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Author Topic: Nurse...Disclosure?  (Read 2221 times)

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Offline twz90s

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Nurse...Disclosure?
« on: May 12, 2011, 01:50:11 AM »
Hey everyone.

I am in a bit of a bind.  I am HIV+ and a Nurse.

I have just received an amazing written job offer at one of the top hospitals in the country...so far so good.

However, one paragraph in the offer letter really bothered me considering my status:

"In addition, in the interest of patient and staff safety, we require that you make an appointment with Workplace Health and Safety via an intranet computer.  Do this within (3) working days of commencement to make an appointment to have a baseline health assessment."

I live in Canada and am pretty sure that I do not have a legal obligation to notify my employer or answer questions regarding that.  I have thought about getting legal advice from the Human Rights Tribunal and the local HIV Resource Centre.

Anyone able to ring in about this? I'm a little paniced and apprehensive about this "baseline health assessment"  :-\
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 02:19:59 AM by twz90s »

Offline Matty the Damned

  • Member
  • Posts: 12,228
  • Ninja Please
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 03:18:03 AM »
Hey everyone.

I am in a bit of a bind.  I am HIV+ and a Nurse.

I have just received an amazing written job offer at one of the top hospitals in the country...so far so good.

However, one paragraph in the offer letter really bothered me considering my status:

"In addition, in the interest of patient and staff safety, we require that you make an appointment with Workplace Health and Safety via an intranet computer.  Do this within (3) working days of commencement to make an appointment to have a baseline health assessment."

I live in Canada and am pretty sure that I do not have a legal obligation to notify my employer or answer questions regarding that.  I have thought about getting legal advice from the Human Rights Tribunal and the local HIV Resource Centre.

Anyone able to ring in about this? I'm a little paniced and apprehensive about this "baseline health assessment"  :-\

The Nurses Union? Seems like they'd be the first port of call. Possibly a peak HIV advocacy organisation.

I would be very surprised if you'd be compelled to disclose your HIV status. Especially in Canada.

MtD

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,908
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 04:14:09 AM »
Get information.

In Wwitzerland for certain jobs you must sign a sort of "I am fit to work and don't have alcoholism, drug addiction nor chronic diseases" clause.   I asked my ID and he said everyone who is HIV pretty much checks the chronic disease box.  What happens is this. The form goes to a state medical DOCTOR, who contacts the treating doctor to get the story.  The state medical doctor then judges, or not, if the person is fit to work.  The state doctor NEVER tells the company the applicants medical secrets.   In Switzerland the state doctors consider HIV+ fit to work like anyone else if there are no big problems.  LIke any other "chronic" disease.

Maybe it works that way in Canada.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jb1973

  • Member
  • Posts: 68
  • To thine ownself be true
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 06:41:27 AM »
In the US, at the hospital where I work, we have something similiar.  All new employees report to work health for a health screening.  I havent been a "new" employee for somet ime, but, I just think it is an overall assessment of your ability to perform your job.  If I remember correctly, it was mostly silly "simple" exercises that need to be performed to assess body mechanics?  I can't imagine them even being permitted to ask about your HIV status.  Good luck with the job!
??Infected - 08-09??
3/3/11-tested POZ
3/18/11 - CD4-534 VL-6,600
6/24/11 - CD4-642 VL-10,800
10/11 - CD4-580 33% VL-9,900
1/12 - CD4-602 ?% VL-9,700
3/12 - CD4-552 27% VL=10,684
8/12 - cd4-550 24% VL=9.865
Started Isentress/Truvada
10/12- CD4-613 31% VL=UD

Offline karry

  • Member
  • Posts: 271
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 06:45:46 AM »
Hi,
I also live in Canada and faced a similar issue a year ago when I applied for a job and they contacted me for a baseline medical examination. I contacted an organisation(COQ SIDA) and they helped me understand my legal rights. When I went for the exam finally, there was no mention about HIV/ AIDS in the questionaire.

Goodluck!
K.
Take it a day at a time....and be positive about it too!

Offline littleprince

  • Member
  • Posts: 201
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2011, 07:13:29 AM »
I don't work in the medical field but my assessment consisted of drug testing and checking if I had any existing problems like bad back, knees ect. I gave a urine sample and proved that I could touch my toes and that was pretty much it.

Offline buginme2

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,120
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2011, 11:30:03 AM »
In the U.S.  You do not need to disclose your HIV status to your employer and it is against the law for them to discriminate against you if they find out you have it.  It is covered under the ADA.  Remember the film Philadelphia? Im sure its the same in the 51st state of Canada. Good luck.

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,942
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2011, 07:05:06 PM »
Hi there

The guys are right you don't have to disclose your HIV status.

 I know a couple of  nurses that are HIV+ and work on the wards, one chose to disclose, the other didn't but both are doing fine and doing a good job, the only place they are not able to work is in Theater, for obvious reasons.

Don't stress out about this.

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

Offline phildinftlaudy

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,965
  • sweet Ann what you think babe...
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2011, 07:24:35 PM »
When I worked for a large hospital system, I had to undergo a pre-employment physical prior to starting work - the biggest reason was that they wanted to establish baseline and ensure that I did not have anything that could be transmitted to patients (i.e. TB and the like).  Working in a hospital environment they wanted to be extremely careful in regards to employee wellness and safety of patients. 

While the medical clinic that did the physical did not ask about my HIV status, I voluntarily disclosed it for a couple of reasons: 1) they wanted me to get an updated measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine - however, my ID doc said that it would be contraindicated and she would not advise that someone with HIV get the vaccine; b) I am on Atripla - which can cause a false positive for THC (marijuana) unless a more sensitive test is done - my doc provided a letter saying that I was on a medication that could cause a false positive.  I thought it was just easier to disclose knowing that I was protected under the ADA.

When I went to my new employer, I was also required to answer a questionnaire and one of the questions was whether I had any type of disability that was covered by ADA - once again, I choose to disclose.  The place I work for has a clear policy which prohibits discrimination based on HIV status (and once again it is covered by ADA).  My supervisor knows my status and I remember she even wondered if I should put it on the questionnaire - as she said "well, you don't seem to be disabled." - But, I didn't want it to come back on me anytime down the line.  I have found - and it is solely my experience, others may have different experiences - that telling my employer my status has actually given them a better understanding.  Particularly, when I have to go to the doc every three months and for labs every three months.  They also are more understanding with me when I am feeling "under the weather" and realize the importance of me ensuring that I don't let what might otherwise be a simple cold to others get out of control with me because of my status.

In the end, it is an individual decision on whether to disclose or not - only the person in the situation has the best read on all of the factors that impact on whether to disclose or not.  I think the feedback you are getting here is valuable and should help assist you in this process.
September 13, 2008 - diagnosed +
Labs:
Date    CD4    %   VL     Date  CD4  %   VL
10/08  636    35  510   9/09 473  38 2900  12/4/09 Atripla
12/09  540    30    60   
12/10  740    41  <48   
8/11    667    36  <20  
03/12  1,041  42  <20
05/12  1,241  47  <20
08/12   780    37  <20
11/12   549    35  <20
02/12  1,102  42  <20
11/12   549    35  <20

Offline OneTampa

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,273
  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2011, 07:42:59 PM »
I also found this information helpful. 

Thanks everyone!
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline twz90s

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Re: Nurse...Disclosure?
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2011, 08:49:46 PM »
I'd like to really thank each and everyone one of you for your support and calming my nerves.  Not much gets to me, but I guess once-in-a-while we're always reminded about the burden we carry.

Thanks again!

 


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