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by caymen caymen (New) New

I am a nurse working in med surge unit of a hospital. I was suprisingly disagnosed with hepC and will begin treatment in a few weeks. My chances are good of beating this thing. I realize that I will have to advise my superiors about my treatment because I will need accomodations as far as scheduling, and potential risk of my own disability due to side effects of the meds. My dilemma is that I am not comfortable disclosing my condition to anyone. It's a widely misunderstood disease even by healthcare workers. My hospital is small and rumors fly. I know that I am not a risk to my patients but I wonder, am I being unethical by NOT telling at least my nurse manager the whole truth?


Specializes in CMSRN. Has 9 years experience.

It is unethical to not tell if it is required. But you may have a personal deeper definition of ethical. Which is probably why you are having a hard time. It may be therapeutic to tell your nurse manager for yourself and also just so she/he does not hear from someone else if it does get around somehow.

You could even use yourself as a basis for education for others around you since, "it's a widely misunderstood disease".


Specializes in Utilization Review. Has 9 years experience.

Why do you feel it's necessary to tell your supervisors?

I don't think it is unethical not to disclose your dx to the supervisor.

What does your dr think of this? Have they told you what to expect?

Why on earth would you want to air your dirty laundry? I'd keep my mouth shut for now............then see once you start your tx if it is necessary to let them know.

Best Wishes

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

I'm real sure your personal business is your personal business and the employee need not know. They need to know that you are under an MD's care. Naturally people will be concerned and nosy but it's up to you what you tell them and that isn't unethical.

Good luck to you in your treatment.

deeDawntee, RN

Specializes in Travel Nursing, ICU, tele, etc. Has 12 years experience.

How are you feeling? I am so sorry that you are going through this? Do you have short and/or long term disability at work? Do you know about FEMLA? Check it out, if you are unable to work, your job is protected.

That is where your employer made need to know why you are on leave (if it comes to that). Otherwise, I would wait...the last thing you need is to deal with a lot of extra stress at work with gossip etc going around. I would not tell a soul, if I wanted to keep it secret... even people you trust, because sometimes they can't keep their mouths shut.

Good luck to you and here's wishing you a speedy recovery!


Thanks all. I am actually feeling fine. I am one of those who was accidentally diagnosed, don't fit any of the risk factors, and have no idea how or when I contracted hcv. My lliver function is normal but my viral load is rapidly increasing which is why I have decided on treatment. Believe it or not my doc thinks I should just come clean. He actually works for my hospital but in at an independent clinic totally unrelated to the hospital. His feeling is that secrets always come out why not just be honest. His nurse on the other hand says absolutely do not tell. And that is my feeling too. They cannot legally fire me for it but at the same time don't want bad publicity and can make my work life miserable on top of an already miserable situation. Also we are undergoing management changes that may not be too great for me. I really appreciate all of your opinions. Thank you !

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Nope - I would not disclose anything. No one knows my health history and I'm keeping it that way. I would never ever disclose anything to my supervisor or co-workers. You might feel differently later on down the road and change your mind and disclose. However, you can't un-disclose if you change your mind that way.

Thanks all. I am actually feeling fine. I am one of those who was accidentally diagnosed, don't fit any of the risk factors, and have no idea how or when I contracted hcv. I really appreciate all of your opinions. Thank you !

If your work schedule needs revising, why can't your physician write you a letter stating you are under his care and your schedule needs revision. He does not need to tell what or why...if you are no risk to anyone...to me, unless you are under legal obligations with employer, no need to give people stones to throw at you. I had surgery not too long ago, nothing serious, but my surgeon wrote a letter for me and said to me while writing it, "It's none of their business what you had done, only thing they need to know are your restrictions, as stated by me, your physician." His letter stated I was under his care, had a surgical procedure and what and how long my restrictions were for. No details were given.

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