Pregnant and can't lift? - page 4

I'm wondering when you really are not supposed to lift when pregnant? I'm sure I was quite careful with my first, but the reality of hauling a toddler around while pregnant with the second made me... Read More

  1. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from mystic_fish0526
    It is unrealistic for some people.
    For female-predominant profession, it is amazing how nurses are not willing to work together and help each other even when dealing with such unique to females thing as being pregnant. I've seen same things on a floor, when pregnant nurses were assigned pts on isolation. My floor will not make such an assignment, sometimes leaving non-pregnant nurses with 2-3 pts on isolation; other floors had an attitude "do the work or stay home".
    Of course we're all willing to work together; that's how we manage with far fewer people on nights than we really should have! The preggie ones DON'T take isolations, either, because that's something that we can do for them. But counting as a full worker while at the same time claiming to not be able to do the work (and remember, no medical reason for a 5 weeker to not help with this stuff) is horrible for the rest of us.
  2. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    THe problem is, staffing is so tight in some areas, there is literally no leeway to let anyone "off the hook". If yours is a unit that will not support lightening your load (while being willing to help others in other ways), it may be time to look for a new job. The way i see it, unwillingness to allow women to follow dr orders not to take heavy loads or certain high-risk isolation pts, well, that can only be the tip of the proverbial iceberg of problems on such a unit. They key is, you need to have your OB spell out your restrictions to be legit.
    Absolutely. The key here is that the 5-weeker HAD nothing legit....when asked directly, why there WAS no direction from her OB for anything of the sort. She just thought she was "supposed to" refrain from lifting more than ten pounds merely by virtue of the fact that she conceived last month! And when she did check with her doctor, he told her as much (but she still didn't want to lift, "just to be sure"). That was the irritation.

    We have had others pregnant and because of restrictions a couple have had, we've HAD extra staffing to accomodate. But providing no documentation signed by an OB and yet still opting out of the workload hurts all of the rest of us.
  3. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from ShayRN
    I didn't lift the entire time I was pregnant with my son. (With my older daughter, I worked at an office so it wasn't an issue) I had a miscarrage between the two children and wasn't about to do ANYTHING to lose my son. I didn't care who I upset. The thing is, I had such great coworkers THEY never made it an issue. I was able to pass a med for them or start an IV or do SOMETHING while they lifted my patient. Great thing is, when they all started getting pregnant, I jumped right in and said, NOPE, I got this, go pass my med.
    You had a history with this, so the concern was valid. You also had enough staff to make it workable for all of you, and that was the reason for the success! My beef was that we never have enough bodies as it is, and if this person had a legitimate excuse (such as that legit MD note) then staffing might have found an extra person to be assigned with her, so we could get through the night. She didn't have an honest excuse, and so no note. Just refused to help US.
  4. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from madwife2002
    I personnally wouldnt want to lift with a pregnant woman for two reasons
    1/ I f anything happened to her or her pregnancy I would feel guilty

    2/ If she didnt lift correctly and I hurt my precious back then my life and career would be runied. I am sure if I were pregnant and lifting I would be concerned about protecting my unborn baby more than my lifting partner.

    So I am sorry I would prefer not to have a pregnant woman assist me if I had to lift which we should be doing anyway
    Agreed. Which is why all of us were shocked when she announced her one-month pregnancy and the desire to not help boost anyone at the same time. We're not talking about someone visibly pregnant, far enough into term to be of concern at all. We're talking about someone whose back is stronger than mine, younger than me, and apparently, lazier!
  5. by   LilDKessler
    I must say that I am shocked & saddened over the anger & resentment in this post. I am currently 5 weeks pregnant and while I've had 2 miscarriages in the past, I would not have lifted anything I felt uncomfortable with during the 1st, but especially not now. I think that pregnancy is a time in a woman's life where we should take extra good care of ourselves & not overdo anything, including lifting, as everything we do to our bodies has an effect on the growing child within. While there may be no direct relationship between lifting & miscarriage, why in heck would you want her to risk her unborn child? Regardless if she is 5 weeks or 35 weeks, she is still 100% pregnant. There is no such thing as a "little pregnant" & I don't feel there is ever reason to put a pregnancy at risk. It's just called common curtosy & looking out for each other. Now, in defense of her co-workers (& mine as well), I will not lift anything over 25 lbs & will not get a post-surgical pt up for the 1st time by myself, but anything else I fully expect to continue. I'm sure that my co-workers would tell you that I will take on extra workloads that don't require lifting over 25 lbs in order to help make up for my "laziness" as someone put it. JMHO.:angryfire
  6. by   RNsRWe
    Looks like, by your post, you missed the point of this.

