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I need some Advice please

babypoo babypoo (New) New

I need some advice please:

I am 20 wks Pregnant and my doctor gave me restrictions while working ( no lifting or pulling) because of medical condition that can lead to a miscarriage. I had a miscarriage before because of this condition. The problem is my OBGYN still thinks I am able to work and there is no need for bedrest at this time.

My Job (I am an RN) on the other had does not agree and classified my restrictions as LIGHT DUTY. They claim they don't have light duty for pregnacy only for workmanscom(sp) Injury.

I was never given an option to work less days, to do adms, secetary, or monitor tech position. I was just told by my MRG, HR and EMP health that THEY HAVE NO LIGHT DUTY JOBS AVAILABLE FOR PREGNANT RN'S AND I HAVE TO STOP WORKING. the think is I was working fine before; my co-workers were awesome in helping me lift and pull, I am still able to work, myself and the doctor agrees with that.

Now I am home sitting on my butt no work, My PL and job disability runs out at the end of the mth. My thing is women makes up more than half of the nursing field and if and when we do get pregnant and are given restrictions by our OBGYN It's the hospitals responsbilty to find us a place to work or try and work around it. Wouldn't you all agree? The doctor did not say bedrest; had she said that then that would have been different; she just had Restrictions.

NurseCard, ADN

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

Eeek. The only thing that I can tell you is that I myself have worked twice while pregnant, in two different hospitals, and in neither case was I given a lighter load due to pregnancy.

Now, you have a note from the doctor saying that you have restrictions but again... I have worked in hospitals that will not allow someone to work with restrictions unless like you said, the restriction is due to an injury that occurred at work.

Long story short... you are stuck not working. I hope you have a partner that can pick up the slack, or family that can help you.

roser13, ASN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

" It's the hospitals responsbilty to find us a place to work or try and work around it. Wouldn't you all agree?" No, I don't agree. The RN position is what it is. In my opinion, since there is no light duty available, the hospital would be risking a lawsuit if they allowed you to work while knowing that the doctor had placed restrictions on your activity.

mamamerlee, LPN

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

No, it is NOT the responsibilty of the workplace to find something else for you to do. This is an unfortunate situation that many people - not just pregnant women - run into.

I have a herniated disc, and am virtually unemployable. But I still have a brain, and could be doing good work with it. But the facilities see me as damaged goods.

Are you working long enoufh to get FMLA? or unemployment?

I know you may not want those, but you need to look for all the possibilities.

In most workplaces you are either able to do all of the work, or not.

This does not mean I am not sympathetic to your plight - I am extremely sympathetic. But however hard as it is to hear, the company is not responsible to keep you at a paying position for conditions acquired outside of the workplace.

But there is light duty available!!! Plus I was working with my condition from the begining on conception and I am still able to work and is willing to do so.

I am currently out on FMLA, and I think you have to be fired in order to get unemployment. from my understanding andat the moment I am not fired. On the FMLA my job is secure for up to 9wks, afterwish its in limbo.

NurseCard, ADN

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 13 years experience.

Yeah... and they will get downright ANGRY with you if you try to come to work without absolute clearance from the doctor!

See, I hurt my back close to two years ago. Unfortunately I was never able to pinpoint exactly the moment when I really blew my back out... if I knew that I'd done it at work, I'd have saved myself some financial hassle! But anyway, so I hurt my back and had to have surgery. When it was time for me to go back to work, it was a huge hassle getting clearance from the doctor because the doctor's office kept trying to fax the note for me to go back to work with no restrictions, to my HR office... and the HR office either kept losing it, or their fax machine wouldn't work. (it was a bit of a hassle for me to hand deliver the excuse myself, because I lived 45 minutes away from work).

So I went in to work one night, and after what seemed like several attempts to get things straight, the house supervisor stopped me getting off the elevator and told me that they STILL hadn't received the clearance for me to

come back to work! I ended up calling my doctor myself, and he was livid, not at me but at the hospital. I asked him if he could get an excuse to the hospital that night and he said that he would, and he spoke to the supervisor. At that time, the supervisor gave me the OK to go ahead and work.

The next morning, my manager came in and actually chewed me out for working that night and not having the excuse from my doctor! My charge nurse was standing there with me and we were BOTH like, excuse me????

The SUPERVISOR told me that I could go ahead and work, and I had done EVERYTHING that I could to try and make sure they got my clearance to work!!

