Published Jan 25, 2020
When I was at the doctor the other day, they wanted to determine the cause for repeated infections in my nose/ear piercings. They did a nasal swab and I did not realize they were testing for MRSA, if I would've known this, I would have refused. I know it is very common and not a big deal, but if I know I am a carrier/infected, do I have to disclose that to my employer? If so, what do they do about it? Has anyone had MRSA and still been able to work?
12 hours ago, lwill_40 said:I know it is very common
I know it is very common
It isn't really; not in the way nurses talk about it anyway. I have heard nurses joke about how we're all infected (I'm sure they meant colonized) with MRSA; I don't know where they got that idea. Common numbers cited by the CDC are around the 1-2% mark for the general population, and in looking through multiple other sources every time this topic arises it seems the % of HCWs colonized is estimated around 4ish % depending upon source.
You will discuss options and develop a plan with your doctor r/t your own personal health choices if you are found to be a carrier.
There are no recommendations for HCWs being taken off work for being a carrier, and if negative carrier status was an important qualification for performing your job then everyone would be routinely screened. That is not recommended though.
Oh wow, I had no idea! We totally joke about it all the time! But it's really good to know it's not that common and that it shouldn't interfere with working. Looks like I have nothing to worry about!
Now that I think about it, it's something people say when someone has had something kind of gross happen to them in the course of taking care of a patient. It's like coworkers' way of consoling the person ("You'll be fine, I'm sure we all have MRSA and [x], [y], [z] by now"). It was probably meant to actually be a joke to help the person not feel bad/freaked out.
RuralMOSchoolRN, ADN, RN
Recent statistics say that 30% of the population is a carrier of staph. aureus. but only about 1% of the population is a carrier of MRSA. I think that is where the "everyone has it" comes from--the 1/3 of the population with colonized with regular staph.--but not that many have MRSA.
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