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Author Topic: Poz Nurses?  (Read 2031 times)

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Offline socalpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 80
Poz Nurses?
« on: August 27, 2011, 07:44:09 AM »
Hiv poz Nurses,

I have been wanting to ask a bunch of questions about being Hiv poz and becoming a nurse. I welcome comments and I am hoping that there are a few people who are nurses that can give me advice from their  experience and knowledge. Others please feel free to weigh in as well.

Let me start by saying, I apologize if this seems all over the place as it's a emotional subject for me.

To give a bit of a backstory: I was diagnosised poz at the end of Jan 11. I have been a college student for two years working on my goal of becoming an RN. Prior to this I had a job in management for 18 years, so career change due to the economy. Since my diagnosises I have been worrying about my opportunities of completing nursing school and getting a job as a Nurse, if I disclose my status.

I do know that as long as I practice stand precautions there is minimal to no risk of exposing others to the disease.  I just don't know if others see it this way. I also don't know if there are laws to protect me from this type of discrimination. I live in Southern Cal and I will be planing to work here as well.

I will say due to what I have read on line, I choose to not disclose on my application to nursing school or on my follow up required physical (I saw a the doctor at the Health Care Center at College, who knew nothing except what I revealed of my history) which was required upon entering the nursing program. I will say the physical documents didn't nor did the application to nursing school ask specifically about Hiv as they do with all other diseases. But the on general health background application for the Health Center as a new patient it did and I lied on it.

I do have both my HIV specialist that I see regularly and my normal doctor. You can see from my numbers, currently the numbers are good.

I am hoping for advice of future employment disclosure and/or if I should disclose to my Nursing Program?


Thanks






Diagnosed Jan. 22, 2011
feb/11 cd4 547, cd4% 37, vl 527
mar/11 cd4 650, cd4% 37, vl 97
may/11 cd4 698, cd4% 37, vl 303
jul/11 cd4 744, cd4% 39, vl 239
aug/12 cd4 675, cd4% 39, Vl 42
Jun/13 cd4 594, cd4% 38, Vl 1860
Jul/3/13 started Stribild
Aug/13 cd4 758 cd4% 43, vl ??

Offline Matt39

  • Member
  • Posts: 179
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 07:57:24 AM »
Maybe you should get some confidential advice from the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care:
http://www.nursesinaidscare.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1
You will need confidential advice since, if you premeditatedly answered a direct question on your status on that Health Centre background health questionnaire wrongly, then you may be in difficulty. It very much depends on the legal status of that questionnaire, which could be a grey area.
Of course, long term you could just restrict your nursing career to those who are HIV+ in which case it would all be academic.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 08:09:29 AM by Matt39 »

Offline socalpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 80
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 08:05:36 AM »
Thanks for the advice Matt, I will check it out.

I am not so concerned about the heath care facility as the question could be explained as I didn't really read it. I know know not the truth but I think the average person would just quickly checked all the boxes without really reading them. But for me when I see the HIV or it's brought up class discussion, I still get emotions of shame, guilt and depression (it's getting better,but it's still there), it's ;ile I got punched in the stomach.

But again I will definitely look into the link!

Diagnosed Jan. 22, 2011
feb/11 cd4 547, cd4% 37, vl 527
mar/11 cd4 650, cd4% 37, vl 97
may/11 cd4 698, cd4% 37, vl 303
jul/11 cd4 744, cd4% 39, vl 239
aug/12 cd4 675, cd4% 39, Vl 42
Jun/13 cd4 594, cd4% 38, Vl 1860
Jul/3/13 started Stribild
Aug/13 cd4 758 cd4% 43, vl ??

Offline Since2005

  • Member
  • Posts: 419
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 06:55:00 PM »
Hi Socal,

Sorry you had to do that! Hey, there is no taking back! I understand your concerns as you are dealing with shame or guilt as you mentioned. However, Its the protocol/policy we all have to follow cuz your profession involves others and they have the right to know. Can you specialize your degree where you would be working with HIV+ people? We could use medical professionals who are HIV+ and aren't afraid of the virus. There are still a lot of medical professionals out there who refuse to draw blood because they are afraid of the 'needlestick injury'. That's where you come in, and help out the HIV+ using your degree and feel good about that, right?

Offline Basquo

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,254
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 07:51:13 PM »
I strongly disagree that you as a nurse should tell your employer, your educators, or the people you treat that your are poz. Of course you can if you want to, but all this talk about what you "should" do is bullshit.  You are not going to be sharing needles or having unrpotected sex with any of those people. As long as you are healthy and can perform the functions required of the job there is no need to disclose. And don't give me any lip about sharp instruments; there is no risk to patients because no one is going to use a needle on a patient after they've stuck themselves.

So what if you didn't disclose on some stupid form? If it does come back around, you can always say you weren't sure of the final diagnosis since you just got your first poz test at the end of January.

There is too great of a nursing shortage in this world to let what other people think you "ought" to do rule your career path. Go out there and be a caregiver with dignity!

