Patient assignments during pregnancy - page 2

i'm sure some may not agree with me, but hear me out. we have a pregnant nurse on our floor. it's an oncology unit- full of pts that need chemo. many of the others have some kind of infection... Read More

  1. by   RN_Dana
    I can't understand what this nurse's problem is. I agree with the other posters on this--if she can't do her job she should take an FMLA leave. Everyone should be careful to use universal precautions on all patients pregnant or not...I hope this behavior doesn't continue after the baby is born with "I can't take that pt. b/c I have a baby at home..ect.

    By the way I was pregnant and delivered my baby while I was in school with no special accommodations (other than an inc. amount of potty breaks -esp. in that last month LOL). I was back at clinical/ school in less than a week, so it can be done.
  2. by   plumrn
    Not only do we have several pregnant nurses right now that aren't wanting to take infectious pts (no matter what it is), but we have several new mommies that don't want to take them either ('don't want to take anything home to 'em'). We other (few) nurses do our best to prevent them from being exposed, but with the high census, and short staffing as it is, it is really wearing us down. I wish the hospital would staff better in this circumstance, but they won't.
  3. by   medpsychRN
    I just can't imagine being in a position to pick and choose patients! I worked full time (plus) while I was pregnant with all three children and continued to work full time (unfortunately!) since. I'm not suggesting the worst of the worst be assigned to pregnant nurses or nurses with children but neither do I think it fair for the rest of the staff to be overburdened. If it were to continue, other staff would be looking at another 18 years for the nurse to eventually take risky patients. LOL!!
  4. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from saskrn
    in this neck of the woods, as well as others that i've lived in, it can been perceived as a derogatory term. it's a simple respect issue, i think. i know that if i were pregnant, i wouldn't like people calling me that under any circumstnaces - either to my face, or elsewhere.
    never knew that. i'm just not getting why it is. but now that i know, i'll be careful.
  5. by   JVanRN
    omg...that reminds me of when I worked on a telemetry floor...we had a nurse that wouldn't take anything. She even said she was unable to take patients that had just came back from nuclear stress tests due to the isotope they were given during the procedure. Mind you there were ususally some of the easiest patients (walkie talkie 23 hour obs). Maybe I'm not aware of it, but would this present a problem. I understand that pregnant nurses cant take pt's with radioactive implants, but are pt's that undergo nuc med procedures (stress tests, bone scans ect...) really that dangerous for a pregnant woman to take? Some one please clarify this?
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from medpsychrn
    i just can't imagine being in a position to pick and choose patients! i worked full time (plus) while i was pregnant with all three children and continued to work full time (unfortunately!) since. i'm not suggesting the worst of the worst be assigned to pregnant nurses or nurses with children but neither do i think it fair for the rest of the staff to be overburdened. if it were to continue, other staff would be looking at another 18 years for the nurse to eventually take risky patients. lol!!
    if the "worst of the worst" shouldn't be assigned to nurses who are pregnant or have children, who do you suggest take them? the same single, childless nurse should take the worst of the worst every shift??? talk about overburdening!

    years ago, when i worked micu we had a pregnant nurse who didn't want to take care of anyone infected, on chemotherapy, etc. that lasted exactly a week, and the nurse manager had her transferred to a floor where she'd rarely encounter such patients! no one else who was pregnant ever suggested that they couldn't take care of whatever patient who rolled through the door!!! i had to respect that.

    there are a few infections that pregnant nurses should avoid. i'm ok with that. but when they start insisting they can't take this patient because he's infected, and that patient's open wound makes her nauseated and she can't take that patient because he's going to flouro and she can't wear lead all day and by the way, shouldn't she just do charge all the time? i have no patience for that.

    in my considerable experience, the nurses who ask for special assignments because they're pregnant then ask for special schedules because they have children . . . they can't work weekends because the kids are home from school, and shouldn't have to work holidays because that would ruin their child's holiday. it goes on forever. perhaps they should just find another job where there aren't infected patients and they aren't expected to work weekends or holidays!
  7. by   saskrn
    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    never knew that. i'm just not getting why it is. but now that i know, i'll be careful.
    no big deal!

