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Pregnancy and nursing school

February 10th, 2011 by – Sue Barton

 I just found out that I’m pregnant and I’m in my junior year of  a BSN program with lots of clinical rotations ahead of me.  Is this going to work?  Is it safe for me to be doing clinicals if I’m pregnant?

Congratulations!  I’m sure you can make this work.  Start prenatal care right away, of course, and make your doctor or nurse midwife aware of your situation.  Also make your nursing instructors, particularly in the clinical settings, aware of your pregnancy so that accommodations can be made when necessary.

Pregnant nurses do need to take precautions in the areas of exposure to infections and to toxins.  Exposure to radiation is also potentially a concern.  Be sure your own immunizations are up to date, and be rigorous in the practice of universal precautions to prevent exposure to infectious agents.  This AJN article by Marion Rita Alex details occupational hazards for pregnant nurses and also gives links to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  Certain drugs, such as those used in chemotherapy, aerosolized drugs such as Ribavarin, and waste anesthetic gases are known to  be hazardous.  Pathogens such as influenza, Parvovirus 19, and Cytomegalovirus are also known risks to pregnancy.  You should be able to modify your clinical assignments to avoid settings where these risks are present during the duration of your pregnancy.

If you need time for “maternity leave” from school, it’s possible that you may have to extend your academic timetable a bit, but hopefully you will be able to complete both your degree and your pregnancy without complications!

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Posted in General, Nursing School, Work-Life Balance

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