Pregnancy and hospital nursing


I know there are threads on this already. I have read through some of them, and most people seem to agree that it is safe to be pregnant while being a nurse so long as you exercise precautions. People use the argument that it is safe based on the fact that they had healthy babies, no problems while working as a nurse. I know that the odds are there that you will have a safe pregnancy, but as I am planning a pregnancy in the near future, i am not without reservations. You could admit a patient, no suspicion of anything, and then voila: influenza or something.

Just the other day, we had a suspected TB patient that had to be transferred to a negative pressure room, so in that time, all were exposed (not my patient, just saw what was going on, don't know the outcome). I work in the ICU where we have combative patients often, withdrawal patients, many very obese patients (over 300 lbs), and all of the other obvious things that every nurse is exposed to.

I really love my job, though, and am hard working, not the type just to get out of an undesirable assignment and use pregnancy as an excuse. I also can't be without my job right now either, so that plays into the equation. I am going to talk about it with my OB when I go for my next appointment, but I wonder if people that are pregnant nurses just say it's okay because they have no other choice but to work in a higher risk unit like ER/ICU/m/s since they're already there? Let's face it: as nurses, we have the highest risk of exposure compared to other professions. I have already had one in my time, and there wasn't anything I could have done differently to prevent it. I got the blood tests, and luckily, everything was fine as it was not a needle stick, but if I were pregnant and had been exposed to hep C (even though the odds were small), I would have freaked out.



266 Posts

There will always be the risk of exposure for a pregnant nurse. But if you were not a nurse, you could still pick up those same germs in walmart, or at the grocery store. I always thought it was weird that we would have our MRSA patients on isolation, and then when they got discharged home on oral antibiotics (still with the infection) they would walk right out those doors. Ten minutes ago I had to gown/glove to enter the room, and now he is on his way to sizzler free to spread whatever it is that he had.

Good luck to you, I wish you a happy, healthy, germ free pregnancy:D

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

just be cautious, but don't stress over it. As calinurse11 points out - at least you have warning about germs in the hospital vs. none in public. We had a pregnant nurse in ICU who recently delivered, at term, with twins totally over 13 lbs (for both)!!. She worked right up to the end.

Specializes in Rehab, critical care. Has 3 years experience.

lol, very true. I realize that, but there is still increased risk working in a hospital as opposed to the general public. Maybe I'm worrying too much, just don't want to harm the baby d/t occupational exposure when I could transfer in the system if necessary. That probably won't be necessary, though, and I do like my current job, don't want to leave :).

MN-Nurse, ASN, RN

1,398 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg - Renal.

You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a pregnant nurse (or CNA) on my floor.

These coworkers, and their offspring - from my expert assessment of their facebook pictures - are all doing just fine.

NicuGal, MSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU. Has 30 years experience.

Anywhere you work in a hospital is a risk unless you are in an office behind a desk. Honestly, nurses have been having babies years, and I work in a NICU and have never seen a baby sick or whatever as a direct result of the mom being a nurse. My kids were fine, and I had them in the day before we knew half of the things we know now, and many of my friends too :)

Where would you transfer too?

Specializes in Rehab, critical care. Has 3 years experience.

Thanks guys! I guess I was just worrying too much. I'm careful about exposures as it is now, so I'll just continue to be when I'm pregnant. I'll just have to hope that a TB patient doesn't roll in; I guess that's pretty rare anyway, and they wouldn't assign me a TB or influenza patient, I would think lol.