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Author Topic: career decision HELP!  (Read 3844 times)

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Offline kiki06

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
  • Member since June 2006
career decision HELP!
« on: June 08, 2006, 11:04:05 AM »
Thought I'd get some input from you guys on something I've been struggling with...

Here goes...

I went to school to become a surgical technologist (we assist the doctors in surgery by handing instruments, retracting, and whatever else they ask us to do pretty much). I went to school from November of 2004 until June of 2005 and graduated with honors. I admit my main drive for going to the school was because i KNEW my ex and I were on the verge of splitting up and I needed a way to support myself and our son.

Anyways, now that I've graduated I'm scared... I'm actually scared to be in the OR for the simple fact that accidents happen and I could NEVER live with myself if were to infect a patient. I know that the actual  possibility of me getting cut, not realizing it and the blood going into the patient would be VERY rare but there is still some risk there of that happening. I myself in externship saw two different techs get cut. THEN there is the possibility of getting stuck with a syringe (and this happens quite often) and if that happens you automatically have to go for an HIV and Hep test. NOW my secrets out and who knows if I get to keep my job or what happens from there...

SO my question is where do I go from here? I've seriously been loosing nights of sleep over this, been looking for jobs elsewhere and loosing it over this. HELP!
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.
           Mother Teresa

Offline Trish

  • Member
  • Posts: 332
Re: career decision HELP!
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2006, 11:13:18 AM »
Hi Kiki,

Hmmm, I don't know what to tell you... I'm stumped.  Hopefully someone else can help you here.  I just don't know... maybe it's the being a blonde thing. :D

Sorry I'm not much help, but all in all -- I do understand your concerns and fears.  I would feel the same way if I were in your shoes, but I'm sure there is a solution to this...I just don't know what it is.

What I can say though, is that I wish you luck and hope that you find a solution with the help of some of the other forum members.

All the best,

Trish :-*
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is buit."  Eleanor Roosevelt

Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
Re: career decision HELP!
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 02:42:55 PM »
Do you know how often someone gets stuck/cut/injured in the operating room?  I would first look to statistics to even see if this is a real risk (or at least a significant one).  Do you have someone that you can confide in, who works in the medical field?  That would be an option, to discuss your fears with them and see what they say.  You can also do therapy to try and address your fears.

Your concern is very valid.  But also you can't just blow away all that education and interest in the field over this.

Don't they take percautions to protect both the patients and the people in the operating room?  I mean if doctors are willing to operate on people who are HIV positive, I can't see why the other way around should be any different.

I hope you can find some comfort in whatever you decide.

Best of luck to you,


Offline jack

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  • Posts: 1,578
  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Re: career decision HELP!
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 02:51:00 PM »
do not change careers or dreams because of HIV, you will regret it later.
 I see absolutely no problem with you working in the OR, of course I am hiv+. others might feel different.
On the other hand I am afraid of having sex with my wife,cause I dont wanna infect her, so maybe I am being a hypocrite.
If its what you love, do it.

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
Re: career decision HELP!
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 09:06:12 PM »
Dear Kiki,

Keep the job because you worked hard for it and have earned the right to work with the people you do and help all the people you are.  Your status is protected under HIPPA laws and your safety is protected under OSHA and joint counsil.  You have personal protective gear to insure if you get injured, the patient will not be infected.  Just follow all the rules and be good at what you do.  Everything will be fine and... Have the best day.
(a safety expert who was fired for HIV/AIDS)


Offline gerry

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  • Posts: 522
  • Joined AM Feb 2003
Re: career decision HELP!
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 09:47:32 PM »
THEN there is the possibility of getting stuck with a syringe (and this happens quite often) and if that happens you automatically have to go for an HIV and Hep test.

I just wanted to add that getting tested for bloodborne pathogens after a fingerpoke is an option, but it's actually something that the employee can decline.  There is, however, a real occupational risk for contracting hepatitis B (unless you have been vaccinated and are immune) and hepatitis C in these situations.  Your concerns are certainly very understandable, but like others have said, you don't have to give up on your career just yet.  And your comfort level is probably more of a factor here than the actual risks.

Offline otherplaces

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  • Posts: 398
  • Mutant Super Hero
Re: career decision HELP!
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2006, 09:56:10 PM »
I know hiv+ surgeons exist because I met one at poz.com. Her user ID is "want2opr8" in the personals section. Look her up and send her a message.

A guy visited my newly diagnosed support group from the AIDS legal council of Chicago and discussed surgeons and OR techs. He said there's no reason you can't do your job but not to disclose at work. You can call them if you have more questions: www.aidslegal.org. That's what they're there for. It's free advice.

I can't imagine hiv is the only blood disease that could put a surgical patient at "risk".

Good luck,

Offline HIVworker

  • Member
  • Posts: 918
  • HIV researcher
Re: career decision HELP!
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2006, 10:32:24 PM »
Nobody has ever been infected from a surgen from my understanding.

NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline kiki06

  • Member
  • Posts: 17
  • Member since June 2006
Re: career decision HELP!
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2006, 12:49:01 AM »
Thank you all for your support, I will definitly be taking all your kind input into thought when I'm trying to figure everything out. You all have really put my mind at ease some. THANK YOU!

I'm so glad I found this forum!

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much.
           Mother Teresa


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