pregnancy and isolation patients

  1. Too many of us girls at work drank the water over the winter and now found that we are blessed with surprises.

    There are many girls at work that blatently refuse to go into the isolations rooms. (MRSA, CDIFF, etc.) In which this offends other staff due to the need to increase workload to pick up the slack.

    I always thought that if you practiced universal precautions and very good handwashing, that generally you should be able to care for those patients. (ok, I probably would draw the line at Resp. MRSA, but the others I can handle.)

    Suffice to say that I have also cared for two R/O CMV patients since the start of my pregnancy.

    Our hospital policy states it is ok for a pregnant woman to work and care for CMV patients. But it gets a little vague when it comes to other isolations.

    I asked my OB today, he said stay out of MRSA rooms. This isn't going to go over real well at work.

    So what experience have you all had with something like this?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   ?burntout
    I, too, was faced with this same situation when I returned to work after being off for 12 weeks in my pregnancy.

    Before I returned to work, I asked my OB what rooms I needed to stay out of-people with shingles (varicella), etc. He told me to stay out of ALL isolation rooms-he said "anyone that is pregnant does not need to be in those rooms."

    I had to put up with the comments my co-workers made too-"well you have already been exposed to it..yadda yadda yadda" I stood my ground with my nurse manager and my co-workers...Anytime they complained about my NOT going in these rooms-I told them they could call my OB and talk to him.. ...shut them up pretty quickly

    It didn't help matters any that there were 2 other co-workers that were pregnant at the same time as me...they did go in isolation rooms..I had to keep telling them that I was following MY doctor's orders.

    The health of you and your unborn child is more important than what comments your co-workers make.
  4. by   frannybee
    I would be worried about the risk of wound infection if a c-section is necessary, MRSA in particular. Policy on our ward is to stay out if preggers. If we have I-131 radioactive iodine Rx happening, pregnant nurses get moved off the ward altogether.
  5. by   Jolie
    My OB insisted that I not care for CMV patients, which was no problem, since I worked in OB/NICU, and it was a given on our units that no pregnant caregivers were to be exposed to those patients. We also restricted pregnant nurses from chicken pox patients, which occasionally showed up on OB and peds.

    Ask your doctor for written instructions, and utilize your hospital's light duty or FMLA policy to protect yourself. No job is worth taking a chance with your baby. If someone else is willing to expose herself and her baby, that's HER problem, and it may turn into a lifelong problem!
  6. by   Heather333
    Working in NICU, we take care of CMV positive babies. Our policy is if you think you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant, you absolutely CANNOT take care of those patients.

    Heather
  7. by   NicuGal
    Chickenpox and CMV are the big no-no's on our unit. Also, we try to be considerate of each other and not give any isolated kids to preggies (with the exception of NEC). Our unit director has made this his policy

    The other big one on our unit is nitric oxide...we use it on many of our bigger sick kids and if you are pregnant you shouldn't even be in the room without a mask...it can bind in your blood and cause neonatal asphyxia.

    Also, you shouldn't go into an MRI with the magnet running full on during scanning....it may damage the inner bones in the ear.
  8. by   dawngloves
    When I did big people and was preggo I refused CMV and shingles pts, no big deal. But some pg nurse refused EVERYTHING! AIDS, Hep C, TB, VRE, MRSA. Was a real PITA!
    Now we have pg nurses refusing toxoplasmosis babies. I guess it's your perogative.
  9. by   altomga
    I work on a medical unit that of course has isolation patients everywhere. We also take TB patients. I took care of MRSA/VRE and C-DIFF patients all the time. The only rooms I absolutely stayed out of was CMV patients. I was not assigned to the TB rooms, but if I HAD to help out in one I would. That is why we have isolation protocols!! My co-workers were wonderful and never said anything to me, they respected me in that I did everything possible that I could not restrained by pregnancy. Actually my co-workers were so great that I was usually in charge so if I needed to "put my swelling, aching feet" up for awhile I could, or got that midnight munchie (I work 7p-7a) I could eat.
    Common sense here people. We are around all this stuff even when we aren't at work!!
  10. by   ?burntout
    Originally posted by frannybee
    I would be worried about the risk of wound infection if a c-section is necessary, MRSA in particular. Policy on our ward is to stay out if preggers. If we have I-131 radioactive iodine Rx happening, pregnant nurses get moved off the ward altogether.
    Common sense here people. We are around all this stuff even when we aren't at work!.
    Yes altomga, that is true and I couldn't agree with you more. BUT given that in my med/surgical hx, I have had a post op wound that required 2 debridements and had to be packed BID x 8 weeks DUE TO MRSA and GROUP B STREP, my OB did not want me in any isolation rooms, in case I had to have a c-section (which I did).

    But I guess in the end it doesn't matter because my child died when he was 12 days old due to complications from multiple birth defects-which we have no idea what caused them. But as a mother I want answers! Now I have to wonder what else MRSA and VRE can do BESIDES cause nasty infections-who knows what these bacteria are capable of?:stone
  11. by   moonshadeau
    I find it interesting that every other facility tells pregnant women to stay out of CMV rooms and mine is telling us that it is ok to take care of these patients. I was just curious because my OB adamently said to stay out of MRSA but didn't really give a reason why he thought that was worse than CMV, CDiff, etc.
  12. by   RN2B2005
    I thought that the problem with exposure to diseases while pregnant was primarily the mother's lowered immune state, and that injury to the foetus was only a secondary concern?

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