Anyway... bottom line is, they aren't going to let you work. Stay home, enjoy your pregnancy, take care of that little baby growing inside of you. Again, hopefully your partner can pick up the slack, or your family can help. The Americans with Disabilities act doesn't really apply either I don't believe, as pregnancy is not considered a disability.

Orca, ASN, RN

Specializes in Corrections, psychiatry, rehab, LTC. Has 25 years experience.

But there is light duty available!!! Plus I was working with my condition from the begining on conception and I am still able to work and is willing to do so.

Your employer has spelled out their requirements for light duty, and you do not meet them. Even if you are willing to work, your employer would be taking an unacceptable risk allowing you to continue, given your doctor's assessment of your condition. The fact that you were working after you became pregnant is irrelevant, because your employer was in all likelihood unaware of the gravity of the situation.

As sympathetic as I am to your situation, I agree with the employer on this one.

Thank you NURSECARD and others for your adviced.

I see where all of you forks are coming from and I thankyou for all the imput. I just hope in the future Hospitals will start making positive changes towards not just pregnancy related issues, but issues such as unrelated work injuries.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

i need some advice please:

now i am home sitting on my butt no work, my pl and job disability runs out at the end of the mth. my thing is women makes up more than half of the nursing field and if and when we do get pregnant and are given restrictions by our obgyn it's the hospitals responsbilty to find us a place to work or try and work around it. wouldn't you all agree? the doctor did not say bedrest; had she said that then that would have been different; she just had restrictions.

actually, i don't agree. you are the one who decided to get pregnant, it's your responsibility to make sure you can afford it. it sucks to be given light duty and to be told there is none available -- i've been there when i injured my back. but it isn't the hospital's responsibility to try to work around your pregnancy. it's yours.

no where in your post do you say that you requested to cut your hours, work as a unit secretary (for unit secretary's pay) or take any of the responsibility for your own condition, income or restrictions. i'm sorry about your situation -- but not sorry enough to think that i (and all of your co-workers) should be paying for it.

esrun00

Specializes in cardiac, oncology. Has 22 years experience.

Ok the OB said restrictions, no lifting or pulling, but I'm guessing that these are listed in your job description and if you can't perform your job description, you can's do the job. I don't see why you think it is the hospital's responsibility to find you work you can perform, I know of no other business that would, some might say you can do this for their pay, would you be willing to take a cut in pay?

With the restrictions, the hospital cannot let you continue in your current RN position, because if you had a miscarriage after pulling a patient, they would be liable.

Sorry not what you wanted to hear.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 9 years experience.

I agree with Ruby. The hospital is a business. If you can't perform what paid work they have available, it is not their responsibility to pay you or to create something for you to do. If all business had to do that, none of them would be profitable and none of us would have work. I hope the rest of your pregnancy is uneventful and you are able to return to normal activities as a healthy new mom.

TDCHIM

Specializes in Health Information Management.

Any possibility that you could be farmed out to another part of the hospital? Maybe HIM to help with chart review/coding or something of that sort? Perhaps you could ask, but you are basically left with what your employer okays in this sort of situation. You have to see it from their side too: if they let you work and you miscarry, that's mega money.

By any chance do you have short-term disability coverage? Some policies cover pregnancy. I've been in your spot, believe me; I was sent home from work a week before I was supposed to start leave before a back surgery because I was told I was making my employer "look bad" by hobbling around on a cane! That of course cost me a week's pay that I really needed....I wish I could give you better news, but it sounds like you're stuck.

Ginger's Mom, MSN, RN

Has 41 years experience.

I sounds like you have your priorities in order having a healthy baby. Also sounds like you are going to to try to advocate for other women so they won't have to worry like you are.

I worked both my pregnancies, it is not fair to ask your co workers to pick up your slack since their backs will give out trying to do two peoples jobs. It gets old being the only nurse on a unit who doesn't have a bad back or is pregnant.

If you plan on getting pregnant again, try to work in an area that is not as physical such as home health or for insurance company. Best of luck with your current pregnancy.

One last piece of advice don't keep pressing this issue if you plan on returning to this hospital since they don't have to re hire you..... I wish you a very healthy baby and an easy delivery.

Pepper The Cat, BSN, RN

Specializes in Gerontology. Has 34 years experience.

it is not fair to ask your co workers to pick up your slack since their backs will give out trying to do two peoples jobs. It gets old being the only nurse on a unit who doesn't have a bad back or is pregnant.

