I've been at my current hospital for a little over a year. Previous to that I did travel nursing for many years.
The first 6 months I worked at my new hospital, I felt miserable quite often at work. I was getting sinus headaches, coughing, watery eyes, occasional fevers, etc... I was coughing when I was at work frequently for the first 6 months. Everyone at work said its just the bugs of being in a new hospital. I tried multiple allergy medications, Sudafed, ibuprofen, etc... Also, I kept getting upper respiratory infections. I went to see the doctor and received prescriptions for antibiotics. I tested negative for the flu. I've taken more sick days in my first year at this hospital than I have taken in the previous 5 years.
Things improved for a few months then got worse again. I started coughing, getting headaches, and watery eyes again at work. I also got more upper respiratory infections. The unusual thing is that sometimes when I leave the unit I work in for a while, I stop coughing. When I get home from work and take off my scrubs and get a shower, I stop coughing. Some of my coworkers aid they have had similar issues at work, but they haven't lasted as long as mine.
I'm pretty sure its something at work making me feel this way. I'm not sure if its an allergy or a reaction to something else in the environment. I've tried to eliminate everything else. I scrubbed, mopped, vacuumed, and bleached everything I could in my apartment. I washed all my clothes, towels, bed linens, etc... in the sanitary cycle of my washing machine. I bought a new car(not because of feeling sick, because my car was 10 years old and high mileage).
I worked 3 days in a row last week and have felt sick all weekend. I started to feel better Sunday afternoon. Sunday night, I did laundry and washed my clothes and my scrubs from my previous week at work. I started coughing when I was putting my clothes in the washing machine.
My coworkers and unit manager are great. I also like the doctors I work with. Other than feeling sick often at work I enjoy working at my current hospital.
The only thing I haven't done is see another allergy specialist for more testing to see if I have new allergies. In the past I only had allergies to certain pollen and mold. If seeing a new allergy specialist doesn't help me I don't know what else to do.
I'm at the point where if I don't find out what is causing these symptoms at work that I'm going to have to look for another place to work.
Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what caused it?