Offline wolfter

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,460
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 07:57:24 PM »
Hi Socal,

Sorry you had to do that! Hey, there is no taking back! I understand your concerns as you are dealing with shame or guilt as you mentioned. However, Its the protocol/policy we all have to follow cuz your profession involves others and they have the right to know. Can you specialize your degree where you would be working with HIV+ people? We could use medical professionals who are HIV+ and aren't afraid of the virus. There are still a lot of medical professionals out there who refuse to draw blood because they are afraid of the 'needlestick injury'. That's where you come in, and help out the HIV+ using your degree and feel good about that, right?

Are you a nurse?  I never disclosed to my patients or co-workers!  No one has a right to know shit unless we choose to disclose.  When applying for a nursing position, they can not even ask if you have HIV.  They will ask if you have any medical conditions that would hinder your job performance.

As for the NIH questionnaire, there is no need to lie as that's for data gathering only and will not be shared with employers and/or respective employers.

Why should a college educated nurse be required to only work with HIV+ people?  What if they concentrated in geriatrics or pediatrics?

To the OP, follow the course! And good luck!
Complacency is the enemy.  ;)  Challenge yourself daily for maximum  return on investment.

Offline Since2005

  • Member
  • Posts: 419
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 08:26:28 PM »
I am hoping that there are a few people who are nurses that can give me advice from their  experience and knowledge. Others please feel free to weigh in as well.
So, I gave my 2 cents. Okay my bad! I admit that with 'nursing program' situation, my knowledge is limited. I thought you " Ought to" tell others. In other professions, I could care less.

@Socal - Yes, you don't have to limit yourself with just HIV+ patients, you choose what's best for you by dealing with the legal binding. I was thinking HIV+ people could use other HIV+ medical professionals ( since only HIV+ person understands what other HIV+ person go through fully). At the end of the day, it is your choice, of course!

I also need to educate myself with 'disclosing issues in medical profession' obviously. I didn't mean to create debate here. I am one of you who is HIV+ and deal with the same situations. I just don't want Socal to get in trouble with legal issues. As long as he is fine to that regard, he ABSOLUTELY doesn't have to disclose his status unless he wants to.


« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 08:59:06 PM by Since2005 »

Offline feelsafe

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 07:15:38 PM »
Hi, you do not need to worry about that. There are many doctors, nurses and health care practitioners with HIV who go about their duties just like any other worker. You do not need to disclose your status to anyone and no one who wants to employ you will dare to force you to speak. All employers in the health domain know the rules very well. Even your personal physician cannot disclose your status without your permission except he or she wants to be fired as well as pay a lot of fines for damages.
My life is an example to others, it's my priority and obligation and an image to uphold till death. One of the best gifts one can give to the society and a legacy to leave behind. Being positive makes me to think whenever I want to go astray, and has made me to be a more stronger and responsible person.

Offline Since2005

  • Member
  • Posts: 419
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 10:27:26 PM »
That's very good to know. I bet you made Socal very happy

Offline Sky

  • Member
  • Posts: 225
    • Myspace
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2011, 10:14:00 PM »
I've been HIV+ for almost 9 yrs now and I've been a RN in a VERY demanding ICU for 4 of them.  I wouldn't tell your employer simply because it's none of their business.  As long as you're following standard precautions and wash your hands before and after patient contact you have no reason to worry about it.  One of the ONLY times you need to be concerned is if you're CD4 is low and you're assigned an patient with PCP because you're at risk of contracting it through the air if they're not on a closed circuit ventilator.
Poz since 2003.

Offline socalpoz

  • Member
  • Posts: 80
Re: Poz Nurses?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 08:48:51 AM »
Thanks for all the responses and sorry for delay in my response. I have been extremely busy with school theses past two weeks, overwhelmed doesn't even begin to describe it what I have been going through. One day at a time right, if I just didn't need sleep. lol!

@Sky, I figured there were poz nurses out there and I really value your advice.

@Since2005, I appreciate your comments and I think others answered your first post in a way that express the emotion I had to them. Any patient or for that matter friend, family etc will be at minimal risk as long as I am following standard precautions and not sharing bodily fluids with them, i.e. sex, needles. In regard to helping other HIV +, it's actually one of the reasons before my diagnosis that I wanted to get into the profession.

@Wolfter, I am in my first year of nursing school, I REALLY appreciate you input, thanks for the support and advice. I have felt as you say it is my choice who I disclose to, but I was uncertain if it was asked during the hiring process. So it's all good thanks, a load off my mind!

@Basquo, Thanks for your two cents, your post so aptly expressed my emotions and thoughts!

It's wonderfully to have this forum! Thanks again!
 

Diagnosed Jan. 22, 2011
feb/11 cd4 547, cd4% 37, vl 527
mar/11 cd4 650, cd4% 37, vl 97
may/11 cd4 698, cd4% 37, vl 303
jul/11 cd4 744, cd4% 39, vl 239
aug/12 cd4 675, cd4% 39, Vl 42
Jun/13 cd4 594, cd4% 38, Vl 1860
Jul/3/13 started Stribild
Aug/13 cd4 758 cd4% 43, vl ??

 


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