Disabled nurses - page 2

Are there any other disabled nurses out there? I have become disabled r/t back problems this past year. NO help even after two back surgeries. I feel so isolated because the people that I had for... Read More

  1. by   sberrn
    I have done most of the above just waiting, that is what is so frustrating. Do you mind telling me how long it took you to finally settle with your insurance company and for how long will they continue.
    Sorry to ask, mine at the moment are very sporadic but the case has not yet gone to court. It is expected to before the end of the year, in the meantime I cannot even get a proper wheelchair.
    Where you able to file for ssdi while the case was ongoing with workers comp.
  2. by   Valanda
    Just a quick thought that crossed my mind.

    Have you considered writing? I've heard many people say that they wish people understood what work is really like for a nurse. Your comments on here seem to be well thought out and writing about what you have experienced may make you feel still a part of nursing and perhaps even give you reason to contact other nurses to keep up bit of commeraderie.

    Many times i've thought of collecting all the little stories that have happened to myself and other nurses and writing a book, but with full time work and 2 disabled children at home I'll never have the time.
  3. by   sberrn
    My daughter had suggested that several times as she just saw this she once again said I should. Thank you it is most definatly something to think about. I really had never talked about my situation before and this is the first site I have found for nurses.
  4. by   woody62
    Quote from sberrn
    I have done most of the above just waiting, that is what is so frustrating. Do you mind telling me how long it took you to finally settle with your insurance company and for how long will they continue.
    Sorry to ask, mine at the moment are very sporadic but the case has not yet gone to court. It is expected to before the end of the year, in the meantime I cannot even get a proper wheelchair.
    Where you able to file for ssdi while the case was ongoing with workers comp.
    Sure, I'll share. I was first inuried in late January of 1988. I had a percutanous discectomy in May, which failed four days later. It took a hearing, a second opinion, and a judge to get the open laminectomy done. On January 30, 1989 when returning from a doctor's appointment, I was hit by a big rig. Because I was hit by a rig, returning from a doctor's appointment, my WC carrer was responsible for my bills, all of them. I spent the next seven years in and out of hearings, getting authorizations for surgeries and treatments. I finally had enough and asked my attorney to talk to them about a settlement. My case was settled in June of 1996. I got a sizable lump of up front money, as well as an annuity for life. The carrier spent 1.5 million dollars on my care and treatment, plus fighting every little thing that my doctors wanted for me. I was fortunate in that I had doctors who I had previously worked with and who cared about me. I am particularly thankful for Drs. Kaler and Neulle. They saved my left arm and leg and reconstructed my leg so that I was eventually able to walk once again.

    Pete, my attorney has gotten out of WC because of the changes in the law in 2003. The insurance companies were able to convince the state legislature that all the safe guards protecting workers cost too much and were not worth it.


    I do not know the extent of your education. Florida does have a Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. I would check with them, as to what they could help you with to return to some type of employment. Unfortunately, our profession is not very supportive of nurses that are injuried on the job.

    Good luck
    Woody
  5. by   Daytonite
    Quote from sberrn
    it has been 3 years for me. there is no help that i have not tried to get the most is trying to find someway of working from home. that i still have to find. any suggestions??
    i had a ruptured disc and surgery made my back problem worse. i cannot perform clinical nursing anymore. what i did was go back to community college and study medical coding and health information management (used to be called medical records). this field has greatly expanded and jobs are expected to greatly increase as medicare becomes a more important force in payment of services. medical coders who have a national certification from ahima (american health information management association http://www.ahima.org/ ) can make the same or more than an rn and many coders work from home. i worked for a couple of years for a large group of emergency room physicians and most of the coders worked from their homes and only came into the office twice a week to pick up and drop off charts they were coding and/or for monthly staff meetings. we also received biannual bonuses based on the profit made by the doctor's group as a whole. it was a very nice job to have indeed. as more charts are able to be put into computers electronically, coding can be done online so that more people will not only work from home, but from other states. there is a bit of a shortage of experienced coders and there are agencies (just like nursing agencies) that provide prn coders at huge hourly wages. i just attended a state convention where several of these national agencies were trying to recruit coders. with an aa degree in health information management you can supervise or manage the billing or collection of physician or hospital bills, work as a medical staff services professional and in a number of specialized areas such as birth and death certificate registries and tumor registries. hipaa and the computerized medical records has also opened many new job opportunities because of confidentiality issues in both medical records and billing that directly relates to the health information management departments of large facilities. just a warning, however, that the education and preparation for these careers needs to be done at community colleges that are accredited by ahima and not through vocational schools or study at home courses that like to advertise these careers on tv and radio. if you already have an rn or lpn you will most likely be able to use your previous nursing training to satisfy the pre-requisites of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and medical terminology that are usually required for this course of study. you will also be very valued as a worker with that kind of clinical background in this kind of work. it is a field you might consider--the other side, the business side, of what you have been doing clinically. i have not found it to be boring at all, but just as thought provoking and stimulating as clinical nursing was. you are primarily dealing with the documentation that has been provided by physicians, and, believe me, there are many rules they have to follow so that facilities get maximum payment from insurance companies, medicare and medicaid. and, the medical coders and health information management people are the ones advising the doctors and facilities how this is best done. like nursing, you won't typically see these kinds of jobs posted in the sunday classifieds because of the specialized training required to do them.
  6. by   pagandeva2000
    I wish to offer you hugs as well. I have an aunt that decided to work from home in medical billing. She receives the insurance claims at her home and she does whatever she does with them (not sure what it is). She is a BSN graduate and just decided she didn't wish to work in nursing anymore. I wonder if this can be a consideration to you. ((Hugs to you and hope your pain becomes reduced)).
  7. by   pagandeva2000
    what a coincidence; had i kept reading before i posted, i would have seen this. i took inital courses in icd-9 and procedure codes before i entered nursing school. i didn't complete the rest of the course. i am not injured, but i do know some nurses that branched into this. i may even consider this for myself. thanks for sharing this!!:spin:


