Hep C

  1. I've been here before and found tremendous support. Thank you all!

    But now I'm so torn I just do not know what to do. I am HepC positive nurse working on a med surg floor at a small hospital. I am about to start treatment. I do have to let my employer know something due to the possibly debilitating side effects. I am so scared to come out with the truth, and I am so scared not too. Living this lie is just eating me up inside. I know in my heart that I am not a risk to my patients, in fact they are more of a risk to me. But still I feel that it is my responsiblitly to come clean and at the same time I'm afraid of the consequences. Am I unethical by not disclosing? After all, I do start IVs and do wound care...is that considered "invasive procedures"?

    Does anyone have any advice for me? Any experiences that may be similar to mine? Please help.
  2. Visit caymen profile page

    About caymen

    Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 14; Likes: 4


  3. by   FireStarterRN
    I'm not sure if we are mandated to report our health status to our employer. You probably should if your treatments will cause absenteeism. Why are you so ashamed?
  4. by   caymen
    I don't know, I did not do anything to bring this on myself. I am not and never have been an IV drug user, in fact I have no idea how I acquired this disease...no idea at all!! I just feel so dirty. I guess I am just one of those people who always fixes things, I like to be in control. And this I have no control over, This I can't fix. And it makes me crazy. And HCV is very misunderstood even by healthcare workers I guess I am afraid of how people will think of me.
  5. by   FireStarterRN
    Yes, it does seem to be a stigmatized disease. People are suspicious about the past life experiences of people with bloodborne diseases. If I were you I would share it with my manager, it doesn't mean that you need to announce it to the world. Do you trust him/her?
  6. by   herecomestrouble
    Caymen,I can understand your fears,having gone through the same problems myself.I was so afraid of losing my job if anybody knew,and what if somebody was gossiping about me and one of my pts heard?What would they think?I did end up telling my DON and later another person in management and both were fine with it.They will occasionally ask me how I'm doing but never questioned my ability to do my job or if I was a danger to any of our pt's.
    I've found that keeping the "big secret"is so hard on us and once the truth is out we can relax.