Job Safety for Pregnant Nurse

  1. Hi everyone,

    I am a nursing student with 5 weeks to go before I graduate. I also work part time as an aide on a renal and abdominal surgical floor. I am also 4 weeks pregnant and need advice on how to stay safe on the job and at school. I don't go to my doctor for another month and really don't know what I should or shouldn't be doing at work. I work next week and plan on telling my employer about my pregnancy at that time, but am really clueless at the moment as to what types of patients I should avoid.

    Radiation and meds. like chemo are pretty obvious but are there weight lifting limits and what about infected patients?

    Back in October when I was at my doctor for an annual, he really only said to be sure to use standard precautions and be extra cautious about CMV in dialysis patients. Since I have told my preceptor and classmates about my pregnancy I am getting some conflicting information. My preceptor says that I should only avoid patients with Airborne precautions while a classmate of mine who is pregnant and due any moment said it's not worth hurting yourself just because of school and has completely avoided all patients on contact precautions all year.

    I don't want to be one of those "prima donna" pregnant nurses who avoids everything, I just want to be safe. I don't see a problem with contact precaution patients as long as you where you gown and gloves and handwash, is there something I'm missing here?

    Are there other dangers I have not considered? Whatever advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Col
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    About colleen10

    Joined: Jan '01; Posts: 1,761; Likes: 46
    pre-nursing student, secretary - non-medical

    2 Comments

  3. by   TweetiePieRN
    Since you are only 4 weeks along there is no restriction as to how much you can safely lift. I was told by my OB that I needed to restrict the lifting around 5 months. As for the other stuff, better safe than sorry!!~
  4. by   HappyNurse2005
    I am a due in April/finishing school in April student nurse. If you take proper precautions for airborne patients (mask, etc) then it shouldn't be a problem, I would think. The precautions are there to keep you safe, pregnant or not. Lifting? I have been in nursing school the entire duration of this pregnancy and have never had to lift anything I couldn't handle. A nurse wouldn't be pulling a patient up in bed alone. I have had to lift some, but with proper body mechanics, it was nothing unmanagable. My school also required me to have no restrictions whatsoever, and as I told my dr, I am not doing anything a RN wouldn't do, and he was fine with it.
    As early as you are, I'd be more worried about morning sickness and some of the "smells" that accompany nursing!
    Otherwise, just go with it, do what you feel comfortable with. You know what you can handle and what you can't.

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