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Author Topic: Any HIV+ nurses here?  (Read 1001 times)

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Offline cjmchgo

  • Member
  • Posts: 38
  • Dx 1992
Any HIV+ nurses here?
« on: May 07, 2009, 11:51:43 AM »
Hi,
Are there any HIV+ Nurses out there? I would love to talk to you.
I start a RN program in the fall and I'm really excited but at the same time, I'm a little worried about the whole HIV thing.
I have friends who ask if Iím sure I want to be a Nurse and expose myself to all kinds of germs and diseases or I hear/read other people (not friends) say I could accidently expose or infect someone I'm taking care of. I know that is a possibility but I think the chances are very slim to none.
After nursing school, my areas of interest are HIV/STD, Gero, Psych or Nursing case management.
I am not at all interested in ER or ICU and I think those areas would be the most risky when it comes to my health or a patientís health.
I guess I'm just having a bad day and hoping i'm not making a mistake.
I would love to hear any stories, suggestions or thoughts from other people who are positive, especially nurses.

Thanks everyone!
Craig
April/May, 1992: Infected at age 21
Aug 31, 1992: Tested positive
Sep 8, 1992 T-cells 977, 43%
1993-1998: T-cells 675-800
1999-2001: T-cells 500-600
2000-2004: T-cells 425-525 23% VL 500-2000
2005-2008: T-cells 275-375, 20%, VL 950-2500
December 2008: Started Atripla
Dec 2009: T-cells 637, 33%, VL UD
Dec 2010: T-cells 544, 35%, VL UD
Dec 2011: T-cells 596, 41%, VL UD
January 2, 2012 stopped Atripla (CNS issues)
January 4, 2012 started Isentress/Truvada
March 25, 2014 Still on I/T t-cells 673, VL undetectable

Offline Funkengruven

  • Member
  • Posts: 95
Re: Any HIV+ nurses here?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009, 01:04:08 PM »
Craig,

After completing my B.A. a few years ago, I'm going back to school in just a few weeks to pursue an additional degree in nursing.  After mentioning my plans to my HIV doctor and a number of other HIV+ nurses I know, they told me they thought it was a fantastic idea, a great path to pursue and that my being HIV+ should have no impact on my future career.  As the days tick down to that first day of class, I find myself getting more and more excited to begin the first steps of an entirely new path.  Initially, I had a few reservations about working in a hospital setting (for some of the very reasons you mentioned), but after some serious reflection I've come to the conclusion that this is something I am truly passionate about.  I feel that it will all be worth it in the end.  Best of luck to you in your future plans.

Offline mewithu

  • Member
  • Posts: 160
  • mewithu
Re: Any HIV+ nurses here?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 01:32:14 PM »
The Pay is good many openings in most areas of the country. Just remember to tell your status on your applications and even in school when to goes to interning at a medical facility.
1997 is when I found out, being deathly ill. I had to go to the hospital due to extreme headache and fever. I fell coma like,  two months later weighing 95 pounds and in extreme pain and awoke to knowledge of Pancreatis, Cryptococcal Meningitis, Thrush,Severe Diarea,  Wasting, PCP pneumonia. No eating, only through tpn. Very sick, I was lucky I had good insurance with the company I worked for. I was in the hospital for three months that time. 
(2010 Now doing OK cd4=210  VL= < 75)
I have become resistant to many nukes and non nukes, Now on Reyataz, , Combivir. Working well for me not too many side effects.  I have the wasting syndrome, Fatigue  . Hard to deal with but believe it or not I have been through worse. Three Pulmonary Embolism's in my life. 2012 520 t's <20 V load

Offline Basquo

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,259
Re: Any HIV+ nurses here?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 07:32:16 PM »
Just remember to tell your status on your applications and even in school when to goes to interning at a medical facility.

Why do you think it's important to reveal your status? I think that should be up to the individual and not a standard.

Offline Imnew2this

  • Member
  • Posts: 36
  • I'm stronger because of it
Re: Any HIV+ nurses here?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2009, 12:05:14 AM »
I am a HIV positive nurse (NP actually) and do just fine.  I will say that prior to starting meds, I was much more likely to get colds, sinus infections, etc, but now that I'm on meds I do very well and rarely have any colds at all.  I do not believe in any way my susceptibility to colds was because I was a nurse and patient exposures, but rather a direct result of my immune compromised state.  I think it would have been the same way if I'd been a server or worked in an office environment or anywhere else for that matter.  I work in critical care and see the sickest of the sick and am exposed regularly to all sorts of nasty germs (Staph, TB, Pseudomonas, etc).  As with everyone, just use common sense.  Wash hands like crazy and get plenty of rest.  If you are on meds and have a normal CD4 count or have recovered to a normal CD4 count and have a low viral load, then your immune system should work almost as well as someone non-infected.  Good luck!!

Feel free to PM if you wanna chat about nursing!

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 28,140
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Any HIV+ nurses here?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2009, 07:46:31 AM »
Just wondering if any of you medical types read Notes from a Positive Health Care Provider? Good stuff.

Ann

PS - You might want to start at the beginning.

Quote

So here goes the deal. My name is Ric Ferri. I have a ton of degrees and honors for my work in HIV disease. I have written a lot for HIV journals and magazines and am thrilled be joining the POZ blogging team. I was elected predient of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care back when the organization had a real heart and vision, and then went on to become president of the HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board which credentials nurses as experts in AIDS care. I have also been a loud mouth and pain in the ass to many people in the area of HIV primary health care because I practice HIV medicine, write about HIV medicine, and am living with AIDS. So there you have the basics.

« Last Edit: May 08, 2009, 07:49:27 AM by Ann »
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