Is Nursing safe?

  1. I'm currently a Pre-Nursing student, and I'm really excited about entering the world of Nursing and being able to care for others. Recently, I found out that one of the members at my church, who just graduated from the medical assistant program, is in a coma. I was told that she got Meningitis while working at a hospital. My mother told me to really think about the Nursing program and that there are risks. I hate hearing these things because Nursing is something I've always wanted to do since I was little. I really don't believe them and rather hear it from actual Nurses who know if this stuff really does happen. So, I guess my question is, should I worry? Is Nursing really safe? Should I worry about catching a disease? Are there certain shots to help protect you? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   leslie :-D
    yes, there are vaccines to protect you from some of the diseases.
    more important, is being aware of the risks presented, and how to prevent contaminating yourself and others.
    you would learn this in school.
    what you apply in practice, will be your own choice.
    there are some nurses who foolishly think, "this will never happen to me".
    you need to act knowing that every clinical situation, presents with its own inherent risks.
    meticulous handwashing, will be one of the most effective ways in containing potential outbreaks.
    just be knowledgeable and act accordingly.
    you will be fine.

    best of everything.

    leslie
  4. by   TazziRN
    [font=book antiqua]there are always risks, some professions higher than others. we are taught how to avoid catching something, through practicing universal precautions, but there is always a risk.
    [font=book antiqua]
    [font=book antiqua]that said, what happened to your friend is not usual. most of us do not catch what our pts have. we practice universal precautions religiously and also, over time, develop immune systems that could fell an alien at 50 feet.
  5. by   time4meRN
    You can catch diseases from living in a dorm, being a teacher, working out in a gym or just having sex. At least in a hospital you have a better chance of protecting yourself. (by universal precautions) If you want to do nursing go for it. If you bug phobic you may want to think about it.
  6. by   preciousbaby621
    Hi everyone, thank you for your posts!

    I'm glad I was able to read your comments, and I really appreciate those who weren't sarcastic or condescending.
  7. by   HM2VikingRN
    I agree with Leslie....
    Handwashing is your single best preventive tool against infection/illness
  8. by   AprilRNhere
    Quote from time4meRN
    You can catch diseases from living in a dorm, being a teacher, working out in a gym or just having sex. At least in a hospital you have a better chance of protecting yourself. (by universal precautions) If you want to do nursing go for it. If you bug phobic you may want to think about it.

    I just want to ditto this post. You can catch things ANYWHERE...I rarely hear of nurses catching things from pts. Just practice safetly and remember you never know what the pt may have..to treat them all as if they're infected.
  9. by   mikethern
    Although I do not know anyone who caught a disease at work, check out the following thread about people who caught diseases while working in the operating room......
    http://allnurses.com/forums/f39/do-y...-r-247284.html
  10. by   sp1nter
    it all depends on the precautions that you take ...but you also can prevent everything anyways... proabaly as safe as walking down the street
  11. by   bagladyrn
    You will be exposed to diseases when working as a nurse. Whether or not you contract the disease depends on a lot of factors. You can be vaccinated against some, such as hepatitis B, you can use the appropriate protective gear and precautions against exposure to many things, and in cases where exposure can't be predicted (as when I was exposed to menigitis before the patient was diagnosed) there are medications which can be taken to reduce the chance of infection (I didn't develop meningitis despite several hours in close contact with the pt). Staying healthy yourself and maintaining a healthy immune system is important as well.
    As others have said, you can be exposed to all of these things in the community or in any job. At least in the hospital the illnesses are identified, you know what you are dealing with.
    If this is what you truly want to do as a career don't let the fear deter you.
  12. by   nursemary9
    Quote from preciousbaby621
    I'm currently a Pre-Nursing student, and I'm really excited about entering the world of Nursing and being able to care for others. Recently, I found out that one of the members at my church, who just graduated from the medical assistant program, is in a coma. I was told that she got Meningitis while working at a hospital. My mother told me to really think about the Nursing program and that there are risks. I hate hearing these things because Nursing is something I've always wanted to do since I was little. I really don't believe them and rather hear it from actual Nurses who know if this stuff really does happen. So, I guess my question is, should I worry? Is Nursing really safe? Should I worry about catching a disease? Are there certain shots to help protect you? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!



    Your single, most effective protective measure will be hand washing; Meticulous Handwashing.

    After 40+ years, I have never caught anything--not even when I did Home Health Nursing & went into some very nasty areas.
  13. by   NewRN2008
    Besides what everyone else said, your immune system "works" overtime when you are exposed more. I have read on other threads that ppl get sick more the first 2 yrs, but i have found that to be untrue.

    -H-
  14. by   mikethern
    Quote from sp1nter
    but you also can prevent everything anyways
    It depends what type of nursing you do. If you scrub into surgical cases for example, you are basically guaranteed to be stuck by a needle during your career no matter how skilled you are. But I do agree that you have a better chance of being in a car accident than you do of catching a disease at work.

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