Q. I recently discovered I'm pregnant. How do I protect myself and my baby from work-related hazards?
"First, review your employee manual to determine who you're required to tell about your happy event," says Christine Merle,
DVM, MBA, CVPM, a practice management consultant with Brakke Consulting in Dallas. Your practice should quickly address potential
hazards and discuss your work options to continue working in your current position or another.
She also recommends using protective equipment, such as eye, face, and hand protection, and safety shoes to eliminate exposure
and make some procedures safe to perform. Proper hand-washing and wearing gloves will reduce your risk of exposure to chemicals
and biologic agents. And remember to show your own doctor a copy of your practice's hazard assessment of workplace conditions
and job description. He or she can advise you on additional safety considerations.
"If changes occur during your pregnancy and you can't meet the terms of your agreement with your practice, approach your manager
to discuss your options for accommodation or pregnancy leave," Dr. Merle says.