The charge nurse is making assignments for the day shift. One of the nurses is 5 months pregnant. Which of the following clients is the most appropriate assignment for this expectant nurse?

  • a client with shingles
  • a client with measles
  • a client with pneumonia
  • a client with Clostridium difficile
Number 4 is correct.
The client with Clostridium difficile is on contact precautions. Personal protective equipment (PPE)—including gown, gloves, mask, and shoe covers—provides a barrier between the client and nurse. Meticulous hand care and hand washing are required when caring for a client with Clostridium difficile , regardless of pregnancy status of the health care worker. Shingles and measles pose a high risk to pregnant women, and the CDC recommends that pregnant women avoid exposure to these clients. Pneumonia requires droplet precautions, because pneumonia may be contracted without direct client contact. Therefore, pneumonia exposure is even riskier for the pregnant nurse. When possible, pregnant nurses should avoid isolation clients. Facility and CDC guidelines should be followed when assigning pregnant staff to clients on precautions.