    If this co-worker had gotten a physician's note saying she had a work limitation, we would have been staffed accordingly. As it turned out, she WAS asked to get that note, so she could help her co-workers that way, and she never did. Seemed her doctor was not going to approve that, or else she just never asked, couldn't be sure. In any event, she never came up with one.

    You say you help your co-workers by taking on extra workloads, and that's great. IF this nurse had done that, I'd also have had less reason to post. But, instead, quite the opposite. Do you think she offered to give meds while we did her patient cares? No. Did she offer to go get linens and supplies while we used them on her patients? No. Did she offer to take even one extra patient per shift so that while she was NOT working on her patients for what she refused to do, she could do something else? Nope again.

    The key to your post was "looking out for each other". And that was the problem here: the nurse was claiming herself to be virtually disabled with a NON-disabling condition, refused to provide medical support for that so that the hospital could staff us better, and refused to go an extra step for anyone. We were supposed to go all-out for her, because she was pregnant! Sorry, that's not "looking out for" anyone but herself. For what it's worth, there was also no hx of anything related to pregnancy, either: this was her first one, she was in her early twenties, and even she didn't have reason to believe this wouldn't be a thoroughly normal pregnancy.

    As it turned out (this was an old post!), she was asked to get that note, and never did. She continued to make excuses about what she could and couldn't do, and it got worse: no isolation rooms (contact precautions for the rest of us were fine, but apparently germs could reach through HER gloves and kill her baby). Working 12 hour shifts was impossible from the 10th week on, so they put her on 8 hour days...and then that wasn't ok, it had to be only 3 days a week. Fine, but they didn't hire someone in her place, because she actually wasn't on disability restrictions (see first problem, the note). We just worked short, or the rest of us worked extra shifts. Ok, then, we'll pull together and do that....until, as expected, CHARTING took too much time at the end of that shift, (she seemed to sit just fine the rest of the time!) and she needed fewer patients!

    Fast forward through the story: she no longer works here. At the four-month mark, she decided nursing was too stressful, that she needed time to "prepare" for the baby, and she announced she was going on disability. However, no MD would give her that out (note for disability coverage), so she just ended up quitting and sitting home.

    Much luck to her and her family, but for my own sake (and my co-workers'), I'm glad we got a new hire to fill her spot who actually WORKS! And, for what it's worth, we've had three nurses since then who got pregnant, two have had their babies, and these gals DO chip in where needed, when they can't do something else. When someone got a note saying she shouldn't lift over 25 pounds (at the three-month mark, btw), we've gotten an extra aide on nights they're in, so that we can get lifting done without a problem. And they'll give meds while we're doing something else, which is very nice, and makes the shift go so much better
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Nov 5, '07 : Reason: typo
  7. by   harley007
    I worked until the day I delivered my twin girls - full term, waddled in to the DR at 8cm, had a natural delivery, nursed them on the table and went home 10 hours later. Okay my ankles got a little bit swollen during the last two weeks so I wore those ugly elastic stockings. During my last month they called the trauma team down to the ER and another nurse on the team had the same due date as me. So, were all standing around waiting for the ambulance and one of the MD's asks our due dates. The whole team's eyeballs almost popped out of their heads when they heard the same date. I then confessed to the double load. Being 5'3" and carrying twins means your tummy sticks out to your knees when sitting. I only gained 5 lbs with the twins due to 9 months of "morning" sickness my a** - try all day everyday. I guess it's up to each indvidual's needs. I worked a full assignment the whole time. Even though I was the quickie bathroom break queen I was lucky to have no restrictions and worked until the evening before I delivered.
  8. by   Sarahstudeman
    You guys should be ashamed of yourselves...i am also pregnant and I take it easy also...i went through many tragic miscarriages and cant imagine losing another because I was worried about my job and the selfish women who already have children or those women who just have no idea what they are talking about...your boss isnt dealing with it, probably, because of the liability. Wow, if I had to deal with people like you instead of the woonderful people I do work with I would probably file a complaint of harrassment.In the future be careful how you treat people.
  9. by   canoehead
    Quote from LilDKessler
    While there may be no direct relationship between lifting & miscarriage, why in heck would you want her to risk her unborn child?
    With that argument, why is she leaving the house at all? She might get run over by a bus.