    Quote from daytonite
    i had a ruptured disc and surgery made my back problem worse. i cannot perform clinical nursing anymore. what i did was go back to community college and study medical coding and health information management (used to be called medical records). this field has greatly expanded and jobs are expected to greatly increase as medicare becomes a more important force in payment of services. medical coders who have a national certification from ahima (american health information management association http://www.ahima.org/ ) can make the same or more than an rn and many coders work from home. i worked for a couple of years for a large group of emergency room physicians and most of the coders worked from their homes and only came into the office twice a week to pick up and drop off charts they were coding and/or for monthly staff meetings. we also received biannual bonuses based on the profit made by the doctor's group as a whole. it was a very nice job to have indeed. as more charts are able to be put into computers electronically, coding can be done online so that more people will not only work from home, but from other states. there is a bit of a shortage of experienced coders and there are agencies (just like nursing agencies) that provide prn coders at huge hourly wages. i just attended a state convention where several of these national agencies were trying to recruit coders. with an aa degree in health information management you can supervise or manage the billing or collection of physician or hospital bills, work as a medical staff services professional and in a number of specialized areas such as birth and death certificate registries and tumor registries. hipaa and the computerized medical records has also opened many new job opportunities because of confidentiality issues in both medical records and billing that directly relates to the health information management departments of large facilities. just a warning, however, that the education and preparation for these careers needs to be done at community colleges that are accredited by ahima and not through vocational schools or study at home courses that like to advertise these careers on tv and radio. if you already have an rn or lpn you will most likely be able to use your previous nursing training to satisfy the pre-requisites of anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and medical terminology that are usually required for this course of study. you will also be very valued as a worker with that kind of clinical background in this kind of work. it is a field you might consider--the other side, the business side, of what you have been doing clinically. i have not found it to be boring at all, but just as thought provoking and stimulating as clinical nursing was. you are primarily dealing with the documentation that has been provided by physicians, and, believe me, there are many rules they have to follow so that facilities get maximum payment from insurance companies, medicare and medicaid. and, the medical coders and health information management people are the ones advising the doctors and facilities how this is best done. like nursing, you won't typically see these kinds of jobs posted in the sunday classifieds because of the specialized training required to do them.
  8. by   sberrn
    Thank you very much for sharing. I have been given the run around for the past nine months. I finally received a wheelchair recently, however the wc are trying everything to prevent me from getting the care that I need and my lawyer is trying but it just seems to be an endless battle.
    I have a very good physician, however they are denying me acess, even though I have been certified disabled and unable to carry out the love of my life. I can no longer drive and I was a flight and ER nurse amounst other things.
    Appointments have been made and the carrier has not forwarded my files to the appropriate people. Is there anything that I can do.
    All help would be greatly appreciated. Once again thank you.:smiley_ab
  9. by   sberrn
    Do they accept people in wheelchairs
  10. by   Daytonite
    We have wonderful HIM (health information management) instructors. They have told us that there is a large population of disabled workers in the coding and HIM profession. These are basically desk jobs, although not all are. There are some disabled nurses and other healthcare workers who have found their way into this profession. When I worked as a coder, I was sitting for hours at a time just reading doctor's dictation and turning their medical diagnoses and procedures into numbered codes that would be fed into a computer that generated the bills for payment. As a home coder you can code any time of the day or night as long you get your required number of charts coded. A "chart" consists of a doctor's dictation of his encounter and treatment of the patient along with the face sheet and maybe a nurses documentation sheet, an x-ray report or lab results--not the complete chart. Coding is just one specialty within HIM. It is the most well-known because it is so vital to the payment of healthcare services. However, there are other specialties within HIM. I was particularly interested in medical staff services in which you can also get a national certification. It involves being a good communicator and writer and assisting the medical staff of a facility carry out their administrative duties (committee meetings and writing of minutes, credentialing people who want to join the medical staff, keeping track of meeting agendas, knowing the medical staff bylaws). I was not aware until recently how important the birth and death statistics were, or who handled them--HIM professionals. These statistics are not only sent to government agencies, but to worldwide agencies that maintain birth and death statistics (which is how ICD coding came to exist). This is a whole other side to healthcare that the clinical community often knows nothing about. There is no required licensing, but to be at the "top" in these careers you independently obtain certification. Certification will get you better pay and better positions.

