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Author Topic: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS  (Read 2175 times)

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Offline newbernswiss

  • Member
  • Posts: 260
As a HIV+ working RN, I have not found many fourms for or with HIV+ healthcare professionals. For those of you out there who are HIV+ healthcare professionals, my questions are as follows:

Does your employer/boss know of your HIV status?  (My employer/boss know my HIV status)

Doesyour employer have a HIV support group?   (Mine does not)

Are you open about your status to other HIV+ patients or staff that you know or come in contact with? (YES)

Do you use FMLA? Do you call in sick a lot?   (yes i use FMLA, NO i do not call in a lot, only 1 this year)

Are you afraid of catching other diseases from your patients? (YES I am)

What is your speciality?  (Critical Care)

Do you find it difficult to care for HIV+ patients on disability that could be working,while you are working full time?  (YES, I think some abuse the system, and others who need it can't get support)

Does your facility offer domestic partnership benefits?  (Yes, mine does)


Offline paolo10954

  • Member
  • Posts: 57
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2007, 04:53:30 PM »
I'm a Physical Therapist and although I've had my share of working in Acute Care and Rehab, I am now working in Sports and Orthopedics. To answer your questions....no my employer/coworkers do not know about my status. Employer does not have an HIV Support Group. I haven't had a need to take days off on account of my status. FMLA has only been utilized by those who went on extended maternity leaves. And when patients come in with the flu or anything suspiciously infectious, we ask them to reschedule for the sake of the staff and other patients they might get in contact with.

I have had the pleasure of working with AIDS patients who had orthopedic issues. I learned a lot about dealing with the disease process, from their seroconversion to side -effects of medications, and OI's. The ones I have come across were on Medicare/Medicaid and were on disability but rightfully so.

My facility is open to affording healthcare insurance for domestic partners but I myself have not availed of that because the cost was not any different with my partner keeping his insurance policy. 
jun03     hiv negative
dec03     tested positive
mar05     cd4 698  vl 23221 no meds
jul05       cd4 660  vl 2962 no meds
dec05     cd4 553  vl 5412 no meds
mar06     cd4 610  vl 3158 no meds
june06    cd4 523  vl 3924 no meds
dec06     cd4 616  vl 1236 no meds
march07  cd4 536  vl 1331 no meds
june07    cd4 486  vl   820 no meds
sept07     cd4 576  vl  380  no meds
aug08     cd4 530  vl 1725 no meds
april09    cd4 428  vl  1059 no meds
july09     cd4 511  vl   533 no meds
jan10      cd4 380  vl  1200 no meds
mar10     cd4 262  vl  2389 no meds
april28, 2010 started on Isentress and Truvada
july10     cd4 340  vl undetectable
nov10     cd4 431  vl undetectable
march11  cd4 350  vl undetectable

Offline newbernswiss

  • Member
  • Posts: 260
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2007, 05:21:11 PM »
Thanks so much for responding. It's nice to know others whom are in the healthcare field. I've been HIV+ since 1990 and had my ups and downs with my health. At times working as a nurse it hits to close to home when taking care of others with HIV/AIDS.  I've too often seen bisexual men come in sick only to get diagnosed with AIDS and then see the wife at the bedside unknowing of what has and is happening.  At times it's surreal living with HIV and working with HIV patients. You really get to see both sides of the mirror. I truly feel honored to have been blessed to be able to continue working and tolerating the meds. I'm glad to have found this site.

Offline JohnOso

  • Member
  • Posts: 816
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2007, 05:44:17 PM »
Does your employer/boss know of your HIV status?  Yes

Does your employer have a HIV support group?   No

Are you open about your status to other HIV+ patients or staff that you know or come in contact with?  A few coworkers

Do you use FMLA? Do you call in sick a lot?   Not yet; I am the "Queen of Time Off" (not self-proclaimed, mind you...that title was thrust upon me  ;D)

Are you afraid of catching other diseases from your patients?   Yes, big time...that's why I'm applying for another job out of harm's way.

What is your speciality?  Critical Care also.

Do you find it difficult to care for HIV+ patients on disability that could be working,while you are working full time?     No, who am I to judge?  I'm just glad to be working.

Does your facility offer domestic partnership benefits?    Yes but my partner has his own benefits, so we don't use them.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2007, 05:46:03 PM by JohnOso »

Offline GSOgymrat

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,009
  • HIV+ since 1993. INTJ
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2007, 06:13:18 PM »
I'm a mental health counselor but I work in an emergency department.

Does your employer/boss know of your HIV status?  No

Doesyour employer have a HIV support group?   No

Are you open about your status to other HIV+ patients or staff that you know or come in contact with?  No

Do you use FMLA? Do you call in sick a lot?   No and no

Are you afraid of catching other diseases from your patients? No more so then anyone else

What is your speciality?  Psychological assessment

Do you find it difficult to care for HIV+ patients on disability that could be working,while you are working full time?  No, my life is much better than people who are on disability. I'm glad I'm able to work.

Does your facility offer domestic partnership benefits? Yes, but I don't use it


Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,939
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2007, 07:03:09 PM »
Hi there

I took early retirement from my career as a nursing sister a year after my diagnosis.

My Employer and my coworkers all knew about my status.

My employer didn't have a support group as such but they certainly supported me, I couldn't have wished for a better support team while I was still working.

I have always been very open with my status.

There were times when I was a little concerned about other patients, but I was there to do a job so I just got on with it.

The last 12 years of my career I spent running a Phlebotomy Clinic.