    stand your ground with this pregnancy issue.
  8. by   DidiRN
    I've got a question for you guys...I have seen quite a few pregnant nurses who refuse to do any kind of transports. For example, taking a patient down to CT scan or whatever (I work in ICU where the nurse has to go with them). They don't want to push the bed. Or do alot of lifting or pulling.
    Is there something about pushing, pulling or lifting that can do some kind of damage to the embryo/fetus? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always wondered if there was some kind of medical reason for this contraindication, if any.
    Mind you, I don't mind at all giving exception to someone on their last weeks of pregnancy avoid a morbidly obese patient or pushing someone down to radiology, but I've seen a few in their early stages who refuse to do any of this.
  9. by   nesher
    I understand bonemarrowrn's complaint. What it actually sounds like is her unit is understaffed and overworked and she is feeling resentful about working her *** off while the pregnant nurse sits with her feet up. I hear ya.
    I wonder how much longer until the baby is due?
    It is a difficult situation - if you make a big fuss you seem uncaring, yet it appears from your story that she is taking advantage not only of everyone's good will, but perhaps also of a lack of a clear policy concerning pregnant women on an onc floor. That might be the direction you could take with your manager. Discuss with her/him how this is affecting you ( is there anyone else to back you up and either participate in the discussion or have a separate one?).
    My unit has 6 beds for our Onc ICU patients - I know the feeling of resentment that can come when I am running like a wild woman and the ICU nurses are gabbing, on the internet and of course "watching their monitors." yet if they need help turning someone I am supposed to drop everything to help them. Yep resentment. We ( a group) brought up the disparity isssue with the NM and of course she was surprised. ( one of the disparity issues is also that if there aren't any ICU patients at the start of the day they are assigned pretty light loads "in case" they need to take an ICU. My Nm is incompetent and needs to retire - she actaully cried when she found out that this situation was occuring. Hope yours takes the news better. Good luck
  10. by   HappyNurse2005
    Though I'm not a nurse yet, I am a senior nursing student (graduate in 3 months, but back to the topic...). A pregnant senior nursing student. I have been told by my program head that there is no such thing as light duty and I have to do everything that everyone else does.
    I dont ask for special treatment. My clinical mates didn't get me pregnant and aren't responsible for my safety, and I don't expect them to pick up my slack. I work just as hard as before I got pregnant. Just now I eat more at lunch, pee more, and nap more at home. But, I am a healthy pg woman. No BP probs, no GD, no nausea.
    I think when i get out to work, I'd be wiling to help a pregnant nurse out, within reason. Not so she would get to sit on her arse while i worked mine off, not so my work would suffer, but if she needed something, i'd try to help. jsut like i'd do for anyone else
    Doesn't sound like your nurse has a pregnant problem, sounds like she has an attitude/motivational problem independent of her pregnancy, she is just using this as an excuse. Don't blast all pregnant nurses, we're not all lazy!
  11. by   LEL
    Quote from lovingtheunloved
    a) if you can't handle infectious diseases, don't work in healthcare.

    b) pregnancy is not a disability

    c) if pregnancy is negatively affecting your ability to do your job, take maternity leave. Don't screw your coworkers.

    Sorry if I sound mean, but it's pregnant season where i work, and I get tired of the whole "I'm pregnant, so I can't do anything on the floor, but I can clock in and sit at the desk and suck up all your profit sharing."
    Well said.
  12. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle oh i'm sorry. you were serious, right???
    that was a semi-snide semi-serious question!! i mean, i hope you are! but you know there is always that nurse who comes along who thinks its okay to put that vre with that neutropenic one... so you never really know!!

    i understand what you're saying, and yeah, i think she's taking advantage of it. but i wouldn't take care of a cmv pt if i were pregnant myself! the others... she can do what she has always done. wear ppe.

    plus, if she's out of her first trimester then you should educate her that the risk of her baby being harmed by her exposure at work would probably be very very very low.

    she needs to go to her ob and get her limits clarified. whenever i was thinking about becoming pregnant, the only thing my doc ever said was cmv. my friend just had her baby and she works critical care. lots of contact precautions there. she never had any problems taking them, and her baby came out just perfect.
  13. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from plumrn
    Not only do we have several pregnant nurses right now that aren't wanting to take infectious pts (no matter what it is), but we have several new mommies that don't want to take them either ('don't want to take anything home to 'em'). We other (few) nurses do our best to prevent them from being exposed, but with the high census, and short staffing as it is, it is really wearing us down. I wish the hospital would staff better in this circumstance, but they won't.
    that, my friend, makes me furious. i work on a pediatrics unit with kids with runny noses. big deal, right? use gloves when you're bulb suctioning... something you should do anyway. well, nurses from our sister unit get very upset if any of them have to come down and take patients.

    they don't want to take anything back home to their coworkers, patients, kids, spouse, dog, or hamster. because peds is "dirty." makes me very angry. while we try to accomodate them, sometimes it doesn't always work out. they are so used to taking care of healthy (for the most part) infection free patients that they get scared.

    really, they shouldn't be scared. but, there are exceptions that rule as always... and we always always accomodate them if its a true need. however, it is a little frusterating when nurses come down who have 14-15 year olds that they are all worried about taking something home to.

    Puhlease.

    In that case, I tell them to not go to Wal-Mart; you'll pick up something there too!

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