Can You Be a Nurse If You Have Herpes?

Can You Be a Nurse If You Have Herpes

Herpes is seen as one of the most harmless STDs that a person can get. That doesn’t mean that shouldn’t be okay with not going to the doctor to get checked up but it won’t kill you.

In the workplace, the idea of someone having herpes in the workplace probably doesn’t make people comfortable.

It also isn’t something that you should mention in an interview unless it is directly brought up.

See also: Interview Questions for a Nurse Educator

In terms of what is legally allowed for the hospital to do, that is a bit more complicated.

Can you be a nurse if you have herpes?

Currently, there is no law prohibiting people to work in the hospital if they have herpes.

The situation is a lot different if you sign on documents that you don’t have herpes if you do have herpes.

If you are lying about having herpes, your boss could potentially fire you for lying but not necessarily just for having herpes.

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Can You Be a Nurse and Have Herpes?

In the hospital, people really take hygiene seriously, which is why it shouldn’t be that much of a problem for you.

Even if there are people at the hospital who wanted your herpes, they wouldn’t get it because you’re wearing scrubs and a mask.

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This may not even be a question when you get hired.

Can you be a nurse if you have herpes?

Herpes Type 1 (HSV-1, or oral herpes)

Oral herpes isn’t a big deal when it comes to employment and the status of your job. What does matter is how long have you been living with oral herpes?

Additionally, are you a risk to potentially spread it to other people?

There are a lot of nurses with one type of herpes who have been working at their respective hospitals for many years.

That doesn’t mean you can’t find an employer who probably has a problem with you having herpes.

See also: Can You Be a Nurse With Epilepsy?

For most of the time in the hospital, you are going to spend time having a mask on as a nurse.

You don’t wear a mask to protect yourself, you wear a mask so that you potentially don’t spread anything that you have to the patient.

The only way you can get herpes is to have some level of real contact with another person.

Generally, this isn’t something that people do in the hospital.

This is an act that is highly inappropriate and isn’t encouraged in any medical profession.

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You may tell your employer and in many cases, they do deserve to know if you have it or not, but they can’t refuse to hire you off of that alone.

Your education and experience is much more important when you go to that interview, much more than any form of herpes.

If your boss hears that you have herpes, some of them are naturally going to be a little nervous, but it’s also harmless to most people.

They might deem that you can’t work on younger patients, but you should be able to get the job with herpes as long as you are qualified.

See also: Can You Be a Nurse at 17?

Herpes Type 2 (HSV-2, or genital herpes)

Genital herpes is something that is seen as a non-threat to people who are going to be working with you on a day-to-day basis.

There may be a question with something asking about you having it or not, but it shouldn’t be a big deal.

Even if you tell your employer that you have it after the fact, it’s not something that most of them will fire you for.

It certainly won’t help you to get a job as a nurse, but in many cases, it won’t be something that will keep your employer from hiring you if you’re qualified.

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Having genital herpes wouldn’t have a detriment on the workplace as long as you are maintaining proper cleanliness as a nurse.

The problem comes when you don’t have that cleanliness or if you are doing things that you shouldn’t be doing in the hospital.

As long as you have talked to a doctor and they think the situation with your herpes is under control, the hospital shouldn’t have any problem with hiring you as a nurse.

See also: Can You Be a Nurse With Eczema?

Unless your genitals are directly making contact with surfaces on the hospital or patients, this shouldn’t be a problem.

This is something that your employer shouldn’t have a problem with.

That’s not to say that there aren’t employers who won’t hire you because you have this problem, but this is something that is seen as harmless for just about everyone.

You pose no threat to adults or people you are connected to right now.

The only people who be at risk would be people who are very young in the infant range and you wouldn’t be having that kind of contact with them anyway.

For the most part, this shouldn’t impact your status of getting a job at all, and if you can, don’t bring it up.

See also: Can You Be a Nurse With Hep C?

Conclusion: Can you be a nurse and have herpes?

Herpes is something that most people would rather not have, but it’s not something that will kill you.

There are much more threatening diseases that are way more common than herpes, which is why most people aren’t that startled when you talk about it.

See also: Can You Be a Nurse With HIV?

The unfortunate aspect of it is that you can’t completely get rid of it once you have it, but it also won’t really affect your life.

The only way it’s going to change your life, is that you have to notify your partners about that if you plan on getting intimate with them.

In the workplace, there isn’t going to be much that’s done if you have either form of herpes.

Because you’re someone who has to abide by the rules the hospital has set, you aren’t really at risk to spread herpes to other patients.

If you end up not getting hired because you have herpes, it probably says more about the hospital and less about the threat it poses to others.

You should have no problem getting a job as long as you are qualified to carry out that job.

However, if they do ask you, tell the truth.

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.