Nursing with a latex allergy?


Is this something that is feasable?

I don't have a big reaction... yet but I fear it may develop into one as I didn't have latex allergies before.

I have a few questions for allergist I need to ask first... but anyone here with a latex allergy and still in nursing? How did you make it work? Has your reaction gotten worse over time?

Any tips? I was diagnosed tonight with a latex allergy.. we've nbeen suspecting it for about a month now.


257 Posts

Specializes in Emergency, outpatient.

Have worked with several nurses with latex allergies. Most hospitals have pretty much become latex free environments, with any latex marked as such and avoidable by the nurse, since you are watching out to keep it away from the allergic patients. Employee Health provides your gloves (up to you to keep them away from the rest of the staff!) with a note from your doc denoting your condition.

The only bad reaction I have seen in the ED was a nurse that worked on a carpet layer who had been tearing up padding all day. She walked into the cubicle and almost immediately came back out with red welts on her neck, and you could hear her starting to wheeze. We removed her to the lounge, washed her face and hands, gave Benadryl. That was enough to get her better, and she went home for the rest of that shift. After that we were all on the lookout for her.

Be careful and good luck!


21 Posts

I am a PCT/EMT/nursing student who is allergic to latex. My co-workers have been nothing but helpful. I don't run into a lot of problems though. Most supplies are now made w/o latex and we have nitrile gloves everywhere. However, I have found that many people don't realize the dangers to others when popping a latex glove, etc. Thankfully, I don't have an anaphylactic reaction.

People seem surprised when they hear I am allergic. I must be the only one on the floor. But, it is definitely workable.


161 Posts

Thank you for your response. My biggest fear is that this will become a more severe allergy over time. Right now its just a local reaction...


76 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, tele, OB.

I am a hospital nurse, acute care, with a latex allergy. My hospital is mostly latex free. My only problem is that our sterile gloves are still latex. I just keep a supply of non-latex sterile gloves in my locker to use as needed. I just have to watch during bedside procedures that I clean up everything if a doc has worn latex gloves- and I remind everyone that I have an allergy! It is possible to work with this allergy, you just have to be proactive! And I keep benadryl on hand :D!! Good luck with school.

Specializes in PICU. Has 23 years experience.

Our pediatric facility has very few latex-containing products. I'm always surprised at the medical offices I go to that still use latex gloves.

If you avoid it, you shouldn't have a problem. My daughter was dx with a latex allergy probably 10 years ago and it hasn't worsened because we've been vigilant at keeping it away.

Aneroo, LPN

1 Article; 1,518 Posts

Specializes in Cath Lab, OR, CPHN/SN, ER.

I worked with several nurses with latex allergies. One would break out if she wore her Littman around her neck too long!

I guess it depends on the hospital. Both of the ones I worked at had nitrile gloves (latex free). They offer better protection as well (they're thicker). We had non-latex sterile gloves in the pyxis if needed.


38 Posts

Specializes in PICU. Has 6 years experience.


i am a nurse and I have a latex allergy 5 years . It started suddenly and was really surprising. I had local reaction but with a time it increased to difficulty breathing and edema of whole body.

Now, I am working in ICU and all my hospital is latex-free, but I am always remanding to my coworkers about this because our sterile gloves still with latex. I haven't problem with my stethoscope or other staff.

You can work with this but need to be careful not only in your working place but also in your everyday life. I always have my antihistamine with me and always asking about latex.

Don't worry, we like other nurses belong to the risk group for latex allergy, but we know about this and can prevent shock or other reactions.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

17 Articles; 5,259 Posts

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

I work w/ several latex-allergic nurses and so far it has not been a problem for them. We recently made the switch to all nitrile non-latex gloves anyway, but before, we just watched each other's back.

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