What are we learning?!

  1. This is mostly a rant!

    I just finished an accelerated BSN program and am starting my FNP. So I'm starting orientation this week for my first official nursing job (yay!), I'm going to be doing pediatric HIV nursing. Now I have had about 5 of my fellow classmates say things to me along the lines of "don't do that! aren't you afraid? etc" HUH? Now I know the people who were in the accelerated program with me had to sit through and HIV lecture where we learned about how HIV is transmitted and what the incidence of exposure is for healthcare workers. Some of these people work in ICUs/EDs, I'd be more worried about being on the frontline of a avian flu/sars outbreak. By the third person I was so annoyed I said something along the lines of "Well I don't know about you but I make it a rule not to have sex with patients or minors"

    I go to school/live in NYC and with the possible exception of Peds, I had HIV+ patients on the floor of all of my rotations and many times they were my patients. HIV is probably the biggest public health issue of our time yet clinicians seem to choose to learn next to nothing about it because they're not going to treat "those patients". Ugggh :angryfire
  2. Visit Mission profile page

    About Mission

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 247; Likes: 138
    Global Health Researcher; from US
    Specialty: Global Health Informatics, MNCH


  3. by   CarVsTree
    I am surprised as well by this attitude. These same nurses will have a rude awakening when they find out that HIV is much more prevalent in the gen pop than they every imagined.

    Good for you in following your heart.
  4. by   Tweety
    HIV is one of those things that people are afraid of despite facts.

    Good luck to you!
  5. by   SummerGarden
    your experience does not surprise me. when i was not a pre-nursing student, i was working in a public health setting. once i oriented a nursing student a few weeks prior to his graduation. he made negative comments about having to do his rotation.

    i asked him what the problem was and he said, "i don't want to be here. don't you know the kind of people that come here? do you know the kind of people that get tb? they are indigent and poor."

    i could not believe what he was saying! i was absolutely horrified! especially because i wished i could be in his shoes at the time.

    i wanted so badly to be working there because i was a nursing student or a rn not because i was a full-time non-healthcare professional holding a dead end job!!! anyway, i figured that maybe nursing school messed up with his education until i took a&p ii and got in-depth information regarding tb.

    in fact, many of the students in my course had the same prejudices and dislikes he displayed despite our professor explaining how tb is transmitted and the likelihood of catching it and not catching it given particular situations. thus, to support my professor i educated my fellow students. afterwards the room was silent. possibly because i ended my discussion with a lecture on treating people like human beings despite his/her illness.

    specifically i said something along the lines, "don't be one of those nursing students that treats patients like dirt because of his/her illness. you are there to help them and you cannot help people you treat like garbage. besides, if you ever have questions or concerns regarding a particular rotation, be sure to talk to the professionals who work there everyday." my professor thanked me and we moved on to new material.

    sadly, tweety is correct. some people remain ignorant in fear despite education. there is really nothing we can do but to try to educate them and move on.
  6. by   Mission
    Thanks for the support. Yesterday was my first day of orientation, even though I was overwhelemed by the amount of paperwork (no computer systems) and the number of CNAs I'll have to supervise, the position seems to be a perfect fit for me.
  7. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from Mission
    HIV is probably the biggest public health issue of our time yet clinicians seem to choose to learn next to nothing about it because they're not going to treat "those patients". Ugggh :angryfire

    Oh don't worry, they will be treating people with HIV.