stuck between a rock and a hard place

resusjan
resusjan Member Posts: 290
edited 22. Feb 2012, 09:42 in Living with Arthritis archive
HI All,
I have rheumatoid arthritis - taking methotrexate, sulphalazine, planequil and folic acid. Also have hypothyroid (on thyroxine) and pernicious anaemia (having jabs every 12 weeks).

I work as an RN in the NHS currently in the training department teaching clinical skills etc. To cut a long story short, the hospital is really struggling at the moment with an outbreak of the norovirus - wards closed, staff off sick etc etc. Well, today the managers of the hospital have cancelled all the training I was supposed to be doing this week and told me I've got to work night shifts for the rest of the week covering wards where staff are off sick - so these are wards that are rife with the norovirus!!

My immediate manager knows I have RA but the senior management in the hospital don't. So, I'm a bit stuck now - if I go and work on these wards there is a massively increased risk of me being ill and not able to take my meds which will make my RA flare (possibly). I have spoken to occupational health and they said I shouldn't work in these areas and they are happy to give me a letter stating this. However, the only way I insure I am only sent to "clean" wards to work is to tell the managers about my RA. I'm really worried as it is these people I will be interviewed by if I ever go for promotion.

I really dont know what to do.

Comments

  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That is a terrible place to be...
    I think you should listen to OH. You shouldn't be risking making yourself seriously ill.
    Wish you all the best..
  • resusjan
    resusjan Member Posts: 290
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Tony,

    I'll ring the hospital tomorrow and speak to the infection control team to find out if the ward I'm going to is infected. If it is, I'll have to see if they can allocate me to another ward. If not, I suppose I'll have to tell them why I'm so worried about going there!
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 14,911
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    it a horrid thing to have to decide but your health comes first and the meds will keep you working longer with less damage so try to keep on them and away from the bug that the last thing you need good luck val
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    let us know what happens. I'm sure that you have the right top decline going into an environment that has the potential to do you harm..
    Best of luck mi dear.

    resusjan wrote:
    Thanks Tony,

    I'll ring the hospital tomorrow and speak to the infection control team to find out if the ward I'm going to is infected. If it is, I'll have to see if they can allocate me to another ward. If not, I suppose I'll have to tell them why I'm so worried about going there!
  • janie68
    janie68 Member Posts: 1,186
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I refused to work on a ward due to my supressed immune system where the patient had CDiff and MRSA who we were to 1-1 nurse. I was told Iwasn't immunosupressed! Ha, told them my drugs and then they said it was ok. Maybe, that's a way to tell them? If they ask why you're on the medication, tell them OH know, they don't need to know why. Not information they need anyway, confidentiality.

    Hope this helps

    Janie
  • resusjan
    resusjan Member Posts: 290
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone,

    I've been awake most of the night worrying about it. I will ring the hospital this morning to find out if the ward is still infected. If it is I'll try to explain my concerns to them and see if I can get posted to a different area.
  • mig
    mig Member Posts: 7,152
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hope all goes well for you.Mig
  • Rallymad
    Rallymad Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think first and foremost, they have duty of care to you! I also work for NHS, when I started they were fully aware of my condition. Surely if they know you are immunosuppresed they shouldnt even contemplate this. You are not trying to get out of this just because u dont want to do it, u have a genuine reason for not doing this and I would like to think they are smart enough not to push it. Are you in the union?
    I am off work at the mo due to stress induced flare, as you kno the NHS have a wonderful way of dealing with abscences (not punitive!). Have been put on gabapentin to help with pain but have had a reaction to it, which means more time added on to sick leave. Don't let them bully you.
    Arlene
  • resusjan
    resusjan Member Posts: 290
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I have spoken to infection control dept this morning to find out what is going on in the hospital at the moment. The ward I was assigned to is definately a closed ward with confirmed norovirus. I have also spoken to rheumatology and occupational health. I have now got a letter off both consultants stating that, under no circumstances am I to be redeployed to an area with a confirmed outbreak. Apparently my latest bloods aren't looking as good as they could! I have spoken to the senior nurse this afternoon and they are going to put me to work in an area that isn't currently affected.

    Hopefully, this will be OK, will just have to wait and see what sort of "hand-over" I get from the late staff - any mention of D & V and I have the letter in my bag to flash under their noses.

    Thank you all for your support
    Jan xx

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