Just how much of an excuse should "I'm expecting" be

Nurses General Nursing

Published

We have a nurse here in our ER that is expecting, she is just entering her 2nd trimester. Myself and some of the other nurses are starting to get irritated with her, because she keeps using the "I'm Expecting" excuse to get out of doing tasks on the nastier side of our jobs.

However, last night she just totally ticked me off. We had a pt come in just last night with difficulty breathing. Pt is in late-stage HIV/AIDS. She was about to do the eval on the PT, until she found out he was HIV+. She then came to me and asked me to take the PT. She flat out said to me that, she wouldn't touch him because he has AIDS and she is too worried and thinking of her baby. At first I really didn't mind, I was rather busy at the time, but still agreed. However, as the night progressed, the more I thought about it the more irritated I became.

I understand an expectant mother's want to protect her child, BUT at the same time. She was doing no blood work, and would have no contact with bodily fluids of any kind. I didn't say anything or make issue of it, mainly because she is such a sweet person, and I do get along very well with her, but its getting ridiculous.

By the end of the night after several other small things, I was about ready to tell her that if she wasn't going to pull her weight she should just go home! She basically wants to just sit, answer the phone, and triage, which i am TOTALLY fine with, however, stop taking pt's then pawning half of the work off on everyone else! Either do it or don't. She's only in her 2nd trimester, so we've got at least another few months of this, and something needs to be said, I don't want to sound like jerk when I approach our attending about her. Anyone have any input?

I know I'm a guy, so hopefully I haven't offended any of you girls, but before you call me an in-sensitive b****rd, I was raised my mother, aunt, and I'm the baby of 5 sisters. When it comes to women, I've heard it ALL. lol

MedSurgeMess

985 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, ICU, educator.

I've never heard of pregnancy as an excusable illness as described by the ADA. This being said, I can see her shying away from lifting, or working around chemical areas. I think your manager should know about this, assess the situation, then address it as appropriate. If she is not able to do her job, perhaps she should not be working?

Fiona59

8,343 Posts

Nope, I'm female and get fed up of the drama surrounding my coworkers who are expecting. Wait till you are of a certain age and everyone on your unit wants you to open the chemo meds "because they won't hurt you".

I'm tired of hearing I can't lift, transfer, etc. They don't want to go in the isolation rooms. I mean we don't have the luxury of triage desks on the floor, it's work and pull your share of the load.

Specializes in Med/Surg, Home Health.

Well, the only thing I refused to do when pregnant was lift heavily. I was high risk though. VERY high risk. I ended up not working once I was about 3 months pregnant, just because of the risk. If I were pregnant, I would be hesitant to draw blood from a known HIV infected person, not for myself, but for my baby in case I accidently stuck myself with a dirty needle. I would never be able to forgive myself if I put my baby in harm. But for general assessment, etc, I wouldnt mind at all taking care of an HIV patient. I have seen women use the "Im pregnant" card to get out of the less appealing duties, but honestly if they are unable to do their job then they need to go home. If she is unable to lift, or whatnot, then she should be doing more of the smaller things to free up the nurses having to take the extra weight. And if this is her first pregnancy, she is probaby just paranoid and scared she will do something to hurt her baby. Maybe there could be some certain tasks that can be delegated to her, to help free up everyone who is doing the extra work?

kerric511

56 Posts

The heavy lifting, and not do a blood draw from the HIV+ I can totally understand, not and issue in my book.

She's using it not to transport urine cups, and collect stool samples.

allnurses Guide

JBudd, MSN

3,836 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching.

20+ years ago when we knew so little, we tended not to assign the late stage AIDS to prenant women, which I was grateful for. Today, we know so much more (and very few folks are presenting with the horrific complications we saw so commonly then) that not taking a+HIV pt. is not feasible.

Blood draws I could understand, but urine cups? assessments? I think you need to let your manager know and have the matter addressed administratively.

sharpeimom

2,452 Posts

Specializes in ortho, hospice volunteer, psych,.

i married when i was 37 and we got pregnant almost immediately but soon miscarried. by the time i was 49, i had had 7 pregnancies and would have done just about anything to carry a baby and to keep it safe inside me. i thought working in psych would protect us from harm but it didn't. if this nurse has a history of losing several babies or someone in her family does, i can understand her unwillingness, but if not, someone needs to get through to her -- now.

kathy

sharpeimom:paw::paw:

coffee4metech

230 Posts

Specializes in OR.

I would just lay off of her you HAVE NO IDEA if she is a high risk pregnancy or not ... and morning sickness is real and it knocks you out !!!! So please don't rail on this gal because she is carrying . I had severe nerve damage from my pregnancy leaving me with numbness on my right side of my body . YOUR a typical guy and have NO idea what women go through to bringing life INTO this world. SO GET over yourself and HELP out if she needs it .

Coloradogrl

435 Posts

This may sound harass but if she cant do the job mabye she should find a different position. I understand certain things but I know that some pregnant women like to use it as a 'excuse' sometimes. I was pregnant and doing a job that I was a risk so I quit it because I could not do it without asking for assistance constantly pulling others from their jobs to do mine.

coffee4metech

230 Posts

Specializes in OR.

I think the OP is just annoyed that this nurse is pregnant ,she requires special precautions when working .

kerric511

56 Posts

I would just lay off of her you HAVE NO IDEA if she is a high risk pregnancy or not ... and morning sickness is real and it knocks you out !!!! So please don't rail on this gal because she is carrying . I had severe nerve damage from my pregnancy leaving me with numbness on my right side of my body . YOUR a typical guy and have NO idea what women go through to bringing life INTO this world. SO GET over yourself and HELP out if she needs it .

Woah ... Woah ... Woah ...

Clearly you misunderstood my post. I am TOTALLY FINE with her doing light work. I'm not trying to rail on ANYONE. I'm just saying that if she doesn't feel like she can/should do a certain task, then just don't. Don't start it, and then leave it half finished for someone else, cause then paperwork gets messed up, things can get missed, and people could get hurt. I am fine with her being at the desk, my point is that she needs to say something so adequate coverage can be arranged.

I was going to be nice to you, but I decided against it. Look ... My father died when I was 3, I lost my mother at 17, buried a sister at 21, and was a widow at 25 .... SO don't you DARE lecture me on LIFE !!!!!!!!! I've been over myself for 15 years, I help EVERYONE, but I am only ONE person!

coffee4metech

230 Posts

Specializes in OR.

what does your father and family have to do with this lady being pregnant and maybe possibly needing assistance when working .... your way to sensitive !

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