British Lung Foundation
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Bronchiectasis and work

Hello, I've finally ( I say this because it's taken years) been diagnosed with early stage bronchiectasis. I was just wondering what kind of thing people do for work with similar conditions? I am in training to work within healthcare at the moment but I'm not sure whether I should follow a career path that involves quite so many people....Very confused. Any advice would be fab, thanks.x

8 Replies

I don't think it would prevent you from working in healthcare. But later on when your bronch is more established it may not be in your best interest to be in an environment where you are exposed to infections.


Not sure the way this has been described for you, I had a CT scan for something else 3 years ago and they found a very small area affected by Bronchietasis, I have not been bothered by it only once in 3 years did I have a usual winter chest infection which is very lucky so far.I have a spiro test every 12 months at the GP and nothing else to do. Are you expecting things to get much worse ? This should not stop you getting on with a normal life mine came from the kids whooping cough so don't panic and go forward with plans if your able too. Good luck .


Hi GemLD,

You can follow whatever your heart desires. I've had Bronchiectasis all of my life and worked until 2009.

This is not an infectious disease, it's caused by damage to your lungs through other illness - usually pneumonia. Until the last couple of years it has never stopped me doing anything, only now age is catching up with me and added emphysema (my own fault through smoking) to my problems, making breathing while walking a problem. I've had 3 children, travelled the world, driven almost every type of vehicle you can name and helped in house demolition and building - so you see, it's no biggy - do what you want for as long as you can, and enjoy! By the way I'm a female (in case you are wondering?) :o)

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If it not affecting your life a great deal now go for what you want to do now. As earlier posts have said once it becomes a problem (if it does) then you will probably be in a more senior position and be able to be in a less infect able environment.

I moved from a very physical job to IT before my lungs and other conditions stopped that. Adapt is the way forward.


Hi Gem. I remember your post a few months ago and not surprised at your bronch diagnosis. With the right meds and only limited lung damage you can certainly feel well, and pretty much carry on as normal. But you will need to take extra care not to catch infections - flu jabs, hand washing, First Defence spray, vitamins etc... I know other posters have encouraged you to carry on with a healthcare role, but I would say think about exactly what you will be doing. Some jobs will clearly expose you to more infectious people than others. Good luck.

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If you are truly passionate about wanting to work in Healthcare then go for it - don't let your condition dictate your life. If, however, you would be equally happy with some other career then give it careful consideration - as monkey65 says an alternative career choice could be less hazardous infection-wise. Then again you might fall under a bus.................? Decisions, decisions!


Oh thanks for all your great replies - really helpful and made me feel a lot better, thankyou. I'm going to have a long hard think about my options and see what the best thing for me to do is....and yes, there may indeed be a bus waiting for me!ha.

Going to speak to my personal tutor tomorrow and see what the deal is. I'll let you know....x

p.s Good memory Monkey65!


Good luck today - hope you get some clarification from your tutor.

Sorry you have bronchiectasis but really pleased for you that it is mild. I too have had bronch from babyhood caused by whooping cough followed by double pneumonia and much later had measles - so a double whammy. My bronch has always been quite severe although I have not been colonised until the last few years.

I have done pretty much most things but I would be lying if I said sometimes things weren't a struggle. When I was a teenager the nursing sister I had always had whilst in hospital as a youngster asked me if I would take up nursing and I know a young female doctor was a bronchiectatic. I didn't.

I don't think having mild bronch should preclude you from healthcare but do feel a lot of thought needs to go into the area you wish to work in. I would defo not dream of going into respiratory - too many chances of cross contamination. Whilst it is true we are generally not infectious to the fit and well, but have lung damage, care should be taken around immune compromised people when we have an active infection.

I wish you well in whatever you decide sweet. You may find it helpful to talk to the folks on Bronchiectasis R Us, some of whom have worked in the health sector. Everyone on there has bronch and, as here, they are a lovely friendly, helpful bunch.

Good luck

Love cx


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