When did being pregnant become a disability?

  1. Full disclosure, I've never been pregnant... that being said everyone I've ever met has been. Once upon a time working with pregnant co-workers meant they couldn't go into radioactive rooms or take care of patients with chicken pox... at some point they may need more bathroom breaks, no sweat.

    Now somehow I can't get through a shift without hearing about how pregnancy is making poor Susie suffer at 14 weeks gestation (give me shelter).

    I'm sure it sounds ****** but if you can't do your job, get light duty orders from your doctor. We have full benefits.

    We already have to work short staffed for 3 months while you are on maternity leave... don't half ass everything for 9 months before that and make us pick up the slack on top of it!

    Today I tried to call report to the ICU while I was pulling my patient off the table in IR. The nurse told me she needed me to have a transporter meet her in IR to push the bed back to ICU for her because she is pregnant and can't push it herself.

    We have self-propelled motorized beds, it's harder to push a shopping cart at the supermarket. I took the patient expecting to find a woman due any day now and was greeted by a young, healthy, girl who was barely showing.

    I wish this was an isolated incident, but it's a growing trend and among hundreds of examples where women expect others to do their work for them because some of us take birth control and some of us don't.

    There is no reason in the world a healthy pregnant woman cannot perform her work duties (baring obvious exposures). There is no reason in the world why an unhealthy pregnant woman should be at work in a damn hospital.

    Thanks
  2. Visit GaryRay profile page

    About GaryRay, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '16; Posts: 186; Likes: 457

    103 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    I've been pregnant twice. The first time was very difficult and the second time was very easy. I actually did go on short term disability leave the first time as there were tasks I could not do. I did get coddled quite a bit by my coworkers before I left, but I've done the same for them for various reasons at various times. If they were always the givers and never the receivers, maybe they would have felt the way you do.
  4. by   NurseCard
    I too have been pregnant twice. The first time I worked up until about
    two weeks before I delivered. There were just too many things I
    felt like I could not or should not do anymore. The second time I
    worked up until two days before I was scheduled to have a C section.
    That second time, I spent most of my shifts sitting down though,
    doing paperwork.
  5. by   Beatlefan
    Mother of 3 here- was lucky enough to have stayed home during my last pregnancy, but worked during the first 2, right up until the days I went into labor. I guess I was also lucky to not have issues, as I never used being pregnant as an excuse to not do something.
    It's so hard in this job (floor nursing) to decide who is genuinely unable or unavailable to perform at 100%. There are co-workers who start the excuses, cherry pick assignments, etc. from the beginning of the shift. In the same vein, the new thing that takes nurses off the floor for exhorbitant amounts of time is pumping breast milk. I would never, ever say a bad thing about new mothers pumping- it's great- but for all these Co-workers who refuse patients, refuse admissions, take multiple smoke breaks and don't watch the clock during other breaks, or just have a habit of socializing too much or even sit on their cell phones or the internet, there are a few of us who DON'T sit down very often because we are understaffed and feel horrible for patients who have to wait for assistance or pain meds.
    I probably shouldn't have written this post, because I don't have a solution, but I wanted to agree with you and offer that this is a newer occurance on my floor as well.
  6. by   T-Bird78
    I'm sure some pregnant women do abuse their condition a little, but you also don't need to jump to conclusions. I had hyperemesis gravidarum with both my pregnancies, much worse with my second. After being repeatedly hospitalized and on home health, I was finally back at work around 14-15 weeks but on a subcutaneous medication pump for zofran. I was barely showing, looked somewhat healthy, but couldn't have physically pushed a bed. I couldn't even get up from a kneeling position without pulling up with the counter or up the wall. The catheter for the pump, and the zofran itself, are very irritating to the subcu tissues. I had to change my infusion site daily, so my abdomen was VERY tender and covered in hard, red bumps. If I did anything using my abdominal muscles, it hurt like hell. I might not have looked helpless or weak, but I sure felt it.
  7. by   cleback
    Remember when pregnant women just left the workforce when they started families? Those were the days...

    OK I'm feeling a bit cheeky since I am currently pregnant. I've worked while nauseated and had to sacrifice a few scrub tops to vomit when there were no other solutions available (my coworkers suggested carrying one of those blue bags). I've also had pretty significant spd and pelvic pain from that and wore a supportive belt to work... but still got the side eye when I asked for help pushing a stretcher at 38 weeks.

    My advice to you is this conversation is as productive as watching people who park in the handicap stalls at work and trying to judge if they're truly worthy. Besides, I have a very strong inkling that lazy people will always find a way to be lazy, if not for being pregnant. I've worked with lazy male nurses who will never have that excuse but still find a way...
  8. by   JKL33
    Quote from GaryRay
    We already have to work short staffed for 3 months while you are on maternity leave...
    Now whose fault is that? Hint: Not the person who is off-duty related to benefits that are part of their employment agreement and appropriately utilized.

    Quote from GaryRay
    Today I tried to call report to the ICU while I was pulling my patient off the table in IR. The nurse told me she needed me to have a transporter meet her in IR to push the bed back to ICU for her because she is pregnant and can't push it herself.

