out my entire pregnancy. I am 32. I had great co-workers and they helped out alot making sure that I didn't do anything that could harm me or my baby. It really is not any different than working in any other unit. If you have any specific questions I would be glad to answer them.
  4. by   LeahJet
    i am 37 and just had a baby girl (3 mos. old)... i worked night shift in the ER. the charge nurses had mercy on me and i was assigned to triage during the last couple of months. it was still stressful but at least i could just roll around the triage desk/area in a chair. most places, co-workers are great. AND the patients and families will see your big pregnant belly and actually pull grandma up in the bed themselves.
    i will say that i once saw something on CNN about night shift and an increase in stillbirths. i am sorry that i can't remember the specifics but it had something to do with melatonin and estrogen levels. AND i did have a stillbirth at 37 weeks one year ago. she looked completely normal and was a beautiful baby.... there was no clue as to what happened...we will never know. i was working night shift then also. i am not trying to be negative...just sharing my experience.
  5. by   county162
    Thank you soo much for sharing your experience. I asked the question because it is most difficult for me to sleep in the day time and when I do get pregnant I am afraid that this may indeed affect my pregnancy. When the time comes I am going to change to a morning or mid-day shift.
  6. by   Aneroo
    I am one of the 7 or so preggo's we have working in our ED right now.
    My biggest complaint is hip pain, but I manage to work a 12 hour shift. The baby has started compressing my sciatic nerve, and by the end of a shift, I hurt like heck. But it's an individual thing, doesn't happen to all preggo's.
    I am a new grad, so I won't be getting to work triage. Some of my co-workers have been awesome. "Don't lift that momma, I'll do it" Others don't even know I'm pregnant (I'm 26 weeks, but the only way most people know is word of mouth or seeing me waddle). You have to be proactive with making sure you drink enough water, pee enough, and get enough food.
    Also, try to wait a few months before diving straight in, unless you've already worked at the facility. I won't be covered by FMLA b/c I haven't been there over a year when Anna is born. So, I get unpaid time off- hopefully. -Andrea
  7. by   LeahJet
    Hey Andrea,
    I wasn't eligible for FMLA either and we saved money during my pregnancy for the "time off for baby fund". Well, when the time came to take leave (I had a scheduled c/s) the HR lady told me that I could get short term disability which pays 60% of your income and lasts for 4-8 weeks depending on what type of delivery you have. That was a pleasant surprise!
    And my sweet little baby girl is named Ana too!
  8. by   Really An Actress
    I worked med-surg while I was pregnant and except for trouble bending over and squatting, I felt invincible for some reason. My babies came out very healthy.
  9. by   Really An Actress
    Leah,

    Your charge nurses must have loved you.
  10. by   Aneroo
    Quote from LeahJet
    Hey Andrea,
    I wasn't eligible for FMLA either and we saved money during my pregnancy for the "time off for baby fund". Well, when the time came to take leave (I had a scheduled c/s) the HR lady told me that I could get short term disability which pays 60% of your income and lasts for 4-8 weeks depending on what type of delivery you have. That was a pleasant surprise!
    And my sweet little baby girl is named Ana too!
    I wish my hospital offered short term disability... How the HECK did we get one of the top one hundred working mothers? It's crazy... My saving grace is that we're in such high demand, I know I'll have a job to come back to.
  11. by   MrsWampthang
    Quote from LeahJet
    Hey Andrea,
    I wasn't eligible for FMLA either and we saved money during my pregnancy for the "time off for baby fund". Well, when the time came to take leave (I had a scheduled c/s) the HR lady told me that I could get short term disability which pays 60% of your income and lasts for 4-8 weeks depending on what type of delivery you have. That was a pleasant surprise!
    And my sweet little baby girl is named Ana too!

    Leahjet, where ya been girl? Whatcha up to?

    Pam
  12. by   LeahJet
    Hey Pam!
    Oh, I've just been settling in down here. It really is nice to be back home. I start a fun-filled orientation week Monday (waahoo) then I'll be working two 16's in the ER. How've YOU been?? I sure do miss everyone....'cept Dr. you-know-who!

    ~~and back to the subject, sorry folks~~

    Actress,
    Yeah, I was lucky that way.... I had some pretty cool charge nurses. AND cool co-workers that didn't mind me working triage all the time. (thanks, pam!)

    ~~ok, off subject again~~
    Andrea,
    What is your baby's middle name? Mine is Ana Marie.
  13. by   Aneroo
    Quote from LeahJet
    Hey Pam!
    Andrea,
    What is your baby's middle name? Mine is Ana Marie.
    AnnaBelle Marie It's a family name- my grandmother's full name, and strangely enough, his grandmother is also named AnnaBelle!
  14. by   Happy-ER-RN
    Quote from county162
    I am a new grad and will soon start working a night shift in the Emergency Room. Being that I am almost thirty I will be thinking about getting pregnant sometime toward the fall of 2006. I was wondering has anyone out there had any experience with being pregnant while working on the night shift in the ER. It may seem like an odd question, but I am a little concerned how unhealthy this may be to the growing fetus, am I crazy?

    No you are not crazy at all. I work nights in the ER and I am also concerned about becoming pregnant. For one I have not adjusted well to nights and struggle with insomnia which can't be good for a healthy pregnancy and then there is the risk that you could possibly come in contact with TB or bacterial meningitis--something horrible like that, and we are entering flu season, it's not like you can refuse to take care of people who are possibly infectious. I don't really know what to do about the situation. I am going to try to wait until I can get on days at least before I get pregnant--I think. There are 5 or 6 day nurses who are pregnant in my department right now and they don't seemed concerned. I would hope your co-workers would look out for you though and let you pass on checking in the pt. with a sudden onset worst headache of their life and temp of 104, or the pt. coughing up blood and having night sweats...:stone

close