Jump to content

Nurses with newborns at home

Disasters   (335 Views | 6 Replies)
by KD_rn KD_rn, BSN, RN (New) New

KD_rn has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN.

107 Profile Views; 4 Posts

I had my baby in January and he was in the NICU for a week due to an infection. I work in a clinic and initially my boss and I agreed I would end my baby bonding 2 weeks early because another coworker was going to take her baby bonding at the same time and my boss needed coverage. That was before this whole covid thing happened.

I am absolutely terrified to go to work. I'm not in a hospital and if any patient who is screened in the lobby has a fever, complains of cough, SOB or chest pain then they must go to the hospital first. We use face shields, gowns, gloves and one time use surgical masks as PPE daily.

I tried asking my boss if I can use the rest of my baby bonding just to see what direction this virus goes (my county is in shelter in place until the 8th of April). She said no, she needs the nurses. My plan is to leave all my equipment and shoes at work, change out of my scrubs and put them in a garbage bag in the trunk of my car. Then go through the garage, lysol spray the inside of my car and have my husband open doors for me and I'll throw the clothes I changed into in the washing machine and shower immediately before I interact with my baby (who is almost 3 months old).

Are there any parents who have been reporting to work and taking these same precautions? I think I'm so scared because I have a bunch of moms telling me I should stay home and not put my baby at risk, saying if I have to work then hire a nanny instead of putting him in daycare. I mean these would all be great things but we live in a world where we have financial responsibilities and as much as I want to stay home with my baby I dont think we could do it without struggling. And I cant exactly distance myself from him because hes breastfed. I've even heard other nurses telling me I have a duty to my patients and if every nurse got scared and quit then what would we do?

Help me out parents. Am I doing the wrong thing by going back to work? I'm convincing myself if I take all the precautions and, considering I'm in a clinic and less likely to see a covid positive patient, then my family will be as safe as any other family who goes to the grocery store or Target.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CampyCamp has 18 years experience as a RN.

247 Posts; 1,173 Profile Views

You have to think it all through and decide what's best for you but nothing is wrong with deciding to stay home and be a mom and protect baby. Just af there's nothing wrong with putting your faith in careful isolation care and showing and going to work. Is this your first baby? This is just the start of people telling you you're doing everything wrong no matter what you do. You're not. You know your needs best!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 Articles; 1,144 Posts; 38,086 Profile Views

I just logged onto this forum after a long time away from it in order to see if others are in this same situation! Thank you for posting!

I have a 9 week old (full term) and am going back to work in 2 days. I have a husband with some underlying health issues that make him at risk of Covid-19 complications, and I have two older children who are currently not in school due to closures. My husband was just put on furlough and due to taking early FMLA due to pregnancy complications , and because my short term disability ran out 2 weeks ago, I have to go back to work now, not later. I guess one "advantage" of husband being out of work right now is he can watch the baby.

I'm a hospice nurse and I work inpatient units (I float to various units in my area). I was told we will be accepting end of life Covid-19 patients. We have been fitted for N95 masks but who knows if there will even be any to wear?? Ugh.

We went over a few different ideas on how to protect the baby and my husband from me, including me living in our porch room and not coming in contact with either of them-- but we decided that was not realistic.

Like you, I have set up a decontamination plan. In addition to stripping down in the garage and going straight to the shower, I have switched to clogs (instead of my usual running shoes) so they can easily wiped down. I'm going to set up a bleach pan in the garage to step into to make sure the soles are also disinfected, and then wipe down the tops of the shoes with Lysol wipes. Of course the shoes won't ever come into the house. I will put a sheet on the seat of my car and that will also go into the wash with my clothes. I don't have a locker at work and have to bring my bag with me and keep it at my desk. I bought a clear vinyl bag that is easy to wipe down, and all the contents will be kept in ziplock bags and separated from each other. The stethoscope, pens, scissors, etc are in one bag, my personal items in another bag.

My biggest challenge will be pumping at work. I have a bag that's easy to wipe down and can be stored in the staff lounge. The pump can be wiped down too. But I assume I'll be "dirty" during my pumping breaks. Do I take my scrub top off and change it before pumping? Do I risk storing my milk cooler in the fridge? I was thinking I can put the whole cooler in a plastic bag in the fridge for better protection. I can't expect my cooler bag to keep the milk cold for 12 hours just with some ice packs.

I would love to hear back from other moms with newborns going back "into the fire" at work. What a time to get off maternity leave, right? 🙄



Edited by anon456

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 Followers; 37,684 Posts; 103,154 Profile Views

Thanks anon456 for your post. I got some ideas for decontamination from you. I certainly hope and pray your baby and husband, as well as yourself, are spared from this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KD_rn has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN.

4 Posts; 107 Profile Views

Anon456, yes I thought about sleeping in my car in the garage until we have a better idea of what direction this virus is going after the quarantines are over, but it's very unrealistic with breastfeeding and I cant expect my husband to take care of the baby alone while I freeze in the garage.

I didn't even think about the pumping part. We wear gowns at work, maybe double gowning would work as enough of a protective layer? Some guidance from the companies would be good too. How are they helping protect moms who breastfeed and need to pump at work? I'm curious.

Does your workplace have a shower? I'm thinking after I change out of scrubs I can shower at work, then do all the cleaning from my car to the house and shower one more time, just in case.

This is the absolute worst time to be coming off maternity leave, that's for sure! Stay safe out there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

7 Articles; 1,144 Posts; 38,086 Profile Views

57 minutes ago, KD_rn said:

Does your workplace have a shower? I'm thinking after I change out of scrubs I can shower at work, then do all the cleaning from my car to the house and shower one more time, just in case.

That's a very good idea! Unfortunately I work on small units of 18 beds, and the only shower is for patients, so I wouldn't want to use it for myself. 😞 And since I float, like I said, I don't have a locker.

I'm thinking I may put my pump bag in a trashbag just to keep it extra sealed off between uses. And yes the gowns would work to keep me protected, if we have enough of them. Normally on the units we only keep enough in stock for our C.diff and MRSA patients, etc. Hopefully we'll have enough to wear them more often than that, but I'm not counting on it. Sigh. I think I may just make it practice to take off my scrub top before pumping. I always wear a sleeveless shirt underneath so I'll still have some coverage during pumping. I have seen other pumping moms cleaning the table surface before setting up the pump, and then putting a towel down on the table, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 Followers; 37,684 Posts; 103,154 Profile Views

Reading this last post reminded me that I saw advertised on a medical supply site, patient gowns, the same kind you usually see in hospitals, for about $5 apiece IIRC, a few years ago. I could see me buying a personal supply of these and bringing them back and forth in plastic bags. Just checked out the website and found the products offered to be expensive. I must have seen them on sale. Still worth a gander: allegromedical dot com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.