chemo kills nurses?

  1. Another nurse told me today that where she worked before, years ago, all of the nurses who gave chemotherapy got cancer and died from it to boot. At our facility, we have to choose to either do pediatrics or get chemo certified. I was hired a few months ago and the time is coming for me to get the training for either one. I don't want to do pediatrics at all and was thinking this whole time that I was going to get chemo certified. Can anyone share any expereinces, facts, or opinions on the subject of giving chemotherapy?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   irshnrse
    Quote from Mediatix8
    Another nurse told me today that where she worked before, years ago, all of the nurses who gave chemotherapy got cancer and died from it to boot. At our facility, we have to choose to either do pediatrics or get chemo certified. I was hired a few months ago and the time is coming for me to get the training for either one. I don't want to do pediatrics at all and was thinking this whole time that I was going to get chemo certified. Can anyone share any expereinces, facts, or opinions on the subject of giving chemotherapy?
    I have a friend that has been a "chemo-certified" RN for 18yrs. She has never even had a funny mole. I think with chemo, and all precautions, nursing has lived and learned. I think a big thing would be to not become complacent when administering the chemo. Use your precautions that you are taught.
  4. by   Judee Smudee
    I am not sure what the stats are on nurses handling chemo. One thing I do know is that the precautions were just not in place years ago.
  5. by   Jolie
    Quote from Mediatix8
    Another nurse told me today that where she worked before, years ago, all of the nurses who gave chemotherapy got cancer and died from it to boot.

    When you hear an outrageous story like this, I would hope you would ask for documentation of its authenticity.

    If there had truly been an incidence of every staff nurse on a particular unit dying of cancer from chemo exposure, state and local authorities, JCAHO, OSHA, the CDC, the US Public Health Service, the WHO, the news media and everyone else up to the Easter Bunny would have been involved in reporting and investigating the occurence. Then the line of laywers waiting to file suits would start to form. In the absence of such reporting and litigation, I think it is safe to assume that this is not true.

    Nurses have a sound background in science which should lead us to be skeptical of such stories and demand documentation. We should not be instrumental in de-bunking rumors and urban legands.
  6. by   renerian
    Yeppers I remember mixing chemo on the floor/gloves/no hood..........

    renerian
  7. by   Gail-Anne
    There have been clusters of cancer with chemo nurses, remember though, we didn't use precautions back in the "old days". Now the drugs are prepared in pharmacy under the hood, you gown, chemo glove etc, etc. Very different situation. I've given chemo lots of times and feel comfortable with the precautions.
    What does your institution do if you are pregnany or trying to get pregnant? Even with precautions, you shouldn't be handling chemo in that case.
  8. by   schroeders_piano
    I have given chemo several times. I follow precatuions to a T and I don't ever skip a step. The facility that I did chemo at had a policy not to allow anyone pregnant to handle the chemo.
  9. by   psalm
    ...our nurse educator on our med/oncology floor stated that she knows of 3 chemo nurses (herself included) with lupus and wondered aloud if there was a connection.

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