nursing and herpes...help!
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space_face posted:
I am very young and was diagnosed with herpes-simplex 2 a few months ago. While my initial break out was very physically painful and stressful, the emotional heartbreak of being diagnosed was what hurt me the most. I felt as if I was labeled a slut or a leper (it didn?t help that my OBGYN was a total finger-pointing, judgmental bitch about the whole thing. I have since filed many complaints and switched doctors.)

after a few weeks I have come to grips with my diagnosis and see it now as a minor inconvenience instead of a scarlet letter. But now I have a new problem.

I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl but was turned down from my dream nursing school based on "a preexisting medical condition." Herpes.

I was completely crushed and even though I could easily find a school that would accept me, and what cost would my dream career be? I would be working behind a surgical mask, two pairs of gloves. And my dream field of ER nursing is out of the question.

should I just give up on the idea of ever becoming a nurse?
Reply
 
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cubchigal responded:
Hi spaceface -

I'm glad to see you have such a positive outlook on have HSV - we all know how it feels to have the stimga and label attached to us soley because of this pesky virus. BUT in no way should you be turned down for a job or school acceptance - regardless of it's in the medical field!!!!!!!! Aren't there laws against this??? How do they even know that you have HSV????

Any one else have any insight???
 
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space_face responded:
they interviewed me about my medical history as well as took my medical records. The truth came out and the director was calling me two days later about how the program "couldnt handle the risk."

there are no laws that I know of that can help me out, Im not considered a "protected class" like minorities are.

I think its complete bs. I should be able to do what I want with my life hsv or not, its really none of their buisness.
 
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betsyo1967 responded:
You aren' t going to have sex with your patients so you are absolutely , positively no risk whatsoever!!! I would file official complaints about this because it's totally bogus!! I would also write to your state nursing board ( not sure if you are in the US or not ) and lodge a complaint against the school about this.

1 in 4 nurse's have genital herpes. 1 in 2-3 nurse's have oral herpes.

If they stopped training folks who have herpes simplex as nurse's - our nursing shortage would be even worse than it is now!!!!
 
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kaisanan responded:
space_face :

Listen to Betsy - she is a nurse!
 
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sucatash1 responded:
I hope you don't give up. I, too, am going 2 nursing school next year and was recently diagnosed w/ herpes. How did they know you have herpes? I was wondering the same thing if i can still be a nurse. I have always wanted to be a nurse since i was 16. I am 34 now and have 4 children. I was devastated when i found out i have herpes, but have come to terms with it, even tho i now do not date at all. I feel like i can't live a "normal" life in terms of an intimate relationship. I guess i'm just too chicken to tell anyone i might meet about having herpes. The only person i've told is the person who gave it to me in the first place. That's why i was wondering how the nursing school knew you had herpes. This is something i will prob. have to deal w/ in the near future. Good luck and dont give up!
 
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sucatash1 responded:
What "risk" are they taking? It's not like you will be having sex with the patients!!!!! That IS b.s.! I just had a dr's appt today and my gyne said herpes is NOT transmitted through blood. So i fail to see what "risk" they are taking in accepting you to the school!
 
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jennieann32 responded:
I just got accepted to nursing school so go tell them to shove it. Definitely lodge a complaint with the board.
 
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abe648 responded:
As Kaisa said Betsy is a nurse and to see that she is just go to her name above her photo and double click on her name and it will give you her persons and background.

I agree that you should file a formal complaint. Do they even have the right to ask about your medical history in an interview? Go for it gal as I am sure you will make a good nurse if this is something you always wanted as a career.
 
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AmyMarie53 responded:
I agree with everyone. File a complaint. They can't stop you from being a nurse. In my opinion your more at risk of contracting something far worse then herpes just by being a nurse. That is just insane! FILE FILE FILE!!!
 
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sarahbella123 responded:
space face I too was diagnosed with this at a young age. My ex boyfriend later confirmed that he had purposely given this to me. I was soo embarrassed I felt so alone and had no one to talk to and to make matters worse the medical team who had diagnosed me (especially the nurse) made me feel like a cheap, worthless slut. It was horrible. But after a few months I realised I could make something good from this. I will be graduating as a Registered Nurse at the end of this year. That horrible nurse made me a more empathetic and compassionate person and I have personally made it my mission to help those in similar situations to us. I am so sorry that you were made to feel that way i know how much it hurts. Don't you dare let anyone stand in your way of becoming a nurse we need more people like you. I have been tested for hepatitis and HIV as a student but never herpes. It did not even come up on any of our forms. I also have been in a relationship for the last 3 years with my partner who I told about my condition after dating for just 2 weeks. Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet to get what you want out of life. Find another nursing school, this one sounds like a joke. And don't ever let the stigma attached to this condition bring you down, there are so many people out there so much worse off... !!
 
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abe648 replied to sarahbella123's response:
To space face or anyone else who is thinking of becoming a nurse.
First off herpes is a virus that is not blood born and is located in the nerve endings of the genital area.

Secondly approx 25% of females and 20% of males if you had HSV 2 genitally of the general population . Most of the nurses are female and so if we go on the fact that approx 25% of the nurses have HSV 2 and would not be allowed to work because of that just think of the nurse shortage if everyone had the attitude that you could not be a nurse!!! That is so stupid. As noted Betsy and Jennifer are both nurses and good at being nurses and do not let anyone ever ever ever tell you that you cannot be a nurse.
To learn more read the Herpes Handbook. Terri Warren's book The Good News about the Bad News. It is available now as am e-book. Click on my avatar to get more details.