Pregnant Nurses and N/As

  1. This is a contentious issue that is annually discussed in our ward, and I'm interested to hear the opinions and views of this forum about nurses and N/As who become pregnant, particularly in the NHS.

    Should they be allowed to work until 8 1/2 months ?
    Should it depend on where they work ?
    What if their unable to fulfill their job description. ?
    Should others have to make allowances for them ?.
    Should others have to deal with aggressive pts to prevent possible injury ?
    Should others take the difficult to handle pts.?
    Should the qualified nurse and N/As be given different concessions.?
    Are pregnant nurses ever transferred to less demanding areas ?
    Wouldn't that be stressful because its an unknown area and fewer friends ?

    •  
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   karenG
    think it depends where you work and what the risks are. I was working on an ophthalmic unit when I was pregnant with my eldest son and has to stop work at 7mths- I got carpal tunnel syndrome and couldnt feel my fingers! not good when your an eye nurse! But my sister is working on intensive care and is planning to work up until 2wks before the birth. so guess it depends on the person and where you work. I did go to the gym and aerobics until the week before both my sons were born. I would have found being pregnant and working on a different area stressful.
    oh and dont think ophthalmics is an easy option! it is not! I worked harder there than on most of the surgical wards I have worked on. we used to have a complete change of patients every 2 days with theatre lists am and pm every day! so worked my tail off!!

    Karen
  4. by   lisamct
    I think this is a really difficult one. I dont have kids so I dont really have a personal view on it but I am at present working with 2 pregnant staff, one staff nurse and one N/A so Im kind of in the middle of it anyway. I work with adults with learning difficulties in a resource centre (nhs) we have 5 seperate houses, 4 have clients who are more able physically and several within each house have challenging behaviours. I work in what is refered to as the 'special needs' unit which is where anyone who is pregnant is sent to work.My clients all have comlpex learning and physical disabilities and most need total care, we also have clients with aggressive/violent behaviours but they are wheelchair bound so not thought of as a danger to pregnant women.(theyve yet to figure out that if your in a wheelchair your fist is at stomach height)
    Once in our unit risk assessments have to be carried out which inevietably state that pregnant women cannot use lifting aids, cannot assist with violent clients, cannot assist with non-weight bearing clients ect. Everyone, including the pregnant staff, feel that these risk assessments are over the top but we have to abide by them.This means that,although they are counted as a full member of staff they can only participate in about 30% of the workload, we routinely have to draw staff from other units just to get the basics done which means that my clients are regularly having personal care carried out by strangers.
    I dont mean to sound like Im anti pregnant women in the workplace, because Im not at all but it can cause real problems for the other staff, especially when so many limitations are put on the type of work the women are allowed to participate in.
    At the moment we have 2 pregnant staff, as of next week we will have 3, one who is expecting twins. We only have 12 staff in total, 3 per shift so it will be impossible not to have shifts where at least 2 of these women are on together, I dont know the answer but when the non pregnant staff start going sick with back injuries and stress I'll be interested to see what they do
    Lisa
  5. by   tony summers
    Both times my partner was pregnant she stayed in her job right up to 36 weeks pregnant. She participated as a full member of the A&E team and was constantly invovled in Resus and traumas, the only thing she was not allowed to do was cardiac compressions on the advice of the resus officers, but still managed to participate as a member of the arrest team.

    I know that she would have been more stressed if moved to another area or constantly expected to perform only light duties. Trouble is in a&e the only light duty that involves sitting down is triage, but this has its different types of stresses.

    I have worked with many pregnant women in my time in A&E and some are better than others. Some will alwas take the easy option and others will carry on as normal. Those that carry on as normal always get more respect from colleagues and in situations where it is difficult for them to carry on or help their colleagues don't mind filling in. Those that take the easy option often are the ones that every one moans about.
  6. by   BECKS BABE 2
    I think you are right in what you say about it depending on the pregnant person, some people actually play on it and they will get out of anything and everything. Sometimes it is not fair on the other work collegues as we have to often carry these people
  7. by   rkitty198
    I am pregnant at this time and I have had a complication and had to go to 8 hour shifts rather than 12. I did stop adminstering chemotherapy at this time (when even other moms to be had stopped giving chemo in the anticipation that they get pregnant). I take isolation patients (even when they try not to give them to me) I have been training students and new nurses and I keep going! I really love my job and love helping people, so I think that carries over pregnant or not. Was the nurse who relies on her pregnancy to get out of job duties that type of person before she was pregnant?
    I used to think that being pregnant was hard, but manageable. After being 5.5 months pregnant I realize it is such a challenge, both physically and emotionally. I think it would be hard not to allow it to carry over into your work at times (constant bathroom breaks, needing to eat every two hours, taking a second to rest ect). Just remember how you got into this world and have a little compassion as you would for anybody.

close