    What has interested me, in particular, since studying my HIM classes, is finding out what I believe is the true reason for the formation of NANDA (North American Nursing Diagnosis Association). Since I was a big care plan writer (I know, barf, barf), I was particularly interested to find that all the NANDA crap, and that includes the NOC outcomes and NIC intervention junk have been given code numbers (just like all the medical diagnosis and procedures have). Because the medical record is being turned into electronic storage and a care plan by Medicare law is required in every chart, the care plan had to be reduced to numbered computer data. Interesting. I've talked with my HIM instructors about a possible career as an HIM professional who has expertise in care plan writing. Still, clinical nurses don't know the impact of this on their practice and every time I try to explain it as I understand it, I get flamed.
  11. by   sberrn
    I was injured at work in 2005.
    Long story short, initially incident reports where not filed.
    Finally I got an attorney and thought that it would help but so far so so. I have complete c-spine degeneration, herniated discs in t4-5 5-6 and lumbar disc degeneration.
    I am in a wheel chair a lot of the time. My employer basically does not give a hoot.
    However,what really gets to me is that I have really had no assisstance from workers comp and they have not fullfilled any obligations as far as my care goes and basically I am paying out of pocket to have therapy and pain management,
    On top of which they have not paid me in months stating that I have reach maximum medical improvement, when there are still procedures that need to be done.
    I would like to know if you have any suggestions for me as at this point my attorney just keeps saying that I have to wait.
    It has been 9 months since I have had any proper medical care and my condition only seems to be getting worse.
    It seems there is no one to turn to.
    I have spent my life in nursing and really did not think that this would be the way a caring profession would treat their own, but how mistaken I have been.
    Are there any ways to get what is needed in a timely fashion, my patience is running thin and I am alone so it is very dangerous for me.
    Is there an advocate for this sort of behaviour, as I am really at this point ready to fight to get what I need and hopefully get some functionality back.
    I spend most of my days in bed in pain and I am unable to walk due to now developing periphral neuropathy, a very unsteady gait and weakness.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    I live in florida by the way, if that makes any difference.
    Again thank you.
  12. by   woody62
    Quote from sberrn
    Thank you very much for sharing. I have been given the run around for the past nine months. I finally received a wheelchair recently, however the wc are trying everything to prevent me from getting the care that I need and my lawyer is trying but it just seems to be an endless battle.
    I have a very good physician, however they are denying me acess, even though I have been certified disabled and unable to carry out the love of my life. I can no longer drive and I was a flight and ER nurse amounst other things.
    Appointments have been made and the carrier has not forwarded my files to the appropriate people. Is there anything that I can do.
    All help would be greatly appreciated. Once again thank you.:smiley_ab
    I believe the insurance company has forty-five days to comply with the request for copies of their files. And a lot of them wait until the forty-fifth day to send them out. I need a second opinion, at their insistence, following a failed percutanous discectomy. We had a hearing and the Judge gave them up til the end of November to get me seen or I could have the surgery. They waited until a week before their time was up. I got the second opinion and the doctor doing it,, wanted to know why I hadn't had the surgery yet. I told him to ask the insurance company, which he did. And I got cleared for it a short time later.

    Woody
  13. by   sberrn
    Is there anyone out there that can help me. I have been battling with workers compensation for the past nine months to get the basic of medical care for an injury I received while working.
    At this point in time I am wheelchair bound and unable to get any assistance past a case manager that has done nothing for me. He was able to go on vacation while my file sat on his desk.
    In my career I have done everything and anything to ensure that patients got the care they required, no questions. That was my job and I did what I could to make sure that no one had to suffer or be refused on any basis what so ever.
    Now I find the shoe is on the other foot and I feel very helpless.
    No one and especially not the case manager I have works for me.
    As I have been told they have a quota and the physicians we are sent to have guidelines.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on a complaint route or if it is even possible because I am disgusted with what is happening to me, but more importantly do not want to see it continue happening to other health care professionals.
    All suggestions will be looked into as I really am trying to find a way to be heard, sooner rather than later.
    Thank you in advance.

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