Pregnant and can't lift? - page 5

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   BabyLady
    Quote from RNsRWe
    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 realize we are NOT made of glass

    Anyway, we have a new nurse who announced her pregnancy at about five weeks and won't lift anything heavier than a chart. No boosts, etc. Now, I don't want to ask her to do anything she really shouldn't, but she is healthy, young, has not been told by her doctor to avoid any type of lifting, so....? We happen to be insanely short-handed so finding someone to move her patients or whatever can be problematic. I imagine as time goes on she'll be even less "able". The charge nurse is dealing with it by not dealing with it just yet.

    Anyone have any ideas about this?
    This falls under the category of a discussion you should have with your OB.

    Pregnancy is not a disability and unless you have a written order from your physician that you are on a lifting restriction while pregnant, they do not have to change your assignments.

    The flack that many pregnant nurses get from being pregnant (one was terminated from my department while pregnant for "faking" the need for bed rest that she never documented along with multiple call-ins...yet, posting pictures of her going out to eat with friends, etc on Facebook)...is claiming that they cannot do things when they are pregnant when they absolutely can.

    Another was sent home when she kept claiming that she could not lift anything and the supervisor just finally said, "Ok, well then why don't you go home and bring back a physician's note and we will be happy to accomodate that."...she called back 24 hours later and had to confess her physician would not write her one.

    Certain assignments should not be given to you when patients have certain conditions/diseases/infections and you should be given that courtesy without a physician's note.

    Just be very, very careful and pick your battles. Your co-worker that refuses to lift anything heavier than a chart at 5 weeks is treading on thin ice with her boss, the facility and her co-workers.
  2. by   MyGranniePanties
    Ummm where did all this "pregnancy is not a disability" stuff come from? Inform yourselves!

    http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-preg.html
  3. by   dudette10
    Quote from Arcticrainbows
    Ummm where did all this "pregnancy is not a disability" stuff come from? Inform yourselves!

    http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-preg.html
    That document refers to discrimination during pregnancy. Pregnancy itself is not a disability.

    Take a look at this one that clearly states that only conditions related to pregnancy which prevent the employee from performing all the requirements of the job constitute a disability. The EEOC document was concerned with equal treatment when such a condition exists. It did not state that pregnancy is a disability.

    http://askjan.org/soar/other/preg.html

    ETA: We as women have worked way too hard to break the glass ceiling and prove that we should be treated equally under the law. Our jobs are not done yet, although many of us have forgotten a time when being nurses, secretaries, and teachers were the only jobs available to us. For every pregnant woman without legitimate cause to whine that she can't do the job adds fuel to underhanded illegal employer tactics to break the laws that our sisters fought so hard for. Respect our sisters that have gone before us and be mindful of their gift to us.
    Last edit by dudette10 on Jun 15, '11
  4. by   RNKPCE
    If you have a non work related back problem and needs restricted duty you aren't allowed to work where I work. They do not make accommodations for lifting for not work related( or caused) problems. This would hold true for pregnancy as well.

    I'll never forget a relative of mine who said she couldn't go camping because she was 10 weeks pregnant(without any issues) and she shouldn't be sleeping on an air mattress in her state. pleazzzzze.
  5. by   MyGranniePanties
    Quote from dudette10
    That document refers to discrimination during pregnancy. Pregnancy itself is not a disability.

    Take a look at this one that clearly states that only conditions related to pregnancy which prevent the employee from performing all the requirements of the job constitute a disability. The EEOC document was concerned with equal treatment when such a condition exists. It did not state that pregnancy is a disability.

    http://askjan.org/soar/other/preg.html

    ETA: We as women have worked way too hard to break the glass ceiling and prove that we should be treated equally under the law. Our jobs are not done yet, although many of us have forgotten a time when being nurses, secretaries, and teachers were the only jobs available to us. For every pregnant woman without legitimate cause to whine that she can't do the job adds fuel to underhanded illegal employer tactics to break the laws that our sisters fought so hard for. Respect our sisters that have gone before us and be mindful of their gift to us.

