Have you trained your co-workers?

Posted on: Mon, 03/06/2006 - 8:14am
Daisy's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

Someone on another food allergy board recently posted this question. WOW! Never thought of this. (And I am in the medical field.)Of course, most of my co-workers know I have serious food allergies. One friend even asked me to go to lunch before her one day, as she had brought leftover Chinese food w/ shrimp. How nice! Many have even commented on my beautiful gold Medic Alert bracelet that DH gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago. But I have never shown my colleagues which purse is mine (we keep them in the same room, just in a "clean" cabinet), where my Epi-pen is stored.
Talked with my supervisor on Friday. They thought this was a great idea. Will be taking the Epi-trainer to work for a demo.

Just a thought,
Daisy

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 3:15am
McCobbre's picture
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Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

No, I haven't. I don't think they take the allergy very seriously. Granted, mine tends to take two hours, and with a GI reaction, I don't have to use the Epi right away. I've only had to use it once. Benadryl has worked for the peanut reactions (and I've tested negative to peanuts, but I've reacted). So there's some time to prepare.
There's a possibility of moving to a different building, and there someone has the same allergy and uses an Epi, so he will know. And another colleague with whom I am in meetings once a month also carries an Epi for a shellfish allergy, so she knows.
But I've not trained a colleague.

Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2006 - 10:56am
Daisy's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2006 - 09:00

[b]McCobbre[/b]
Mylene posted about this on the AL site. Thought it was a good idea for the Adults over here. (Everyone gets a 504 for their kids, but we sometimes forget to protect ourselves.)
I have shown several of my co-workers, and my supervisors what my purse looks like and done the Epi-demo. My *point person* is a co-worker with similar problems; but we work weekends and holidays, so I am training multiple people. Everyone has been really great, and actually very interested to learn.
I had *GI-only* reactions for years. But lately, I have been having vague little reactions, and my *usual* reactions have progressed in the last couple of years, so I'm worried that I might pass out at work and no one would know what was happening. I have a Medic-Alert bracelet, too(MFA and drug reactions). And a good idea if you're incapacitated (auto-wreck).[b]I do not have hives, so an EMT or ER Doc would not be able to diagnose my reaction without being alerted.[/b]
Daisy,
BTW, I responded to your GI question on the AL site.

Posted on: Fri, 05/05/2006 - 9:16am
kherbert's picture
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Joined: 04/19/2003 - 09:00

I work in a school. I have trained my teammates through the years on how to use my epi. We also have 2 RN's on staff. One is the school nurse. The other is a 5th grade teacher (changed jobs)
Since all my reactions in the last 5 years have been through touch - any new co-worker or friend gets an quick course in don't touch me (I also react to soaps/chemicals on people's hands)

Posted on: Fri, 06/16/2006 - 9:32am
princesshinmighty's picture
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Joined: 04/27/2002 - 09:00

I work from home now, so I haven't had to train my co-workers, just my b/f -- but he's been trained from the beginning.
I have just been applying and interviewing at some new companies. When they ask me what I don't like about a traditional work environment, my statement is always an educational statement about allergies and shared equipment/spaces.
When I was working in an office environment before, I constantly was talking to people about the allergies, and letting them know what signs to watch for. I didn't carry my epi-pen for a while (expired - no health ins. to see a new doctor), so I didn't bother to train them on that. I had my own cabinets for food, and most people were accomodating (except the halloween candy in the office ordeal) most of the time. I was pretty diligent about cleaning my phone & keyboard before I used them.
They all knew the signs to watch for and where I kept my benedryl...and of course if I started to have problems to call 9-1-1 without even thinking about it.
If I get/take this new job, you can bet the first thing I will tell HR & my co-workers/supervisors, is about my problems with peanuts & other allergens, how to make sure that I'm taken care of, as well as instructions to administer epi-pens and call 9-1-1...And of course, restrictions about who can use the same computer system as myself. I've already mentioned in my initial telephone interview, my concerns with returning to a in-building job.

Posted on: Sat, 06/17/2006 - 7:43am
iansmom's picture
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Joined: 07/26/2001 - 09:00

Absolutely!
I don't have life-threatening allergies, but my best friend is anaphylactic to latex and has almost died on several occasions because of it. One of her more recent reactions happened at work, and onset was so severe that she was unable to use her EpiPen on herself before she collapsed. Fortunately, she had briefed her coworkers on what to do, and had her Epi in her desk with a bright label on the outside of the drawer. A coworker managed to inject her with the Epi and call 911, but if she hadn't had the foresight to train people she works with, she probably would have died.

Posted on: Mon, 06/19/2006 - 10:10am
princesshinmighty's picture
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Joined: 04/27/2002 - 09:00

I just had an interview today (and got hired for the job - pending background & drug test) and the first thing out of my mouth with each person I interviewed with was "I have a severely fatal peanut allergy" and talked over the special requests that I would need to make to make sure my work environment was safe for me. They were really understanding and helpful and sound like they will be accomodating for me.
I have 2 other job interviews this week, for different companies (jobs I'd prefer over the one I was conditionally offered today) so I will make sure to educate their HR depts about the allergies and my fear of working in a "public" environment with shared equipment. (except I might withhold a little bit of it from the airline I'm interviewing with -- then hit them with it once I am liked [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] hehe)

Posted on: Mon, 06/19/2006 - 10:47am
cathlina's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

My entire work floor is peanut free. I didn't even ask for it. When the human resource dept. found out about it, they initiated the accommodation.

Posted on: Mon, 06/19/2006 - 10:48am
cathlina's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

My entire work floor is peanut free. I didn't even ask for it. When the human resource dept. found out about my PA, they initiated the accommodation.

Posted on: Mon, 07/10/2006 - 5:25am
misaok's picture
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Joined: 11/28/2005 - 09:00

My workplace knows about it. We have birthday parties each month and they still continue to serve peanuts, cookies with nuts, etc. I walked in one day and could smell the peanuts. Ended up using my epi-pen and running to the doctor. Work made me use sick time because of it. I don't attend any of the celebrations anymore.
Unfortunately, not everyone is understanding. They think I am over reacting and just don't like peanuts and nuts.

Posted on: Mon, 07/10/2006 - 6:06am
ajgauthier's picture
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Joined: 04/13/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by misaok:
[b]My workplace knows about it. We have birthday parties each month and they still continue to serve peanuts, cookies with nuts, etc. I walked in one day and could smell the peanuts. Ended up using my epi-pen and running to the doctor. Work made me use sick time because of it. I don't attend any of the celebrations anymore.
Unfortunately, not everyone is understanding. They think I am over reacting and just don't like peanuts and nuts.[/b]
wow! Here's a little information if you want to investigate and pursue the issue.
Just like how you read on here about schools making provisions and accomodations for PA kids...the same goes for the workplace with PA adults. Every place I've worked, the human resources director/manager has told me that b/c of my "illness/condition" that the workplace is liable to make the environment safe for me. If that means, no peanuts around, it means no peanuts around. It's like making a work environment handicapped accesible with ramps and elevators. The peanut allergy can be (and usually is) covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. You could also consider it harassment if your workplace or coworkers do not comply with no peanuts.
Considering you had a severe enough airborne reaction to warrant and epi and trip to the ER, you can prove you "aren't making it up", that "it's real and is a real safety concern"
You should contact you HR Director if you haven't already. Try to search online for the correct laws so you can go in well informed.
I've never had a problem with a workplace, everyone has been accomodating. Sorry to hear you are having a problem.
Adrienne
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30-something survivor of severe peanut/tree nut allergy

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