Do I have to tell my new employer that my nose swab came back with colonized MRSA?

By | 2022-02-07T18:04:44-05:00 July 3rd, 2008|0 Comments

Question:

Dear Donna,

I worked in home health care and was around numerous patients who had MRSA. I was not always aware that the patient had MRSA. I used universal precautions, but I still had a feeling that I had MRSA. I decided to leave home health nursing and accepted job in long-term care/assisted living. I gave notice with my current employer and had physical by new employer’s doctors. The physical was completed with no problems. I decided to have physical by my physician’s assistant and asked to have nose swab done. The specimen came back with colonized MRSA. I started Bactroban one week ago. Do I have to report this to my new employer, as I am starting work in one week and feel that they will pass on employing me? I was also advised that the only accurate way that MRSA can be identified is if there is a boil or wound to culture it — that the nares is not completely accurate way to test. Does this mean that I have to report this to everyone? Information is so confusing.

Lynn

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Lynn,

I am not an expert on MRSA, but the bottom line is whether or not you are contagious. Check with your primary healthcare provider (PHP) about this. If you are contagious, I think you would have an obligation to report it to your employer, although I don’t think your PHP would advise you to work in a healthcare setting if you were. Please check with your PHP about how to proceed.

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeek’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Preorder (through July 2008) your copy of the The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses for only 24.95 at http://www.nurse.com/CE/7250. To ask Donna your question, go to www.nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.

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