MRSA - hospital stay ?


  • Specializes in geriatrics and psychiatric.

I tested positive for MRSA in the nares when I was in the hospital for 3 days with pneumonia. The nurse said they wont do anything about it but they came into my room in gowns and I wonder if this is good to be working as a nurse now that I can pass this along to others? Does anyone have the scoop about this? I had viral pneumonia in my lower lobes. Guess I caught it from a client at work. I suppose forever and a day, now, I will test positive for this MRSA??? I felt like a leper in the hospital with the "isolation" sign and gowns on when they came into my room.... Carole


23 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics and psychiatric.

I just googled and found out what I needed to know..... nares are swipped every few week till negative.. so, this shall pass. I am truly lucky my immune system is strong. I will always, always wash my hands and glove!! In LTC it doesnt feel as necessary but safety precautions are just as important! Carole

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

Once on isolation for MRSA, always on isolation for MRSA, I thought. We consider people forever to be colonized with it.

Specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro/rehab/corrections. Has 13 years experience.

I would like to know about MRSA and isolation too. We just implemented a regimen where we swipe every patient's nares for MRSA.

If a person is healthy then what is to be done?


23 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics and psychiatric.

I am confused somewhat too. I am colonized because I am a nurse and working around MRSA day in and day out. Now, I am testing positive and in a hospital setting was treated like a very dangerous person to be around, isolated and signs all over the door. Workers ran in and ran out..... I understand the safety issue but when colonized I am working in a nursing field and take care of people every single day. Does colonized mean dangerous carrier to patients and I am now contagious to spread this and should not be practicing????


112 Posts

Don't feel bad, I am a microbiologist and it is standard procedure now in many hospitals if you have tested positive even once for MRSA that you will always be on isolation precaution when addmitted in the hospital. In the hospital that I work we swab everyone that comes through the doors and have a LARGE number of patients that are on precaution, not because they are necessarily positive at the time but they have a history. Also there are a large number of hospital staff that have tested positive, its the nature of the beast when working in a hospital enviorment. I only wish they were just as quick to test for TB.


24 Posts

I am confused myself. One of my moms employees has MRSA so she called me for information. I am a new nurse who has not worked since December due to Guillian Barre Syndrome, so I got on the web and went through my school books to find information about it, but there is not much there. It tells a little bit about it but I am still confused. I just told her to bleach everything and get the other employees hand sanitizer. As for letting her come back to work, I told her to make the employee get a note from her Dr saying it was ok. I dont know what else to tell her.


105 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

Where I work we screen everyone admitted for MRSA. If it comes back positive at any of the sites (nose, axilla or groin), they are isolated and start eradication treatment. Which is ointment for the nose, and some special stuff to wash with and to shampoo hair with. the treatment lasts 6 days and then we reswab. I don't remember anyone testing positive on the re-swab, so it seems to work. Some people do however go home and finish their treatment at home so don't get re-swabbed.


23 Posts

Specializes in geriatrics and psychiatric.

Yes, I am home and winding up on my Avelox which I have taken for 14 days. It covers the gram positive and gram negative bacteria growths. I am returning to work next week. I thought though that once a person was colonized they continue to show up positive on the nares swab? Then I read it is possible to again show up negative on a nares swipe. Oh, also, I asked why they were not swabbing in the auxillary, when I was just in the hospital and the nurse replied. "We dont do that anymore, swab under the arm. Just swab the nares." ?? Maybe my facility do both because we are LTC. I would think needing to be hospitalized would mean more stress on the body and a person would be immunosupressed and more caution in acute care would be more important ?? hmmmmm



65 Posts

Specializes in SICU,CVICU,ER,PACU. Has 7 years experience.
yes, i am home and winding up on my avelox which i have taken for 14 days. it covers the gram positive and gram negative bacteria growths. i am returning to work next week. i thought though that once a person was colonized they continue to show up positive on the nares swab? then i read it is possible to again show up negative on a nares swipe.


it looks like the practice regarding mrsa is forever changing, and not the same from hospital to hospital.... so this is just my such, take it with a grain of salt ;)

some facilities don't even swipe for mrsa anymore. their rational is that such a percentage of patients and health care providers are colonized that it is pointless to screen, unless there is an ongoing (active) infection.

the way i understand it is that there is the healthy carrier (colonized, but has no infection-isn't sick), and then there is the person who has a site of infection positive for mrsa- which means that the bacteria are actively overpowering their immune system (at least for the time being).

the later are the ones really at risk because they have a stem resistant bacteria to the type of antibiotic targeted to kill "them". it makes it more difficult to treat, and often, several types of powerful antibiotics which spectrum overlap have to be used (more side effects for the patients).

many other hospitals do have this policy of swabbing nares to all admitted patients. such is the case where i currently work...however, the health care workers are not tested! i would believe that at least half of us would test positive (carriers).

as far as going from positive to negative, it is possible after a long antibiotic treatment to be "decolonized".

but, even after being decolonized, there is no warranty not to pick it up again....(and become positive again).

most people won't be treated as long as they are healthy carriers. the only instance i know of to "decolonize" a mrsa positive person, is if the equilibrium is tipped and you become infected with the bacteria. in such case, the doc would first treat the active infection, and once that is achieved continue antibiotic therapy in order to complete decolonization and prevent continuing self re-infection. in such instances, your partner should also be screened and treated...

but as long as you are jut a "carrier", check with your facility's rules and regulations regarding infection control before returning to work, and you should be fine!

hope that made sens? :uhoh3:


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