OB/GYN floating and infections?

  1. At our hospital, OB/GYN nurses are asked to float to the M/S unit at times. We are trying to find information on what types of infections would be considered safe vs dangerous if said nurse will go back to caring for mama/baby during their shift. Specifically, infections such as MRSA, VRE, meningitis, shingles, chickenpox, etc. We have looked on the CDC website and can't find anything addressing this issue. TIA!!
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    About SouthernLPN2RN, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 995; Likes: 25
    Clinical Informatics; from US
    Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience in ICU, IT


  3. by   htrn
    Look at the state code. In WI if there is any possibility that any worker (RN,LPN, CNA) will be working in OB at all that shift, then they are not allowed to even walk into the room with anyone that is contageous. That includes pnemonias, MRSA, C-diff, fever, shingles - anything that is possibly contageous.

    You have to look at it from this perspective. You are the OB nurse, OB is empty and you have been floated to M/S. There is an overhead page for an OB nurse to go to the ER/Admitting desk stat because there is a preterm labor pt. with a baby on the perineum. You essentially have to work on M/S so that you are ready to grab etoh hand gel and a pair of gloves while you a running down the hall to catch a vunerable, immunocompromised newborn. BTW, if you think it won't happen, you haven't been in OB long enough.

    If you look at it like that it should give you some idea of what patients you really can't care for. And for anyone that tells you if you use appropriate isolation precautions then you should be able to take care of anyone - I won't tell you what to say, but they didn't like what my response was when they told me that.

    Good luck. It is always a battle explaining to other departments that you aren't being lazy or picky, just following the code and doing what is best for your patients.
  4. by   GrumpyRN63
    I understand your concern, we used to argue w/admin all the time about booking "dirty" pts on our "clean" unit. Especially b/c many of our onc pts ere immunocompromised. Now today we can have anything r/o TB,VRE, shingles, whatever and have our vulnerable pts with the same nurse caring for both.We also care for postpartum--since we are Gyn/Onc, we get benign Gyn as well, and if theyaren't "suitable" for the postpartum unit--basically anyone w/any medical condition,they come to us So we have new mom's readmitted with say c/s wound infection or endometritis, baby is allowed to room in during admission for bonding ,so you take care of any combo. I personally think it's gross, and try to stay far away from that baby, but sometimes she needs a little help, is breastfeeding or whateverI am sure the powers that be will say as long as universal/isolation precautions are maintained,that there's no problem I disagree, but in todays hospital, its just X pts divided by Y nurses. Another fairy tale consideration, is that these things would be taken into consideration when the assignment is made, forget that ,we don't even use acuity any more,and long gone are the days when we tracked their ddiagnosis, and took that into account during assigments We just assign pt x to nurse a,b,or c. I tried to reinstate keeping dx on the board but no one cares ...you get what you get