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Immunocompromised Loved One

Nurses   (1,034 Views | 16 Replies)
by lillianbenders lillianbenders (New) New Student

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

4 Followers; 1,681 Posts; 3,546 Profile Views

You are being unrealistic.  My hubby had cancer and during his chemo, which makes you very immunocompromised, I was given no special considerations.  I just changed in the bathroom and took it straight to the washer when I got home. I made sure that I took every precaution while I was at work.

I have a friend who's daughter has CF, the daughter is 20 or 21 and wasn't expected to live past 7.  Mom has always followed universal precautions, never been able to refuse any patient for whatever status, she knew it was part of the job.  She has always kept her protected when there are health issues in the community (flu, other viruses, etc), by immunizations for the family and common sense ideas such as hand hygiene, and looking to the doctor (specialist) when necessary. As others have said, you really have more risk being out at the grocery than working with an isolation patient where you know the invading entity and have protective gear. 

Refusing any assignment can cost you your job, once you graduate and pass licensure

Edited by Hoosier_RN

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

1 Follower; 835 Posts; 7,938 Profile Views

1 hour ago, Hoosier_RN said:

You are being unrealistic.  My hubby had cancer and during his chemo, which makes you very immunocompromised, I was given no special considerations.  I just changed in the bathroom and took it straight to the washer when I got home. I made sure that I took every precaution while I was at work.

I have a friend who's daughter has CF, the daughter is 20 or 21 and wasn't expected to live past 7.  Mom has always followed universal precautions, never been able to refuse any patient for whatever status, she knew it was part of the job.  She has always kept her protected when there are health issues in the community (flu, other viruses, etc), by immunizations for the family and common sense ideas such as hand hygiene, and looking to the doctor (specialist) when necessary. As others have said, you really have more risk being out at the grocery than working with an isolation patient where you know the invading entity and have protective gear. 

Refusing any assignment can cost you your job, once you graduate and pass licensure

I agree with this completely. I'm surprised your fellow students aren't more irked by your unnecessary accommodations, and even more surprised that your instructors have accommodated them.

This will not be the case at all when you get to bedside nursing. There will likely be no accommodations for you at all regardless of the diagnosis. That being said, it is ok - as others have said, you have more of a chance being exposed to all these germs out in the real world. In the hospital, you just need to practice your standard and isolation precautions with PPE, and continue to do what you've been doing in regards to taking off your clothing and shoes, etc. 

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422 Posts; 1,219 Profile Views

I think the most reasonable thing to do at this stage is to attend an appointment with your SO's physician to get his/her recommendations on how to protect your SO.

You may be going overboard & causing needless stress on yourself, instructors, coworkers etc. 

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33 Posts; 2,096 Profile Views

I worked inpatient oncology nearly the entire 12 years my hub had CLL, and he was immuno-compromised the entire time. Medical oncology is filled with the stuff you see only rarely in any other setting....all the abx resistant stuff, and oddball infections we don't know how to treat. Other than the precautions mentioned by previous posters, I did nothing....so far as requesting assignments was concerned. My better half passed of complications of his disease in an expected manner, and the only infections he suffered in that time were either treatment-related, or those he brought on himself (cellulitis, community-acquired pneumonia, etc.)

It's difficult to accept that, although you know HOW to protect them, you truly can NOT protect them from everything.  So relax a bit, and be the best nurse you can possibly be. In the setting your talents suit you best ❤️

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kp2016 has 20 years experience.

317 Posts; 3,580 Profile Views

I understand your concern but honestly don't think it's valid. I've been a nurse for more than 20 years. First 16+ in acute inpatient units the last 4 in a ambulatory community setting. The first 6 months in my community job I got sick more often than in the previous 16 years combined!!

My patients are never contagious. The constant flu and influenza were courtesy of the vast numbers of (obviously) ill family members / general public I was in close proximity to for extended periods with no control over their complete lack of attention to basic hygiene. 

I personally think you would be safer in an isolation room or any ICU room really were you can strictly control your own universal precautions and limit contact with family / laypeople who are coughing, sneezing and wiping their germ landed hands over every surface you may come into contact with, than you are in public.

Hope things go well for you and your partner. 

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