Pregnancy and work hours - page 2

Just wondering if anyone's OR unit has specific guidelines for work hours for pregnant nurses. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and work full-time in the OR. I am required to take mandatory late... Read More

  1. by   Ilovethe80s
    Wow, I am really touched by the more compassionate posts. I do have some great coworkers who are very understanding and helpful. I would never take advanatage or try to "milk" my situation. I've never asked my doctor for a note or to leave work early. My idea of helping out a pregnant OR nurse is perhaps adjusting a 24 hr call shift to a 16 hr call shift for maybe the last 4 weeks of her pregancy. I would never expect 8 hr shifts from my employer. But, I suppose my line of thought comes from my experience in the military where they expect you to work hard, but they also take care of you and impose certain restrictions on pregnant women so they maintain their safety and health. I appreciate all points of view, but the catiness can be left aside b/c it is exactly that which makes nurses loathe the industry. FlyOR made a great point that nurses need to take care of eachother and what a truthful statement!
  2. by   ChristineAdrianaRN
    Quote from FlyOR
    Nurses need to start taking care of eachother. The brutal atmosphere so often prevalent in healthcare needs to change. As it stands nurses are still predominantly female. Females get pregnant. Recognizing this and adapting for it is just common sense.
    THIS, so hard.
  3. by   diosa78
    I do not understand why some nurses are so harsh and uncompassionate. Women get pregnant - it is temporary. They sometimes need temporary accomodations. Nursing is my 2nd career. I worked previously in a male-dominated field and I must say those men were so much more compassionate than what I have seen in my nursing career. Regardless, I must say that my fellow nurses were fabulous when I was pregnant. I had episodes of dizziness and faintness while standing while pregnant. They were so concerned that they wouldn't let me stand and after a work-up it was found that I had SVT. I tried my best to make it through shifts but I couldn't, so I was put on light duty at 34 weeks. Whenever I know a colleague is pregnant and/or suffering from an illness, I try to return all the favors given to me while I was pregnant. It's a matter of watching out for and taking care of our fellow nurses, many of whom we spend more time with than our own families.

    Go see your ob and see what his/her opinion is about standing/working for so long.
  4. by   M/B-RN
    I agree that the responses are harsh. I love my coworkers and if one of them was pregnant I would not mind it if they got special treatment if they were having difficulty with pains or whatnot. I have never been pregnant but I imagine that everyone's body takes it differently. Some are so full of energy still but others are exhausted. Come one people, someone is storing a growing human in them lol. And, the special treatment wouldn't be forever. I feel that once your belly is very big that is when you truly need restrictions.
  5. by   toonsis
    I am not even nursing school yet, but gee whiz I hope the nurses I work with have more compassion, pregnant or not. Congrats on being pregnant
  6. by   OCNRN63
    I wish that compassion and understanding would extend to our nurses who have significant chronic illnesses that sometimes require accommodations. I've seen wonderful nurses get treated terribly because they have a disease that periodically recurs.
  7. by   Vishwamitr
    Hi 80s,
    First of all, I wish you all the best with your gravida status. I am not sure, but it sounds like you are over-exerting yourself which may not be the best thing for yourself or your unborn baby.
    But what do I know! I am a man.
    I wonder if there is any such thing as "mandatory late days". Your shift should end as per your schedule. The hospital might be in violation. Check with the labor board and also your Employee-Handbook.
    Good luck sister.
  8. by   SoldierNurse22
    Quote from Ilovethe80s
    In the military pregnant women are put on a profile during the end of their pregnancy.
    You bet we do, and I wish I could be surprised that the rest of the profession hasn't taken the hint. Usually, pregnancy profiles start in the 2nd trimester and can vary based on your OB's assessment of your health while pregnant. F/u's are mandatory while on profile and folks take profiles quite seriously.

    It's not considered a cop-out or special accomodations to have a pregnancy profile on my ward. Most women get them, especially first-time moms or ladies who are experiencing lots of those fun pregnancy symptoms. The men who work with us (and in the military, we have an exceptional number of RNs/LPNs who are male) are, in my experience, less concerned about the profiles and just happy in general that they can't get pregnant!

    The only bad experience I've seen with a profile is with a coworker who bent the rules to her liking. She got special considerations above and beyond the basic profile and she pushed for them. But if you do your job and give it your all while you're working, I don't think you'll have this problem.

