Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chicken Pox

One of the new nurses on the unit has a moderate case of the chicken pox. Policy here is that anyone who had contact with the infected needs to demonstrate either a recent immunization or an adequate varicella titer.

When I was hired last year, my titer was low. When I was six, I had had a severe case of chicken pox; if you closely examine my cheek and shoulders, you can still see the pockmarks. Because I've read that those who actually have had the disease demonstrate lower measured titers than those who are vaccinated, I declined to get a booster shot when I went through orientation. The clinic was across town and I didn't want to take an entire afternoon to get a shot I didn't need.

I am now presented with a choice: either take 28 days of unpaid medical leave or get the booster shot. I, of course, am getting the vaccination - I would need to for school next year anyway. It's just one more irritating errand in my already insanely busy life.

The irony is that the new nurse's infection is due to a booster shot she received during her orientation.

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