Getting sick more often than ever

  1. Hey all,

    I have been a bedside nurse for several years in a specialty area exposed to everything: mycoplasma, cdiff, mrsa, flu, etc, etc. I recently started at a new hospital, but I have been getting sick every other month...and not just a little cold, but knock me out sick for 2 days or more each time.

    We weren't planning on it a year ago, but my husband and I would like to expand our family again as I'm not that young (so I don't have the luxury of time). I can definitely correlate the illness to work related exposure as I never got sick that often until starting here. My hand hygiene at work is on point, I never touch my face at work, I take my vitamins, etc, etc...I don't always get enough sleep, but that's work related as I wake up often the night before and need time after the chaos settles after a shift to unwind

    So...I guess my question is...has anyone experienced this before? Does it get better? Or should I look for other options to reduce my exposure and lengthy shifts? Not actually asking you to decide obviously...just wondering if anybody else has been in my shoes. Immunity is worse during pregnancy...so that's why I wonder if maybe my body is telling me to be done 13 hr shifts and bedside nursing.

    I'm otherwise a very healthy person who was pretty resilient to getting ill, maybe 1 little cold or 2 a year.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Surg-OncRN
    This may seem like an odd question, but how is your weight? This is one thing I am unsure of from reading your post. Trying to get more details on what you mean by "healthy"
  4. by   caliotter3
    I figured out that I was getting sequential respiratory infections from my home health client. When I left that case, it took me more than a year to get better.
  5. by   LovegelatoRN
    Thanks guys...my weight is normal, BMI normal, petite frame. I got one respiratory, one GI bug, and one thing that knocked me out for a day, fever, chills..but was just viral.

    I did take a brief time off to be with my child..so maybe my immunity to hospital stuff wore off? But I never had a "breaking in" period before...but I'm also older and have more responsibilities than I did when I was just starting out. I can't sleep in on an off day or whatever...I'm one who requires 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night, and I have not been getting that most of the time, but I do get naps on off days with my child.

    Caliotter...yikes! So sorry for you!!! And that is not comforting on a side note.

    I think I will try a very strict sleep regimen (I'm actually a night owl who can't do night shifts bc they make me tired all the time at home, but did them for the first few years I was a nurse because that's what's required. So, going to bed at 9 seems impossible to me since I'm not naturally a morning person, but I'm going to try to kick the little naps and get to bed early before making any big changes since sleep debt is enough to lower immunity).
    Last edit by LovegelatoRN on Oct 10 : Reason: Clarification
  6. by   BeckyESRN
    I never had seasonal allergies and had not a flare up of my asthma since I was a child, then I started working at the hospital and I was always sick! Within the first 6 months, I had had several sinus infections and was on a daily controller med for asthma and carried my rescue inhaler on me at all times. My pulmonologist called it "sick building syndrome" basically, the hospital was making me sick. After finding the right combo of asthma and allergy meds, it became less of an issue.

    When I left that job, I couldn't believe how much better I felt in just a few weeks! Not saying that the same thing is going on for you, perhaps your body just needs to adjust to the new funky germs!
  7. by   LovegelatoRN
    Thank you! Yes, I don't have either of those....I'm glad you felt better when you made a change, though!!
  8. by   Rlien
    Just me, but I've found I got sick more often when depressed or stressed. Maybe could look at that?

    Idk, but I wish you the best of luck with expanding your family and staying healthy however things work out.

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