    Your document clearly states that women who are pregnant could/should have restrictions in the workplace. It is not up to all of our nonpregnant coworkers to decide what pregnant women should or should not feel comfortable doing. When I was pregnant, I refused to get in a ladder. I wa fortunate enough to have respectful and considerate coworkers that would pick up that task for me in exchange for me completeing a task for them. I probably would have been perfectly fine getting on that ladder, but I was not going to risk the life of my child to do it.

    Maybe instead of complaining about having to do a little extra to help someone out, we as "sisters" should be conscious of the threat of miscarriage and the severe psychological and physical impairment something like that can cause.

    I'm not trying to say that I don't think some preggos milk it for all that it's worth, but there is no reason to punish someone because of the misguided actions of another. If the pregnant person in question is just trying o be lazy, then I'm sure it didn't start the day they got pregnant. They would have been lazy all along, and still after the baby was born.
  6. by   dudette10
    Quote from batmik
    If you have a non work related back problem and needs restricted duty you aren't allowed to work where I work. They do not make accommodations for lifting for not work related( or caused) problems. This would hold true for pregnancy as well.
    Are you saying that only work-related injuries are accommodated while non-work related injuries--even if the reasonable accommodations are exactly the same--aren't accommodated? Hrmmm...
  7. by   dudette10
    You stated that a pregnancy without complications was a disability. It is not, by law. You cannot argue that it is, which was the point of your first post.

    Quote from Arcticrainbows
    Your document clearly states that women who are pregnant could/should have restrictions in the workplace. It is not up to all of our nonpregnant coworkers to decide what pregnant women should or should not feel comfortable doing. When I was pregnant, I refused to get in a ladder. I was fortunate enough to have respectful and considerate coworkers that would pick up that task for me in exchange for me completeing a task for them. I probably would have been perfectly fine getting on that ladder, but I was not going to risk the life of my child to do it.
    This is a different argument all together. First, "could have restrictions" is a much different statement from "should have restrictions." It does not clearly state that all pregnant women must have work restrictions.

    Secondly, getting on a ladder is dangerous for anyone, not just pregnant women. You are talking about coworker unity, not whether you had the legal right to refuse to climb the ladder. You chose to not get on the ladder, and your coworkers chose to help you. Your being pregnant did not render you unable to climb a ladder, as you already stated.
  8. by   BabyLady
    Quote from Arcticrainbows
    Ummm where did all this "pregnancy is not a disability" stuff come from? Inform yourselves!

    http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-preg.html
    Good lord...pregnancy is NOT considered a medical disability.

    Have you finished nursing school yet?

    You have to treat pregnancy IF WARRANTED the same as any other short-term disability...and if you have a short-term disability, guess what you have to have? A doctor's note.

    As a former upper-level manager AND a mother of two, I can assure you that the law did not require me to treat pregnant women ANY differently than any other employee UNLESS a physician's order said I had to.

    But you cannot show up to work, announce you are pregnant, and expect everyone to bow down...the law DOES NOT require an employer to do that.
  9. by   MyGranniePanties
    Quote from BabyLady
    Good lord...pregnancy is NOT considered a medical disability.

    Have you finished nursing school yet?

    You have to treat pregnancy IF WARRANTED the same as any other short-term disability...and if you have a short-term disability, guess what you have to have? A doctor's note.

    As a former upper-level manager AND a mother of two, I can assure you that the law did not require me to treat pregnant women ANY differently than any other employee UNLESS a physician's order said I had to.

    But you cannot show up to work, announce you are pregnant, and expect everyone to bow down...the law DOES NOT require an employer to do that.
    To my knowledge (and please correct me if I'm wrong, cause I just went back and reviewed what I posted) I have not said anything that contradicts anything you just posted. I *never* said that the law doesn't require a doctors note. I also *never* said that all pregnant women are in the same boat. What I did say (and if you can shut off the red light behind your raging eyes and actually comprehend it) was that it is up to the EMPLOYER, the pregnant woman, and her DOCTOR to decide the best course of action for the INDIVIDUAL. it is NOT up to a bunch of gossiping drama queens that ACT like they know what conversations go on in privacy between said persons. Maybe I should have spelled it out this way from the beginning instead of assuming that educated health care providers can read between the lines and infer for themselves. Bottom line is unless you are the one making the decisions in your place of employment-- mine your own business and do your job. Btw the law does NOT require a pregnant woman to get a doctors note. The law is written to where she is only *required* to get one if her employer asks her too.
  10. by   pedicurn
    Maybe if all tried to be more considerate to our coworkers - pregnant and nonpregnant; then we wouldn't have these slinging matches.
    After all - the nonpregnant staff might need some consideration from their child-bearing coworkers sometimes too .... divorce? chronic health cdt? bereavement?
    You never know.