    I strongly encourage you to chat with your concerns with your OB and see what you can do. Twelve hour shifts while pregnant would be bad enough. Sixteen hours circulating and I'd be down for the count for at least a week!
  9. by   LadyFree28
    Quote from Ilovethe80s
    Thanks for the responses. Never said I expect special treatment or that other aspects of nursing are not as physically demanding. Just curious if other OR's make adjustments for their nurses. Most of my work experience is in the military where things are certainly different.
    Unfortunately, if you are a "bare minimum nurse" (sounds line you are not *shrugs*) and you are pregnant, that rubs the rest of the nursing team the wrong way...hence some of the "hard line" answers...I don't work in the OR, but I work in outpatient's a medical daycare...and the work is physically and emotionally demanding. We have a nurse there who works the bare minimum and will refuse to take pts, yet she has no Drs note...people have been slammed with w/c pts and kids with developmental delays with safety issues ALL in the same assignment, before we took a stand. Then, on the flip side, we had several co workers who kept up the same level before they were pregnant, and in their ninth month slowed down, which was understandable. It can be a little stressful safety wise when you have colleagues that don't pull their own weight, and then in top if that are pregnant??? It became a HUGE issue.

    As someone who wants to have children someday, I hope that I can work to that limit, but I understand that pregnancy is not a one-size fits all situation...preeclampsia, hyperemesis, placenta previa, ANYTHING can happen.

    I suggest that you talk to your Dr and find a plan of action...there may be several ways to help ease your pain...a co worker if mine used an abdominal sling (I think that's what she said, don't quote me...this is going on a memory from almost 8 years ago) to help with the back and hip pain. I think you are trying to do your with you co workers and see if you all can come up with a plan of action so you can enjoy pregnancy and be able to safely perform your job. Congrats and good luck!
  10. by   GadgetRN71
    Pregnant nurses have been working in the OR for ages. You knew what the job entailed before going into this specialty.I have worked with plenty of pregnant nurses and techs. They get put in cases with X-ray, and they work the same hours. No three headed babies yet. I stand by my assertion that if you have that much trouble with the hours, go out on leave or find a different job.

    Again, there are people that show up to work every day with MS, diabetes, various auto immune problems, etc. And they don't get special hours. If they can't do it, they cut their hours or go on disability.
    Last edit by GadgetRN71 on Jan 27, '13
  11. by   FlyOR
    Using the argument "you knew it when you took the job" applies only so far, and likening pregnancy to various diseases doesn't hold water. Pregnancy is a life event, not a disease.

    There are two lives affected and protective policies benefit not just the pregnant woman but the employer. From a purely economic point of view, it is in neither the employee or employer's best interests for the pregnant person to experience complications from the environment of the OR. Exhausted pregnant workers are more likely to take disability, use sick time, and terminate emploment. None of which is free for the employer. There are also valid and real liabilities for the employing institution. Imagine a day in court where a lawyer can prove fetal harm due to Xray and bone cement? You do not want me on that jury.

    Add to that is the inconvenient reality, oft discounted by employers but certainly germane to their bottom line, the expense of training and growing a productive OR nurse. It takes a year to bring an OR nurse to function. Optimal productivity is estimated at 3-5 years and rises from there. Losing an otherwise productive employee because of a nine month window of decreased (arguable) productivity is stupid.

    Finally, NURSES ought to know better and take better care of one another.
  12. by   JamIzynCO
    Another option is FMLA or intermittent FMLA. As a manager it bothers me when staff abuse this but I'm pretty sure pregnancy would be covered in that but it requires physician paperwork. Do what's best for you and your baby. You are the only one looking out for #1.
  13. by   CaliLvr000
    Congratulations on your pregnancy!! I just had a baby boy in December, I worked up until a month before due date and went into afib on my last night and was admitted!! Anyhoo, we are okay but everyone was so understanding when I was huge. Didn't let me move pts, assist with kicking pts waking up, lift heavy instruments, no c-arm, and no bone cement. We are a 9 OR level 2 trauma center. There is always plenty of staff so there is no reason a preggo should do a c-arm case etc. You have to advocate for yourself and unborn child. They put you in a bad room without thinking, many times I had to remind them please no radiation. I don't care that we have lead, I still don't trust it. I don't care if someone got ****** off, they aren't growing a human.

    I worked a lot of call in the beginning, but it got too hard waddling around. We are never expected to work past our shift, except call that we sign up for.