latex allergy holding me back

  1. I have always wanted to work as a nurse. When I graduated high school I work as an aide with no problems with my allergy. This wasn't a latex safe facility. I moved on to another local hospital to get my foot in the door before nursing school. This facility is latex safe. I applied and was offered a job until they tested me for a latex allergy. The second they found out I was allergic they pulled my offer. I am no longer allowed to do any type of clinical job even though we are a latex safe facility. I now have a low level clerical job. I stopped applying for nursing school and started to go for my graduate degree in health care admin (I already had my bacholers degree in health science). I can't help but miss my time working on the floor and feel like I should still try for my nursing degree. Has anyone out there had a similar situation? What type of work did you do? I am having a hard time moving up within the company without my RN.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   AMR21
    Really?! I have a latex allergy. Never had any problems. Where are you looking!
  4. by   S.G.
    Seems incredibly odd to me. I've worked with numerous people that have a latex allergy. In fact, when I was in nursing school and doing my PACU rotation, one nurse had a latex and betadine allergy. He just wore a medic alert bracelet and made sure to use the latex free sterile gloves (sterile gloves were available in latex). We had a PA with a latex allergy in our Radiology department...
  5. by   xoemmylouox
    I've never heard of anyone being denied a job because of an allergy.. Crazy especially since it was a "latex safe" facility! Keep looking for another job.. These are just tough times right now.
  6. by   Altra
    I'm having a hard time following this. They "tested" for a latex allergy? As in ... subjected you to contact/exposure with latex? And to deny employment based on a latex allergy? Let me ask a question: does this facility refuse to admit patients who are allergic to latex?
  7. by   BloomNurseRN
    Quote from Altra
    I'm having a hard time following this. They "tested" for a latex allergy? As in ... subjected you to contact/exposure with latex? And to deny employment based on a latex allergy? Let me ask a question: does this facility refuse to admit patients who are allergic to latex?
    I think this is what got my attention. Why in the world did they do a "latex test"?? Do they do this to all new employees? We had a student with a latex allergy in my class and they got rid of all the latex gloves from the lab. The hospital we had clinicals at did not use latex regularly and she was safe there as well. It makes no sense to me for a "latex safe" facility to remove you from a clinical unit for this reason.
  8. by   CT Pixie
    Quote from S.G.
    Seems incredibly odd to me. I've worked with numerous people that have a latex allergy. In fact, when I was in nursing school and doing my PACU rotation, one nurse had a latex and betadine allergy. He just wore a medic alert bracelet and made sure to use the latex free sterile gloves (sterile gloves were available in latex). We had a PA with a latex allergy in our Radiology department...
    This is me almost, except I'm not a 'he' and I have a high sensitivity (not full blown allergy, but doc warned it would most likely happen if I continued to be exposed to latex). I also have a betadine allergy.
  9. by   Rose_Queen
    I am an OR nurse with a latex sensitivity (rash, no anaphylaxis) in an environment where latex is present every day. I simply wear latex free gloves. Everyone I work with knows and I've never had any problems. There are also several other folks who, over time, have developed a sensitivity to the latex gloves. They've simply switched to latex free and haven't had any problems. I've never been subjected to a latex allergy test as part of preemployment screening.
  10. by   ToothFairy(5)
    Quote from Altra
    I'm having a hard time following this. They "tested" for a latex allergy? As in ... subjected you to contact/exposure with latex? And to deny employment based on a latex allergy? Let me ask a question: does this facility refuse to admit patients who are allergic to latex?

    That was my question too. I am somewhat allergic to latex ( rash only ) and have been a nurse a long long time. I'd go to another facility.
  11. by   Wrench Party
    What? You can wear nitrile gloves or those PVC-type gloves and should be fine. I worked with 2 co-workers who had latex allergies and did this. As long as they had the gloves on they seemed to be fine for touching anything with latex in it.

    Also, a lot less products are made these days with latex in them because of patient sensitivities.
  12. by   FurBabyMom
    I work in the OR. I had a bad and persistent (happened every time I tried the latex gloves) rash after latex exposure at a previous job. The test came back borderline, my then manager refused to allow me to wear or come in contact with latex, using nitrile gloves only.

    I don't wear latex anything. I did wear a pair of old latex sterile gloves one day in the sim lab a few months ago - and the rash came back. End of that. Never again. We're almost fully latex free at work (I work in the OR). There's a handful of supplies with latex in them, and there are alternates to them that we use if the patient is known to have a latex allergy.

    I think awareness and knowing what to avoid when possible is the best bet. I'm not 100% sure why it's something that eliminates you from being eligible for hire. Lots of people have allergies to a variety of things, some very severe, others minor. I don't know how they can single a singular type of allergy out like that. That would be like telling me I can't work my job because I have to wear a different kind of N-95 mask than most of my coworkers to ensure proper fit.
  13. by   KelRN215
    I don't know if I've ever worked with anyone who had a latex allergy but I'd have no reason to know as I haven't come across anything latex in YEARS. All gloves, catheters, balloons, etc were required to be non-latex in my hospital.
  14. by   canned_bread
    I have a latex allergy (just get a rash/itchy hands, nothing to serious, more annoying!) and had the boss order me in some extra latex-free gloves that we have anyway.
    There is an increase in latex allergy in the community, so really there is no excuse for someone not hiring due to latex allergy! They should easily work WITH YOU, not AGAINST YOU!

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latex allergy holding me back