Pregnant and Working with Respiratory MRSA

  1. I am a pregnant LPN working in long term care as an agency nurse. One of the facilities I work at has a resident with respiratory MRSA under contact isolation precautions. The nurse in my doctor's office said it is unsafe for me to be in the room even if proper precautions are being taken. One of the RN's at this facility has told me that she has never heard of this and is refusing to make accomodations for me, going as far as trying to replace me for all the shifts I have lined up for the coming month. All the other RN's have been very accomodating. This particular RN is tight with the DON and I haven't been called back since. Has anyone else heard that pregnant nurses should not work with MRSA patients?
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   altomga
    Quote from JerseyGirl
    I am a pregnant LPN working in long term care as an agency nurse. One of the facilities I work at has a resident with respiratory MRSA under contact isolation precautions. The nurse in my doctor's office said it is unsafe for me to be in the room even if proper precautions are being taken. One of the RN's at this facility has told me that she has never heard of this and is refusing to make accomodations for me, going as far as trying to replace me for all the shifts I have lined up for the coming month. All the other RN's have been very accomodating. This particular RN is tight with the DON and I haven't been called back since. Has anyone else heard that pregnant nurses should not work with MRSA patients?

    I have not personally heard this..I worked with many, many MRSA + patients while pregnat with my last child. I did not take CMV+ patients though. MRSA is everywhere...there is no way to avoid it...IN OR OUT of the hospital. My co-workers and I have joked that if we were ever cultured it would be scary what we would grow. MOST definately MRSA...there are people walking around that have it....Anyway, my advice is to research it...I went to the CDC website to review the dangers of caring for CMV+ pt's. There is lots of info. Also use universal precautions and if we have resp MRSA we are to wear a mask shield.
    Good luck with your pregnancy and a delivery of a healthy baby!
  4. by   fergus51
    I have never heard that. Unless you can come up with something from the CDC I can't see the facility accomodating you.
  5. by   clgmezzo
    i worked with many MRSA pts while pregnant with both my children, VRE however was a strict no no with my doc, so i avoided it, the thing is, come on folks, even with percautions most of us who work in MRSA areas everyday are colonized to begin with . . .
  6. by   SouthernLPN2RN
    My OB mandated that I not take care of any pt in any type of isolation. Lack of coworker support while I was pregnant is why I left the hospital. Hopefully things will get better for you!
  7. by   suzanne4
    All patients should be under universal precautions....................the patients in isolation are usually the best to take care because you already know that they have something. The patients that haven't been cultured are the ones to worry about..................if someone was having diarrhea, you couldn't take care of them? someone with a cough? someone with a fever? You are in contact everyday, even on the street, with someone that should probably be in isolation if they had gone anywhere near a hospital. :uhoh21:
  8. by   meownsmile
    I work on a med/surg floor and we always try to avoid anyone who is pregnant working with mrsa patients. If we can manipulate the assignments we do. Most of us are very comfortable making changes if even for switching one patient for one patient to prevent any possible exposure. No policy/mandates that i know of, from CDC or anyone else, it is mainly a facility accomodation if possible.
  9. by   sharann
    I would RATHER work with a MRSA pt pregnant or not, than with an unknown not yet diagnosed pt. It's the same risk. Varicella or Measels is a different story.
  10. by   ratchit
    Quote from JerseyGirl
    I am a pregnant LPN working in long term care as an agency nurse. One of the facilities I work at has a resident with respiratory MRSA under contact isolation precautions. The nurse in my doctor's office said it is unsafe for me to be in the room even if proper precautions are being taken. One of the RN's at this facility has told me that she has never heard of this and is refusing to make accomodations for me, going as far as trying to replace me for all the shifts I have lined up for the coming month. All the other RN's have been very accomodating. This particular RN is tight with the DON and I haven't been called back since. Has anyone else heard that pregnant nurses should not work with MRSA patients?

    Check the facility's policy book. Their infection control policies have to be signed off on by their medical director.

    If the policy says pregnant employees shouldn't be around MRSA patients then they have to accomodate you- until they call the agency and say not to send you until after you have the baby. You're not their staff- they don't have to use you.

    If the policy says nothing about it, then you can't expect accomodation.

    I agree with the other posters- so many people are walking around with MRSA, VRE, pseudomonas, etc etc- if exposure to these illnesses would harm your baby, I think your doctor would tell you stay in the house with the windows shut.

    Safety is a good thing. Panic is not. Get the facts. Check the policy book there and any other facility you work at. Check the CDC's website. Maybe the professional groups that represent OB GYNs and ID specialists have websites with recommendations on this idea. It has certainly come up before and should have been addressed by now.
  11. by   clgmezzo
    yeh, Varicella and Measels, man that was scary when i was preggo we would get unvaccinated kids sometimes and if they had an unexplained ash i was always scred to death, plus my hosp didnt have proper neg pressure iso rooms for some of those things, and i was always relieved when those pts left the floor
  12. by   Elenaster
    I'm pregnant right now and I've had to care for both MRSA and VRE positive patients. My supervisors generally try to limit the number of times I have those assignments, but working in the ICU, sometimes it's impossible. Half the time we don't even know patients are colonized until they've been in the unit for a week or more, so it's really hard to avoid exposure.

    However, if you do your homework on abx-resistant infections, they are generally limited to people who are immunocompromised in some way and/or have been on long-term, broad-spectrum abx. People with healthy immune systems rarely contract these infections and I think that explains why the transmission rates are so much higher in intensive care than other patient care areas.
  13. by   KaroSnowQueen
    On our unit, we try not to give pregnant staff any isolation pts. If they hear in report that a pt is isolation or has pending suspicious cultures, they tell the charge, and get their assignment changed.
  14. by   ethelbsnrn
    How about TB patients? I think the reason why preggys should avoid them is that they can't be treated well with high-spectrum antibiotics, anti-TB drugs while preggy. That would be affecting the fetus.

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