Pregnancy and work hours | allnurses

Pregnancy and work hours

  1. 0 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 days, which lasts as long as they need you there (one of my last late shifts was 16 hrs long), and 24 hr call. I'm not trying to sound like a cry baby, but we all know a busy OR is physically demanding. My back, feet and hips hurt so bad and after a 16 hr day or 24 hrs on call, the last thing I want to do is go home, catch a few hrs of sleep and do it all over again the next day. Between the mandatory late days and call, it usually totals up to 8 or 9 days a month.
  2. Visit  Ilovethe80s profile page

    About Ilovethe80s

    Joined Aug '07; Posts: 101; Likes: 41.

    36 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    6
    The only thing we do differently for pregnant employees is to add a second dosimeter, to be worn under lead at waist level and keep them out of ORs using bone cement. Other than that, they are expected to meet the same expectations they had before they became pregnant- circulating, scrubbing, call, off-shifts, no changes in duties to be performed whatsoever. Your choices are to continue to do the job, make deals with other staff to take your call (we have one who offers $50/call), or look for another job. Most of nursing is physical, not just the OR (it just may be in different ways).
    meganmc02, Meriwhen, itsmejuli, and 3 others like this.
  4. Visit  GadgetRN71 profile page
    7
    Quote from Ilovethe80s
    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 days, which lasts as long as they need you there (one of my last late shifts was 16 hrs long), and 24 hr call. I'm not trying to sound like a cry baby, but we all know a busy OR is physically demanding. My back, feet and hips hurt so bad and after a 16 hr day or 24 hrs on call, the last thing I want to do is go home, catch a few hrs of sleep and do it all over again the next day. Between the mandatory late days and call, it usually totals up to 8 or 9 days a month.
    In my OR, pregnant nurses are expected to perform like the rest of us. They wear special lead and 2 dosimeters- that's it. They'll try not to put them in a case with bone cement but even that isn't guaranteed. IMO, pregnant workers shouldn't get special treatment. We have nurses with health problems, some of them chronic and they do their share. Not trying to be harsh, but you really can't expect special treatment for pregnancy. If it gets really bad, you may have to see if your doctor can put you out, but most won't do that, unless you are having complications.
    meganmc02, Sweet charm, kabfighter, and 4 others like this.
  5. Visit  CarolinaBSN2012 profile page
    1
    You just need to get your OB doctor to write you to not work more than 8 hours a day. Pregnancy is a special time and it will be over soon. You need to enjoy this time. However you can't expect your co workers or manager to think like this. You have to look out for yourself and your unborn baby. Congratulation
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  6. Visit  Ilovethe80s profile page
    0
    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.
  7. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    9
    Adjustments for pregnant nurses IS special treatment if you ask me.
    GadgetRN71, kabfighter, OCNRN63, and 6 others like this.
  8. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    5
    Quote from CarolinaBSN2012
    You just need to get your OB doctor to write you to not work more than 8 hours a day. Pregnancy is a special time and it will be over soon. You need to enjoy this time. However you can't expect your co workers or manager to think like this. You have to look out for yourself and your unborn baby. Congratulation
    A) Then the person would not be able to meet the requirements of the job
    B) Sure wouldn't be making any friends by not pulling a fair share of the workload.

    I get that pregnancy is a special time, but it is not a disability or disease. Most times, it's a choice. There shouldn't be any policies granting "special treatment" to pregnant nurses unless it affects safety- such as closer monitoring of radiation exposure and avoidance of bone cement. Long work days are an annoyance to everyone, and the load should be shared equally.
    GadgetRN71, kabfighter, wooh, and 2 others like this.
  9. Visit  Ilovethe80s profile page
    1
    Ok, thank you for your point of view; I get it. Enough said. It was just a question. In the military pregnant women are put on a profile during the end of their pregnancy. I was just curious how this is translated in the civilian world. Also, I did not start this thread to start an argument or ******* match. Again, it was just a question.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  10. Visit  itsnowornever profile page
    1
    Quote from Ilovethe80s
    Ok, thank you for your point of view; I get it. Enough said. It was just a question. In the military pregnant women are put on a profile during the end of their pregnancy. I was just curious how this is translated in the civilian world. Also, I did not start this thread to start an argument or ******* match. Again, it was just a question.
    Prior service member here who was also pregnant in the military---and who also was on profile and had different PT, wasn't allowed to clean weapons or touch a vehicle let alone wear my Kevlar gear. I get what you're asking and I DO think that some exceptions should be made. Yes, pregnancy is a choice, however, not one we should be punished for or be jumped all over for. Hubby and I are considering IVF and I am TERRIFIED of how co-workers will react when I slow down or can't fit between the bed and computers in our impossibly small rooms, and this thread did nothing to make me feel better. :/ wish you luck and hopefully coworkers will be a bit more understanding. Besides, I can't see how you'll be able to navigate in tight places with that belly messing with your balance!