    We have self-propelled motorized beds, it's harder to push a shopping cart at the supermarket. I took the patient expecting to find a woman due any day now and was greeted by a young, healthy, girl who was barely showing.
    Have people make their own plans for accommodations, then you don't have to worry about feeling taken advantage of.

    Quote from GaryRay
    I wish this was an isolated incident, but it's a growing trend and among hundreds of examples where women expect others to do their work for them because some of us take birth control and some of us don't.
    Well, this isn't happening because some people are pregnant - but your attempt to categorize all pregnancy as an issue of responsibility vs irresponsibility is noted.

    This is a problem with your employer letting people make up their own work restrictions and/or it's also pretty likely that you aren't privy to the restrictions employers may have already allowed based on official medical advice presented to them.

    Moving on. Here's my take: Aren't there any bigger fish to fry???? Unless a coworker is purposely malicious or dangerously negligent, I can promise you I've noticed bigger things to worry about than a coworker's possibly erroneous worries about a healthy pregnancy.

    It sounds like you think your life choices are pretty great, so you should feel very good about that and not worry about everybody else. If you want to really worry about something, a bird's-eye view of acute care will provide you with plenty of fodder for that.
  9. by   Davey Do
    Quote from GaryRay
    Full disclosure, I've never been pregnant...
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    I've been pregnant twice.
    Quote from NurseCard
    I too have been pregnant twice.
    Quote from Beatlefan
    Mother of 3 here-
    Quote from T-Bird78
    I had hyperemesis gravidarum with both my pregnancies
    Quote from cleback
    I am currently pregnant.
    excited-women-jpg
  10. by   klone
    That must be Gary Ray on the left. Because he surely must have been pregnant to have such strong opinions on the physical difficulties of pregnancy.
  11. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from GaryRay
    Today I tried to call report to the ICU while I was pulling my patient off the table in IR. The nurse told me she needed me to have a transporter meet her in IR to push the bed back to ICU for her because she is pregnant and can't push it herself.

    We have self-propelled motorized beds, it's harder to push a shopping cart at the supermarket. I took the patient expecting to find a woman due any day now and was greeted by a young, healthy, girl who was barely showing.

    It's really none of your damn business why the nurse felt like she needed help. Even with a motor it's not always easy for people to push the beds. Transport is there for a reason and nobody should feel pressured to push a bed on their own if they are not comfortable doing so. If a nurse, or heaven forbid a patient, were to get hurt while pushing a bed on their own the fingers would be pointed at the nurse and everyone would hear "why didn't you get help?". I'm not comfortable pushing those beds on my own for my own reasons and it's NOT because I'm pregnant. Transport is there, so I use them when needed- no need to make my job any harder or put myself or anyone else at risk of getting hurt.
  12. by   GaryRay
    Quote from klone
    That must be Gary Ray on the left. Because he surely must have been pregnant to have such strong opinions on the physical difficulties of pregnancy.
    Gary is a woman, she never said pregnancy was easy. I said if you cant do your job, stay at home so we can bring in float staff that can. Or get put on desk duty until your due date.

    In this specific example someone used being pregnant as a rational to keep from picking up a patient... again you dont push these beds. They are self-propelled motorized beds. You walk behind them and steer. If shes working in the ICU, what's she gonna say when someone needs a crash cart?

    "Sorry I'm pregnant "
  13. by   Emergent
    Quote from Davey Do
    excited-women-jpg
    Well, I had 6 live births and one miscarriage, so I have the most pregnancy stories of all!
  14. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from GaryRay
    Gary is a woman, she never said pregnancy was easy. I said if you cant do your job, stay at home so we can bring in float staff that can. Or get put on desk duty until your due date.

    In this specific example someone used being pregnant as a rational to keep from picking up a patient... again you dont push these beds. They are self-propelled motorized beds. You walk behind them and steer. If shes working in the ICU, what's she gonna say when someone needs a crash cart?

    "Sorry I'm pregnant "
    You don't know me and I DO push those beds. I'm a critical care nurse and we have motorized beds too- they aren't novel to just YOUR hospital. I work in the ICU and fulfill all my job duties- I have no problem grabbing the crash cart and have many times. I also don't go pushing those beds on my own when I don't have to. It doesn't matter WHAT reason she gave that you think is bogus- it's not bogus to the nurse and you don't know her entire medical history so butt the hell out- it's none of your damn business. Needing help with the bed HARDLY means she can't do her job.I

    I'm in pain everyday at work from an injury. I don't use that as an excuse and fulfill all duties of my job- I turn, transport, etc. all my patients and others patients. I don't ask for special treatment or avoid helping others because of it. I absolutely take advantage of all my resources, which includes transport, lifts, etc, to avoid putting unneeded stress on my body. In an emergent situation I wouldn't hesitate, but picking up a patient from IR (in most cases) is NOT an emergent situation.
    Last edit by AceOfHearts<3 on Sep 13

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