Disabled nurses

  1. 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 friends at the LTC where I worked do not have the time to call and talk to me. I really miss nursing. I had worked in nursing for 26 years and loved working in my job as MDS coordinator. However, due to my backpain and meds I am on, my doctors told me that I would be unable to work in nursing or anywhere else for that matter. Would love to hear how others with this problem are handling this.
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   itsme
    How about nurse education, or like an inservice coordinator? I am lucky and thankful i have never had a back injury, but I know some people who have. Good luck in what ever you decide to do!
  4. by   nightingale
    I remember the isolation I felt when I left my office job of 13 years to stay home with my children. I just missed the hustle and bustle so.. I could not understand why I did not get to stay in touch with my long time friends... I had to reinventate myself....

    Find something new; work, volounteer, go to the library... follow your heart and find new interests. Use those wonderful nursing skills (still) for the greater good of man (and woman)...

    Good luck to you and let us know how you progress...
    Last edit by nightingale on Feb 22, '03
  5. by   sjoe
    I assume you have been screened by your state rehab agency and have made use of their programs.
  6. by   P_RN
    I am in that category. It's been 3 years now. Once you reach a certain age, the state programs don't necessarily put you terribly high on their list.
  7. by   mattsmom81
    I don't understand why you cannot still do MDS. Is your employer blocking your efforts to do this job? MDS was one of the mostly paperwork jobs I was considering learning after I was first injured and unable to lift. Is your pain so bad that you cannot continue to do this? Can the doc not control your pain enough that you could continue to do this part time somewhere?

    There is a lot of prejudice out there with injured nurses and nobody seems to want us after we've been hurt. It has been a long road back for me. But I rehabbed my way back to part time agency work, with God's help and a good doctor in my corner.

    I wish I knew more about your situation and could be more helpful. Please PM if you want to talk. There are lots of injured and disabled nurses in this forum, and I have been one of the luckier ones. Many here have had to go on permanent disability, and have had to fight to get their due. Sad but true after so many years of service to the community.

    Best wishes and post often.
  8. by   Disablednurse
    With the meds I am on for pain control and the fact that I cannot sit for longer than 20 minutes without severe pain, there is no job that I can do. Against regs for me to work taking the pain meds I have to take for pain control and they do not completely relieve the pain. I am in pain constantly.
  9. by   llg
    I'm not sure if it will be of any help ... but there is a relatively new website for disabled nurses. It's called exceptionalnurse.com, I believe. It has links to lots of other sites. Perhaps one will help you.

    Good luck,
    llg
  10. by   mattsmom81
    I am always saddened to hear of another nurse who has become disabled. I don't understand why facilities can get away with discriminating against a nurse receiving pain control, because a nurse is not' impaired' or 'disabled' automatically, even if she is taking narcotics for pain. Patients have rights to pain control. Wonder if this has been challenged legally?

    I don't know if the ADA covers chronic pain management but it might be worth a shot to check. Other nurses here have been through this and I hope they contact you and can give you some good advice.

    Hope your pain becomes more manageable. (((HUGS)))
  11. by   abnurse
    I know where you, I was there for 2 1/2 years. I am happy to say I am now drug and pain free. I had a neuorolgical stimulator implant put in and feel great. Visit www.medtronic.com. It will give you your life back as a nurse. Chronic pain is like a ghost, others can't see it and only you can feel it. I am "permanently disabled" but able to work with minimal restrictions...lifting. I just ask for help. I hope you feel better soon. Good Luck!
    Last edit by abnurse on Feb 24, '03
  12. by   RED_ALERT37
    I totally relate to you missing work. I have been out of work for 3 years now, after losing both my legs below the knee to a Beta Hemelytic Strep Infection. One thing I have learned about Nursing tho... there are so many opportunities to work. I am hoping after I learn how to be a stilt walker to get back into some avenue of nursing.... Dont give up and keep up the faith in yourself.:kiss
  13. by   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??
  14. by   woody62
    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??
    Unfortunately, you were injuried after September, 2003. And here in Florida, our legislature gutted the Workers Comp laws. You no longer qualify for retraining and your employer does not have to take you back, nor is the second injury fund still in effect. I hope you applied for and are receiving SSDI. I was injuried in 1988 and qualified under the 1980 law. Even so, I had a rough time. I finally settled with my insurance company and get a monthly payment, which when added to my SSDI, allows me to live a life.

    I would suggest going back to school but there is no public university in your part of our wonderful state. Have you looked into teaching a a Vo-tech? They generally only require a BSN.

    Woody

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