Asthmatic and forced to Covid unit

Published

Hello all,

My dilemma is still so shocking to me! I've been in FMLA for asthma. My last asthma attack was in June. My employer knows all of my history and still trying to transfer me to a Covid patient unit. I can't believe this is happening!! I've got so much time invested and love my job. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated. TIA

10 minutes ago, BsnBull said:

Hello all,

My dilemma is still so shocking to me! I've been in FMLA for asthma. My last asthma attack was in June. My employer knows all of my history and still trying to transfer me to a Covid patient unit. I can't believe this is happening!! I've got so much time invested and love my job. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated. TIA

I have asthma as well and I am working on the same type of unit. We are not allowed to opt out. Have you tried talking to your unit manager though? You never know what they may say., they may accommodate you?

ChocoChipDip

4 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 4 years experience.

I’m so sorry you are having to deal with that. I think it’s wrong. I don’t understand how this is happening. Everyone wants it to be fair... we’ll life isn’t fair. A person with bad asthma should not be assigned to a covid unit. It makes me so angry because where I work, they assign our a nurse in her early 70s to covid..really!?

BsnBull

20 Posts

Thank you all for responding and assisting me! I have spoken to my unit manager, and was told so sorry, but all hands on deck. I also have a special needs son , who's Autistic and have asthma and a low white count. His doctor wrote a note to place me on another floor if possible to prevent him getting seriously ill. Still no support. I pray that God intervenes soon. Praying for all of us, especially healthcare workers at this time. Good luck to you guys and stay safe!

ChocoChipDip

4 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 4 years experience.

You stay safe too. If it gets too bad or you feel like your son is at risk, don’t let people shame you into staying there. I have seen nurses post stuff about how it’s wrong to leave..but you know what..your family is first. So you do whatever you feel is right and don’t feel bad about either choice

NurseBlaq

1,756 Posts

4 hours ago, BsnBull said:

Thank you all for responding and assisting me! I have spoken to my unit manager, and was told so sorry, but all hands on deck. I also have a special needs son , who's Autistic and have asthma and a low white count. His doctor wrote a note to place me on another floor if possible to prevent him getting seriously ill. Still no support. I pray that God intervenes soon. Praying for all of us, especially healthcare workers at this time. Good luck to you guys and stay safe!

Apply for reasonable accommodations citing your asthma attack in June and your asthmatic special needs son who requires you to care for him as your validation. Whether you ask verbally, via email, or written letter, they have to respond in 30 days so be sure to document when you requested it. If they fail, they violate federal laws. Also, seek the help of an attorney, even if it's just a free consultation, to see where you stand and what your options are. Tell them you can't accept that assignment due to safety reasons. It's not refusing, it's an unsafe assignment, put it in writing because they will swear y'all never had that conversation. Your manager will say she never spoke to you about it and basically demanded you work that unit. Better yet, email it to her and cc human resources; be sure to remind them you just had an asthma attack last month! If all else fails, resign. You can find another job but you can't find another life, nor is it worth the risk to your child.

Nursing is a job that requires us to care for people and deal with viruses and diseases. However, we are not obligated to risk our lives and the lives of our families. We're nurses, not combat soldiers.

Simon C

12 Posts

Specializes in LTC, NEUROLOGY, REHAB. Has 48 years experience.

my experience in the UK has been significantly different to that mentioned. NHS managers have had mandatory healthcare assessments done on ALL staff which are then actioned. Anyone with severe asthma can work on a covid positive ward IF they want to...but if they don't then alternative posts are found for them. I am 61 years old and have various issues stemming from MOF years ago, including diabetes and a father 0f 84 at home I live with. He's had three heart attacks and is not too steady these days. My assessment was done and I was moved to another area. My manager herself has severe asthma and she has been working from home for 3 months now. We also have good union representation which helps a lot. I will NOT put my family at risk. I would quite happily just walk away from the job if proper support cannot be given.