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Any vet nurses...can I have your advice

I'm posting on here as when I asked an animal related question before there was quite a few of you who were vet nurses that replied to me.

Basically I'm currently trying for my seconf baby. When I had my first I told my head nurse I didn't want to do theatre or xray...although she allowed this I felt she thought there was no need to avoid these areas.

Since having my first there have been several more nurses/vets who have been pregnant and have choosen to remain operating and taking xrays (obviously not being in the room and holding the patient when the xray was taken).

I again feel with my second that I don't want to be in these's a big practice with at least 10 nurses there at the same time so think why risk it.

I know that my head nurse will kick up more of a stink this time and say that it's safe to be doing anaesthetics etc.

Just wanted some advice on where you think I stand. Am I well within my rights to say I don't want to do it.

Thank you in advance.


  • Yeah, it's a bit of a nightmare.

    As I understand it...

    Anaesthetics: If you have a good active scavenging system there is in theory no risk. However, your employer has to do a risk assessment when you tell them you're pregnant and if you are unhappy with the set up or just don't want to risk it then I believe you can refuse.

    I had really bad morning sickness and being in theatre made me puke so I didn't go in there - you can always fabricate this if necessary.

    X-rays: I was happy with our anaesthetic scavenging so was happy to position x-rays but I didn't press the button and was miles away when it was. However, you shouldn't be lifting much so that can make positioning difficult. Again, if you're not happy about it you I believe you can refuse.

    I wanted an easy life when I was pregnant at work and when I felt faint one day at about 8 weeks I made a bigger deal of it than it was got my Dr to say that I should be on 'light duties'. I spent the rest of my pregnancy on reception and in the office doing NVQ stuff and not doing weekends, nights, late shifts or early shifts, it was great. So even if they are difficult there are ways of being creative to get around it!

    Good luck and don't let them bully or guilt trip you into doing something you don't want to do, your baby is much too important for that.

    Mrs B xxx

  • Thanks for the reply

  • only just seen this (vet not nurse)

    I think in that size practice it shouldn't be a problem to accommodate you if that's how you feel. Personally I still operated, as long as the animal was intubated, I did nothing masked. If there was any smell of iso, tube needing changing any risk of me getting any gas I left the room and other people rectified the situation. I wouldn't go back in for a few minutes afterwards. I think though with a nurse you're more likely to be involved with moving/positioning the anaesthetised animal while the vet in scrubbing, etc, so maybe say you feel things will run more efficiently if you don't have to keep asking people for help moving animals. Gives you another reason to ask not to operate.

    I continued positioning for x-rays, but didn't press the button. When I stepped out for someone to take the exposure I went right out, like whatever area under 16's aren't allowed in under your x-ray regs in the practice.

    At the end of the day every person and pregnancy is different. One of my colleagues carried on doing large animal work, when I barely did any when pregnant. The practice were fine with my decision. Also last time I was preg after having MC, so I was very cautios lifting, never lifted a dog over 10kg alone. This time (4+2!) I'm carrying a 14kg toddler abotu most of the time, so perhaps I will lift more.

    G xx
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