    If pregnancy is that fragile she'd better not be drinking coffee or, God forbid, inhaling poop fumes.
  10. by   Sarahstudeman
    You are very dramatic...being confined to a house would be rediculous...i can only assume you have never had complications in pregnancy...you are among the very few who think pregnancy is not a fragile state...and the mother should have the option of how fragile to keep it..
  11. by   linearthinker
    Huh? Pregnancy is NOT a fragile state. There is no reason a pregnant nurse can't do her job as she normally would. I wouldn't do it for her and as a provider I wouldn't giver her a written work excuse. Suck it up cupcake and do your job. It won't kill you and it won't kill your baby. Laziness is killing your whole generation though.
  12. by   Tait
    This thread is so old! lol

    I remember working with a waitress who got pregnant and refused to carry ice or glasses to restock at the end of the shift. There are definitely those who will take any advantage they can get to get out of work.

    I am currently 37 weeks pregnant after two years of TTC and two early miscarriages. I was high risk, I would get dizzy and nauseous after a lift, I was on a 20# weight restriction after I came back from a month of FMLA for severe nausea and vomiting, I bled until nearly 12 weeks, I took Prometrium to hold my pregnancy. This being said I still lift now if someone needs it. Luckily it isn't often, we are well staffed, and more often than not my co-workers are the ones shooing me out of the room.

    I guess my point is without extenuating circumstances and a doctor's order there was probably no reason at all for this new momma to be too overly cautious, though I can understand the proclivity to be so. This subject is hard for me because I understand the fear, but I also understand the responsibility to care for the patients as well. Since she left for a self-proclaimed "easier" job, she probably wasn't really that concerned with being a team player in the end anyway.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Sarahstudeman
    You are very dramatic...being confined to a house would be rediculous...i can only assume you have never had complications in pregnancy...you are among the very few who think pregnancy is not a fragile state...and the mother should have the option of how fragile to keep it..
    We are not being dramatic - if new mommy cannot be around isolation pts, even with precautionary guard, she also has no business going to church/synagogue, parties, stores where all the CDiff/MRSA/VRE s run free without isolation garb on. She can't drive because the seat belt injury to her abdomen if she might get hit. Can't use the stove if it might leak gas.

    Recently we had 9 staffers pregnant at various times in one year. Not to mention the assisted conception issues, hormones in two others, and a few that were trying/ might be. It is hard enough to care for a crashing retonovir pt when no one else can enter the room - I spent 14 hours in one room, with intubation, multiple line placements, drips started, a bedside endoscopic procedure - because no one could risk "exposure". But there was no way the nonpregnant nurses could take all the RSV/ resistant flu/VRE/MRSA PTA, do all the lifts, and give all the chemo.

    There are some common and reasonable accommodations for to make for pregnant coworkers. Beyond that, an MD note should be presented so that the staffers can be shuffled, so that the required work can be done. Because pregnancy or no, the primary twork is to keep the pt alive and properly cared for - and if there is not sufficient capable staff to do that, changes have to made.

    PS. If you are using proper isolation precautions with VRE/MRSA, why is that sufficient to protect the rest of us and not the pregnant pt - ours take them all the time. They are not allowed in retonovir, resistant flu, cmv, chickenpox/shingles rooms though.

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