ER RN- 26 Weeks Pregnant

Nurses COVID


Specializes in ER.

Hello all,

I'm just wondering if anyone has any insight regarding navigating caring for known or rule out COVID patients while pregnant. Up until this point, our census had been very low and I had not been required to go in any of these rooms. Now with census rebounding, I was taken into the office today to discuss how I cannot refuse to care for known or suspected COVID patients. The policy we have in place at my establishment supports you avoiding caring for these patient populations once you reach 36 weeks.

While many studies suggest the virus can't be transmitted to the fetus, some articles I read state that some newborns were tested merely moments after birth and they were positive. So that instills doubt for me. I am also concerned because pregnancy can negatively effect your immune system and pregnant woman are at increased risk of respiratory illness at baseline, even in a non pandemic world. Even if the baby doesn't get COVID, but I do, there are negative implications upon the baby from things like fever and poor oxygenation in the mother. I also read there's a clear link to preterm labor with pregnant women who are diagnosed with COVID.

I expressed to my boss that I am uncomfortable with caring for these patients because of potential risks to my child and myself. This was met with statistical reassurances of why it is low risk and there is no data that suggests it will be harmful to my baby. While some may find me to be rigid and unreasonable in my refusal to care for COVID patients- I feel that this advice and conclusion has been drawn based on an absence of evidence, rather than an absence of risk. This virus is too new for any real data to be obtained and conclusions to be drawn. Without any real clinical reassurance of safety, I am not willing for my unborn child to become an experiment.

I am very stressed about working directly with these patients where I am exposed and they can potential quarantine my own baby from me for 14 days after birth if there's concerns I've been exposed or have symptoms.

Does anyone know what my rights would be in a situation like this? Can I be fired for refusal to expose myself and my baby? Or would that be discrimination because I am only refusing due to concerns related to my pregnancy? Any other pregnant nurses or know anyone who is dealing with similar situations and how they are handling it?

I would appreciate any insight or recommendations, I am kind of at a loss for how to proceed. They said they are going to help me try to find another area of the hospital to work in until maternity leave. But that may take time and I am curious about what I should do in the interim. I still have 3 1/2 months left to work.


Specializes in Dialysis.

unfortunately, your employer makes policy, whether its wonderful or crummy. I would discuss my concerns with manager and HR via email. Make sure to forward responses to an outside source so that if baby is born ill you have legal legs to stand on.

Your other choices are to have PCP put you off work or to totally leave job

Have you discussed this with your ob/gyn?

Specializes in Emergency.

My managers plan is - pregnant colleagues get assigned to the genuine fast-track area of fast-track. If there is any thought of covid in a fast-track pt, including asymptomatic but living with someone who’s pui/+, they do not see them. Works for us.

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