I never had any problems with HIV patients who were on disability...after battling with sever side effects and sickness from the drugs during my first year, I can understand why some find it hard staying in the work force...I took early retirement for that very reason..but then again I have never relied on money from government to look after me.

Welcome to the forums, I hope to hear more from you..so please stick around.

Hugs
Jan :-*
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Tempeboy

  • Member
  • Posts: 358
  • Like St Francis of Assisi I am wedded to Poverty
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2007, 12:51:36 AM »
I am an RN, but am currently working in a HIV advocacy, care and health promotion organisation.  I am open about my status, as are the many others of us who work here.  We are entitled to an extra 2 weeks a year sick leave (with medical certificate), and have an in house support network.  All of this has been great during the last year, when I have needed it bad.  I am not sure if I could have done as well if I were still working in the hospital system.
Roughly roundabout somewhere in the eighteenth or nineteenth century, Sodomite begat Homosexual out of moral, medical and legal models, bequeathing him Identity, who inbred with Nuclear Family and Industrialism to spawn Homophobia.

Dean Kiley

Offline Coffeechick88

  • Member
  • Posts: 431
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2007, 07:18:49 PM »
I'm a medical technologist and I also am an EMT and worked as that before I went to the lab side, but I still have patient contact.  To answer your questions:
Does your employer/boss know of your HIV status?   Well, when I first started at this hospital, I worked under different people and they knew, but not by my choice.  Let's just say that the doctor doing my pre-employment physical had a huge problem with me working there and having HIV and didn't clear me to work and I had to put up a fight.  My new manager is great and while, I haven't told her, she has done a lot of billing in the lab department and it isn't hard to put two and two together based on the labs I have, so she has to know.
Doesyour employer have a HIV support group?  No, they don't and that would never happen.  I think most people think that HIV is not a problem in our little neck of the woods, and therefore isn't worth pursuing that.
Are you open about your status to other HIV+ patients or staff that you know or come in contact with? I have told only a select few co-workers, but I don't tell everyone.  I don't need to know about their herpes or whatever they are afflicted with and they don't need to know my health history.  I only told a few that I trusted enough to have draw my labs.  As for HIV + patients, I have only been open with one of them.  This was just a guy who I got to chatting with and was feeling his life was over and I told him, and he felt better looking at me knowing my life was still going on.  I would be unprofessional of me to just tell everyone I happen to see has the HIV diagnosis.
Do you use FMLA? Do you call in sick a lot? No--I have been able to have perfect attendance, but if I needed to use that I would.
Are you afraid of catching other diseases from your patients? Yes, but I still do my job.  Patients love to cough in your face and you get the occasional crazy person who wants to spray bodily fluids at you.  I am mainly worried flu season.  I did also have a nervous time when we found out 4 days later a patient had TB and I had been around him a lot and he had been hacking and coughing all over the place, but luckily no one exposed caught anything.
Do you find it difficult to care for HIV+ patients on disability that could be working,while you are working full time?  I have a problem with people who abuse the system, but my main problem is the fact that the government will give idiotic teens who get pregnant loads of benefits and then they keep on getting pregnant, discovering a way to get out of working, when there are those with a legitimate need for help who get denied.  Some misplaced priorities there, but I see it all the time on the OB wing.
Lucas James is here
Born 6-14-08 at 1233 am
8 lbs 14 oz, 22 in long

Offline Lis

  • Member
  • Posts: 593
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2007, 07:40:07 PM »
I'm a high fiver that is a lab tech/phlebo...  I chose not to do any invasive procedures after my first bout with PCP... I am still, by the grace of god , able to be in an on call stasis at the lab .. I still process specimens .. do the micro work, and I'm a pipetting fool!!!LOL

I dont work often, (maybe once every 60 days) but it is brilliant to be needed when one of the techs has a sick child...


poz 1986....

Offline dyingYOUNG19

  • Member
  • Posts: 36
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2007, 08:30:48 AM »
I am a new graduate of BS Nursing.

I just took the Nursing Licensure Exam this June.

Right now, I am working as a Volunteer Trainee in a Non-Government Organization, HIV/AIDS CAre and Support.

If ever I pass the Exam and have my license, I still don't know if it's good to work in a hospital, although I want it...but I am afraid...

please advice me...
there were two GREATEST DAYS in your LIFE:
The day you were born; and
the day you knew why...
___________________________

I will live this DAY as if my LAST. This DAY is ALL I HAVE and these HOURS are my ETERNITY...

Offline jerrygsf

  • member
  • Posts: 1
Re: Healthcare professionals, (RN's, LPN's & MD's ) living with HIV/AIDS
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2007, 05:00:01 AM »
I have been an RN for 20 years. I found out of my HIV+ status September 2006. I was unable to work for about 4 months. Atripla has been a god send. It truly has given me my life back. I hope to be working for the next 20 years.

Does your employer/boss know of your HIV status?  Yes

Does your employer have a HIV support group?   I donít think so.
 
Are you open about your status to other HIV+ patients or staff that you know or come in contact with? I donít reveal my status to patients. My coworkers know of my status.

Do you use FMLA? Do you call in sick a lot? I took a 4 month LOA in 2006. I have been back at work now for 6 months. I have not had to use any sick time.

Are you afraid of catching other diseases from your patients?  Yes, luckily I donít perform direct patient care all that often.

What is your specialty?  RN, Hospital Administration

Do you find it difficult to care for HIV+ patients on disability that could be working, while you are working full time? Yes.

Does your facility offer domestic partnership benefits?  Yes.

 


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