Is it safe?

  1. Is it safe for a pregnant nurse to care for a patient on chemo? Twice in the last month I have been pulled to another floor and BOTH times I have been given a patient who had chemo THAT day and not been told about it. Both instances I have asked the charge nurse if it is safe for me to care for someone who SHOULD be on chemo precautions and both times I have gotten a shrug and "I think so". Does anyone know for sure? I am pretty stressed out and really getting sick of getting thrown into these situations on other floors where I feel incompetent. Can someone please clear this up for me? One pf the patient had chemo put into his bladder to dwell (according to the patient) and I was afraid of his urine. I did double flush and double glove to be sure. The other one had chemo infusion and was vomiting all night long.

    I just want to be safe in practice and it is clear at my job that I am the ONLY one who cares if I am safe.
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    About missladyrn

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 240; Likes: 567


  3. by   Tait
    You would have to check policy, but I don't think is is the best idea for a pregnant nurse to take care of chemo patients, however it might depend on when the dose was given, etc. At our hospital we had to be chemo certified to work with those patients, so I never ran into that issue with my pregnancy. I would perhaps talk to the manager of your oncology units and find out for sure.
  4. by   suga_junkie
    Wow, on my ward we don't even assign patients on cytotoxic precautions d/t an oral methotrexate dose within 2 weeks ago to a pregnant nurse! Granted, we don't usually have more than one or two such patients at a time, and we don't do IV chemo at all, but still. I wouldn't be happy about it.
  5. by   uRNmyway
    Why don't you ask your OB? Seems like the best course of action. If he/she tells you no, then ask for a doctor's note and carry it with you at all times.
  6. by   classicdame
    Nurses can be pregnant without knowing it. That is why universal precautions are so important.
  7. by   blondy2061h
    We don't have our pregnant nurses give chemo, but they can take care of patients who have gotten it as long they are gowned and double gloved when handling body fluids. We wouldn't give them a patient who wasn't able to control their body fluids.