    Posting from my phone, ease forgive my fat thumbs!
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  11. Visit  jcast0121 profile page
    0
    I am also an OR nurse nd cureently 27wks pregnant..were def not asking for special tx..we new what we were gettn ourselves into when we signed contracts..with that said..the OR is a very fast paced job with hard work nd long hrs..I have anywhere from my 8hrs to 16hrs..I get put in operations with radiation..n orthopedic surgery nd contaminated surgery..when it comes to the point that my body wont give anymore bcz I need to rest..I have non problem gettn a letter from my obgyn stating that I cant work more than 8hrs..it wont be a permanent situation..just until I go on maternity..nd I see nothing wrong with that!
  12. Visit  springchick1 profile page
    5
    Nope. Our pregnant nurses don't get restricted hours unless they have a doctors note. They are expected to work like everyone else. We had a girl get put on 8 hour restriction 8 weeks into her pregnancy and it really upset some people. She didn't want to have to work late. She told me that herself. No one wants to work late. My back and hips hurt when I leave everyday too.
    elkpark, GadgetRN71, Meriwhen, and 2 others like this.
  13. Visit  ChristineAdrianaRN profile page
    9
    I think the responses here are pretty harsh. Maybe I work in a more caring environment than most. It doesn't really feel like an "everyone fend for themselves" culture. If someone was having a rough pregnancy, adjustments can be made. I don't think they'd be able to not be on call altogether, but there are always people looking to take call for a little extra money and I imagine people would want to be helpful to someone pregnant. Also, I personally would have no problem taking on a pregnant person's bigger cases for awhile. I don't look at it as them "not pulling their weight." I look at is as helping out someone in need. And if people whine about doing big and long cases, then maybe YOU'RE in the wrong profession, not the pregnant woman. One of our scrub nurses would literally pass out if she was standing too long while she was pregnant. Made scrubbing a little difficult. That's not her fault! I say give them more circulating duties (not as much standing), shorter cases to scrub, or cases where you scrub sitting down (optho, hand, etc).

    I gotta tell ya, some of these responses on here make me glad I have the coworkers and the compassionate work culture that I do.
    staceym, iToniai, Skips, and 6 others like this.
  14. Visit  FlyOR profile page
    8
    Quote from Ilovethe80s
    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 days, which lasts as long as they need you there (one of my last late shifts was 16 hrs long), and 24 hr call. I'm not trying to sound like a cry baby, but we all know a busy OR is physically demanding. My back, feet and hips hurt so bad and after a 16 hr day or 24 hrs on call, the last thing I want to do is go home, catch a few hrs of sleep and do it all over again the next day. Between the mandatory late days and call, it usually totals up to 8 or 9 days a month.
    Yup, these responses are pretty typical of what I have seen in nursing. I come from outside the healthcare industry and I have been pretty appalled by how it deals with pregnant workers, especially considering the previous and continuing prevalence of females as nurses. The OR is a physical and high stress environment, with quite a few dangers to a growing baby. The data shows that more needle sticks and exposure happens to OR workers than other healthcare workers. Radiation exposure is not monitored nearly well enough, with wrap around lead rare in some facilities because "it's expensive". Bone cement is a known danger and I am glad my facility doesn't require pregnant workers to be exposed to it. AORN standards are primarily for standing surgeries, sitting is basically frowned upon unless absolutely necessary, such as eyes. Standing all day is tough on anybody much less a pregnant body.

    Even the maternity leave is appalling. I was able to take up to six months post partum, as that is industry standard in my other industry. The last three month are unpaid, but at least they're available if you want them. It allows for the best case breast feeding advocated by "health experts". Unless you're a nurse, of course and need to pump every two hours. Good luck getting that from your unit. I remember a nurse that returned to work after having a baby and the breaker came in to do breaks for us. The breaker asked me to go first because, gesturing at the other nurse, "she takes too long". I asked why and she made a face and said "she's pumping". I fixed my eyes on her and said, "let her go first, she can have my time".

    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.

    Finally, be advised that depending on your job, if you are physically unable to do YOUR job, you probably qualify for unemployment, unless your facilty makes another position for you.
    staceym, buytheshoes11, Tina, RN, and 5 others like this.


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