Pregnancy and work hours - page 2

by Ilovethe80s

8,619 Views | 36 Comments

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... Read More


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 3
    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!
    SoldierNurse22, tmartin83, and MBARNBSN like this.
  5. 0
    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.
  6. 3
    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.
  7. 0
    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.
  8. 0
    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
  9. 3
    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.
    GadgetRN71, buytheshoes11, and Tina, RN like this.
  10. 0
    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.


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