This! I am tired of having to take the heavier pts because someone else is on light duty because of pregnancy. And I also have to take the pts in isolation because the pregnant nurse doesn't want to expose herself.

Why should I put myself at an increased risk for back injury because someone else is pregnant and can't lift but still wants to lift.

Maybe you can get some shifts as a sitter, or escorting pts to other hospitals/facilities for tests etc.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

this! i am tired of having to take the heavier pts because someone else is on light duty because of pregnancy. and i also have to take the pts in isolation because the pregnant nurse doesn't want to expose herself.

why should i put myself at an increased risk for back injury because someone else is pregnant and can't lift but still wants to lift.

maybe you can get some shifts as a sitter, or escorting pts to other hospitals/facilities for tests etc.

when i worked in an eight bed micu, five or six of our nurses were pregnant at the same time. that meant that some shifts, i was the only nurse working who wasn't pregnant. the pregnant nurses didn't want to take the heavier patients because they didn't want to lift. they didn't want to take patients in isolation because they didn't want to risk their babies. (and once they had their babies, they didn't want to take isolation patients because they "didn't want to take the bugs home to the kids.") they couldn't hold patients for x-rays, couldn't go to mri or ct and couldn't keep working their entire shift because they were just too tired. you can see where this is going, right?

it got so i hated my job. i couldn't take all the heavy patients and all the isolation patients and all the patients who needed x-rays or to travel. but i tried, i really did. then one night when i had two heavy, isolation patients and the docs wanted to float a swan using flouroscopy on the patient one of the pregnant nurses was taking care of, she wanted me to assist with the swan placement. but she couldn't do anything for me, of course, because my patients were heavy and in isolation. when i refused, she called the nursing supervisor. the nursing supervisor came up, took one look around and told the pregnant nurse to suck it up and deal. she could wear lead and float the swan or she could suck it up and take care of my isolation patients.

the pregnant nurse threw an absolute fit, and the other three pregnant nurses on shift that night supported her. el preggo went home on administrative leave and our manager was called to take care of her patient. suddenly, things changed. one pregnant nurse made the decision to leave on her own, and the rest were told in no uncertain terms that they could do their jobs or go home. "ruby didn't get you pregnant," the supervisor told one of them. "and ruby shouldn't have to do your job and hers too."

i loved that supervisor!

Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych ICU, addictions.

It's the hospitals responsbilty to find us a place to work or try and work around it. Wouldn't you all agree? .

Actually...no.

The only thing the hospital can't do is fire you for being pregnant. They CAN fire you if you don't do your job while pregnant, if they can demonstrate they'd fire a non-pregnant person for the same substandard performance--the reason for your firing would then be your job performance, not your medical condition. So be careful and don't make the mistake of thinking that pregnancy is automatic job insurance no matter what.

They don't have to find you work to do either. By law, they have to treat you the same as any other temporarily disabled employee, so if your employer lets other temporarily disabled nurses modify their tasks or perform alternative ones, then you may have a case. But if they don't allow that or have alternative assignments for you to work...then I'm sorry, but you're stuck not working. I know it's not what you wanted to hear.

Best of luck with your pregnancy.

Edited by Meriwhen

maddie45

Has 3 years experience.

Everyone keeps saying "pregnancy isn't a disability"... well then why do I have to apply for Short-term disability for my maternity leave and it only pays 60% of my wages, which I have to use My Own Paid Time Off hours to make up the 40%!

I'm 31 weeks pregnant and have had a healthy uncomplicated pregnancy, but I asked my doctor for light duty/lifting restrictions because I just can't do it anymore. I'm miserable!

I'm a hard worker and I go out of my way to help fellow co-workers when needed.... so this is my turn to ask for their help and understanding.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

everyone keeps saying "pregnancy isn't a disability"... well then why do i have to apply for short-term disability for my maternity leave and it only pays 60% of my wages, which i have to use my own paid time off hours to make up the 40%!

i'm 31 weeks pregnant and have had a healthy uncomplicated pregnancy, but i asked my doctor for light duty/lifting restrictions because i just can't do it anymore. i'm miserable!

i'm a hard worker and i go out of my way to help fellow co-workers when needed.... so this is my turn to ask for their help and understanding.

you think everyone should pay for your time off when you have a baby? it was, after all, your choice to have a baby, so you should use your pto.

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