Strained back...

  1. Now I've gone and done it...For most of the time I've been working nights...we have not had an aide...I was working on the Oncology side and have since gotten switched to the Medical side of the floor. We average 6-7 pts a night.

    Well Mon nite...had 20 pts on the floor and 4 nurses, no aides due to none available...whoopee... thought it was going to be a good nite with 5 pts each...well most pts on the floor were total care types...3 of my pts fit that category...so needless to say I was changing them all night long...which I was proud to say I did all by myself...I always try to remember to use proper body mechanics, as well as possible in our tiny rooms... and I did get another nurse to help me pull them up in the bed, when they needed to be. So when it was time to go home...I can honestly say I was worn out...lower back felt tired...but no biggie, didn't think anything about it....went home...stayed up to do errands and take mother-in-law to the grocery store...then went home and took a nap about 2 pm...back still felt tired, but really no pain, woke up fixed dinner, etc...took ibuprofen when I went to bed...later in the night started having muscle spasms and couldn't get comfortable...took more ibuprofen.

    Woke up next morning...I was really stiff in lower back and it was hard for me to get out of bed...I was unable to walk straight, do any type of bend, pull, push, reach movement without feeling pain...I tried to move all through the day, rather than stay in bed...hoping it would work itself out...it didn't...I made an appt with my Dr who is a DO for an adj...but of course couldn't get in with him until next Wed....went to bed last night...took some flexeril I had for my neck...I was able to get a good nights sleep...but felt the same way this morning....so called Dr back, because didn't know if I should try to make it to work tonight or if that would just do more harm...Dr got me an appt for this afternoon...

    Now I have the pleasure of calling my mgr to tell her what has happened... I feel like she thinks I'm a total basket case already...I've been there 8 months...had to take 3 days off for father-in-laws funeral, 2 days off for the flu and now who knows how long for this...I'm starting to think maybe God is trying to show me a sign...that this hospital stuff is just not for me...I already feel like I am such a whiner and weakling.

    Thanks for letting me vent....Anybody else strain their backs...
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   RNLisa
    WOW, you sound JUST like me, I too had a strained back within the first 5 months of being at my job as a new grad. I strained it helping a very confused tall man back to bed after he stood at the side of it totally naked (had a bed alarm on too). I was off for a week and was going for therapy for 2 months. I am not completely better, but better none the less. I too was off for the flu myself, off for my son being sick and then I was off again just last week for the stomach flu. I am so scared of getting sick again or something else happening to cause me to have to ask for time off again. This year hasn't been a good one for me and my family as far as illness goes. I think alot of it is that I haven't built up my immune system yet, working in a hospital be exposed to C-diff, pneumonia, bronchitis, MRSA, etc. etc. I see it every darn day I work, either my patients have C-diff or pneumonia the majority of time.

    The thing is, if we show up for work and we are sick, they end up sending us home and we can get into trouble if we do that. So, I am damned.

    So, I know how you feel.

    Good luck with your back. OH< and my place of employment doesn't accept chiropractors as doctors excuses. That sucks.
  4. by   jamonit
    switch to peds! haha, no, i'm sorry you hurt your back. see if you can get into some physical therapy, or get a balance ball and a yoga tape and when you are feeling better, do your best to work on strengthening your core and staying flexible.

    i hope you feel better fast!
  5. by   blueiwahine
    My Dr is a DO...and he does adjustments too...so if they don't accept it...oh well...I plan on telling them I quit anyway after I see the Dr again...I'm still feeling stiff. I know my mgr is freaking thinking I'm going to file workermans comp on her...I'm probably the fool for not doing it...but just don't want to deal with the hassle of it all.

    I do have a yoga ball and have started to try to stretch with it...thinking about getting a personal trainer to help strengthen my stomach/back muscles. I've been wanting to get back in shape...just never had the time...I guess this is my excuse to just do it.

    I don't think I want to go back to work in a hospital...I'm 43 and don't want to take the chance of hurting my back again...the hospital is not going to change...they'll just continue to work us short handed and expect us to just take it...Luckily I don't have to depend on this job...yeah will hurt not getting a regular paycheck...but my back health is more important than that.
  6. by   RNLisa
    Quote from blueiwahine
    My Dr is a DO...and he does adjustments too...so if they don't accept it...oh well...I plan on telling them I quit anyway after I see the Dr again...I'm still feeling stiff. I know my mgr is freaking thinking I'm going to file workermans comp on her...I'm probably the fool for not doing it...but just don't want to deal with the hassle of it all.

    I do have a yoga ball and have started to try to stretch with it...thinking about getting a personal trainer to help strengthen my stomach/back muscles. I've been wanting to get back in shape...just never had the time...I guess this is my excuse to just do it.

    I don't think I want to go back to work in a hospital...I'm 43 and don't want to take the chance of hurting my back again...the hospital is not going to change...they'll just continue to work us short handed and expect us to just take it...Luckily I don't have to depend on this job...yeah will hurt not getting a regular paycheck...but my back health is more important than that.

    I'm with ya Sista!! LOL My husband has more than once told me to quit, he says he doesn't like seeing me miserable and unhappy with going to work. I keep thinking that if I quit without anything to go to, I may never go back to work. I stick it out and hope to find something better, even if it is less money, money isn't the most important factor. My health, back health, and sanity is way more important.

    Good luck to you!
  7. by   blueiwahine
    My husband says the same thing...he's tired of me coming home looking like I've been run over with a Mac truck....lol
  8. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    Quote from jamonit
    switch to peds! haha
    I work peds and have a back problem, so that's not the answer either. Find an employer who values their staff enough to provide adequate staffing, appropriate assistive devices and access to preventive back care strategies. Although truth be told, a back injury can happen at any time in any environment
    when a sudden event required action without time to properly plan.
  9. by   Indy
    This is going to sound pedantic, but never, ever hurt yourself at work without filing workman's comp! Does your facility have an "employee health" section? Go there. I hurt my back 8 months into my job and wowee, it wasn't fun! It was a little more acute than your injury, because I knew it by the end of the shift; I was in tears. So off to the ER I go, script for skelaxin is what I got; off to employee health next where they gave me tips on healing, an ice pack and some sympathy. They also called my manager for me, and told her I'd be on light duty. Fortunately I had a bunch of days off right afterwards by a fluke in scheduling, so it worked out nicely. Lots of laying around on an icepack is what I got, and very little housework was done.

    I don't know what the facility's policy is on reporting injuries, but if they give you flack about it, go to Human resources and make sure they know it was reported when it was felt. Not all back injuries are acute but they can still be a problem. Good luck to you.
  10. by   RNLisa
    I had worked on a sunday, helped that confused patient back to bed, no pain, didn't even know my back was hurt until the next day in the evening. I think that my manager thought I was going to claim workers comp, but I didn't think I could since it didn't start to hurt until the next evening. I really couldn't prove it, but I know that is what happened.
  11. by   All_Smiles_RN
    when it happened to me (straining my back assisting a morbidly obese pt in bed), i didn't feel it either until the next day when i woke up. my dr told me it's common with back strains not to feel them as soon as they happen. i hemmed and hawed about going down to employee health (scared of the the workers comp stigma?) but i did a few days later. i was feeling better at that point and would be able to return to work soon.

    As a side note, the pain grew so bad for a few days that I could barely walk. Crying from the pain. Couldn't hold my infant son... But with ice packs and sitting on hard furniture only coupled with proper body mechanics and motrin, it improved over the course of a few days.

    I'm much more cautious now, always ask for assistance. And always helping my techs and other nurses. We have to look out for one another.

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