    As an aside - have known of more than a few pregnancies that have ended unexpectedly (low risk). ...many second trimester. These nurses were working in high stress, busy units.
    Maybe work related? maybe not? Hard to prove
  11. by   melmarie23
    my guess would be that it would depend on whether she was high risk or not.

    but heck, I was still running (even 5k races) until about my 7th month. And I will still going the gym, walking and lifting weights right up until I was 8.5-9months pregnant. Staying fit is important in pregnancy and if you are low risk, all the more reason to exercise. It does mom and baby a wealth of good.
  12. by   BabyLady
    Quote from melmarie23
    my guess would be that it would depend on whether she was high risk or not.

    but heck, I was still running (even 5k races) until about my 7th month. And I will still going the gym, walking and lifting weights right up until I was 8.5-9months pregnant. Staying fit is important in pregnancy and if you are low risk, all the more reason to exercise. It does mom and baby a wealth of good.
    ...but if she was high risk, I am assuming that she would have been diagnosed by her OB as high risk and have a doctor's note listing any special activiites she needed to limit. To me, that is reasonable accomodations.

    You were able to run the 5K races while pregnant, because I am just taking a guess...you ran before you got pregnant? Therefore, it was part of your normal activities.

    I just want everyone to know, that I would GLADLY take over an isolation assignment from someone that is pregnant or other procedures dealing with radiation, etc.

    However, as someone that went to work miserable more than once, my fuse gets short in dealing with pregnant women that treats it as a disease that they need to be cured of.
  13. by   BabyLady
    Quote from Arcticrainbows
    To my knowledge (and please correct me if I'm wrong, cause I just went back and reviewed what I posted) I have not said anything that contradicts anything you just posted. I *never* said that the law doesn't require a doctors note. I also *never* said that all pregnant women are in the same boat. What I did say (and if you can shut off the red light behind your raging eyes and actually comprehend it) was that it is up to the EMPLOYER, the pregnant woman, and her DOCTOR to decide the best course of action for the INDIVIDUAL. it is NOT up to a bunch of gossiping drama queens that ACT like they know what conversations go on in privacy between said persons. Maybe I should have spelled it out this way from the beginning instead of assuming that educated health care providers can read between the lines and infer for themselves. Bottom line is unless you are the one making the decisions in your place of employment-- mine your own business and do your job. Btw the law does NOT require a pregnant woman to get a doctors note. The law is written to where she is only *required* to get one if her employer asks her too.
    When you...

    1) Copy and paste my post.

    2) State that "where did people get that pregnancy was NOT a disability, you need to educate yourselves!"

    3) Copy a link to the EEOC, which as far as they are concerned, mostly deal with pregnancy discrimination.

    Uh, that is not going to come across as you being concerned with the behavior of the co-workers, nor did you state so.

    That wasn't the point of the OP either. I do have a serious problem working with pregnant women (and we all have) that "milk it" for all it is worth and think that a pregnancy gives them a blank check to get out of as many assignments as possible.

    You are ABSOLUTELY 100% wrong that a woman does NOT have to get a doctor's note when she needs for her work assignment to be changed that is CRITICAL to her job.

    In healthcare, the hospital typically has protocols for pregnant co-workers in working with particular patients, participating in certain procedures, etc. To me, that is fair and reasonable and should not require a physician's note. However, if your JOB DESCRIPTION requires you to consistently be able to lift up to 100 lbs with assistance and you all the sudden show up and say, "I can't lift anything more than 10 lbs"...you had better have a physician's note UNLESS the employer is really, really nice and decides to go on your word...but the law doesn't require them to.

    You also cannot suddenly announce that you are not coming to work and must "stay on bed rest" unless you have a physician's note to back it up with.

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