HELP Recyle disabled nurses - page 4

I know that I am not the only nurse who is no longer working as a nurse due to a back injury. In the US, OSHA requires that you be able to lift 50 lbs to work on the floor as a nurse. I can't. My... Read More

  1. by   mercykitten
    Discarded APN:
    Welcome to this thread. I believe that it is a support to those in our position, justhaving a place to vent and ask questions.
    I am not on SSD....still working but watching heart monitors. Two places to check for help with SSD would be the LTD company (since it is in their best interest for you to proceed) and Human Resources at your employer (they should have a person who could be of some help).
    Hang in there. I know things are tough. I still have my job but took a big paycut (probably about as equivlant as the 40 percent you lost). If nothing else, we can work together (which this thread is the start of, I hope) to make things better for other injuried nurses.
  2. by   discarded APN
    Mercykitten,

    Thank you for your reply. I know that the LTD company will help me get the SSD. It just feels like giving up, if I go for it then I'm just accepting the fact that I'll never work again. I know there are things that I can do. I could present lectures through the University where I taught nursing about "How to Protect Yourself from Your Employer". (just kidding or maybe not)

    Just need to know if the SSD is worth it. After seeing how employers treat nurses in general and disabled nurses in particular, I just don't know who to trust anymore.

    I'm glad I found this thread. There really is safety in numbers.
    It's great to talk with people who really understand because they've been there, done that. Now we just need the t-shirt.
  3. by   mercykitten
    discarded APN:
    Ever heard the one "life is a journey" ....and something else about the "friends we pick up on the way."
    Don't think of going on SSD as giving up, but as part of the journey. Just because you're in Michigan doesn't mean you can't make it back to Kansas. But you might have to be in Michigan (on SSD) for a while.....
    As you are in Michigan and on the journey back (to working) it is the friends you make, the people you meet and the process inside yourself that makes it worthwhile and also helps develope you in the way you need to go.
    For instance, I am considering going toward Peds. Because my husband and I have not been able to have children, I couldn't do that earlier. I wasn't crying outside or inside, but I needed time to get to this point. Do you understand?
    I want to say here also, that faith in the Lord is the biggest help in any difficult area of life. Maybe that would be a subject for another thread.
  4. by   discarded APN
    Mercykitten:

    Thank you. Yes I've heard that "Life is a Journey" sometimes we just get tired of tripping over the rocks in the road. I'm finding more help, support and encouragement from people on this board than I have from people I worked with. Amazing how fast they can disappear when the going gets rough.

    Peds is a great area to work in. I've done most of my 16 years in nursing in Peds. I know what you mean about being able to get to that level where you can think about working peds. I applaud you for getting there. I know how difficult it can be to work in an area that holds such a personal stake for you. That could be another thread too. I wish you the best in that pursuit. Take care.
  5. by   live4today
    Nursing has yet to respect its' 'healthy' staff, let alone its' 'injured staff' even if our injuries occur on the job. I am currently off trying to regain as much strength in my right arm due to a severe right arm injury suffered on the job five years ago. I was working agency at the time, so didn't have to worry about being 'let go' or anything, nor did I get to collect any monies for having given my right limb on the battlefield of nursing, either. For a few months, I collected medical insurance monies while I underwent extensive sports medicine treatment, but with the type of injury I sustained, it is always a re-occuring injury. Over the past 5 years, I have been in and out of physical therapy. Things got so bad, I went for counseling. Today, I am determined to re-enter the field of nursing sometime in the near future because this damn good nurse is NOT going to let her education and training go to waste!

    I use to be a CNA Clinical Instructor which I loved, so perhaps that's an avenue us injured nurses can pursue. Have you given any consideration to being a CNA Instructor? If you can't do the Clinical side of the CNA training, opt to only be their Didactic Instructor in the classroom and college lab setting. Where there is a will there is a way! Best of everything to you!
  6. by   mercykitten
    I want to let everyone know how much I appreciate your responses. We have some good advice here, but more importantly, we are together in our difficulties. I no longer feel as alone with this problem. I am grateful that we can do positive things through this thread.
    Again as I have said before, although we cannot lift there are plenty of other nursing skills we have to offer. The nursing shortage is only going to worsen as the current nurses age and baby boomers enter their more needful medical years. At some point, the solutions to the shortage with have to take thinking outside the box, into parameters that will utilize nurses with disabilities, nurses who still have abilities. We all have a lot to offer.
    Actually we have been joking on my floor that we will never be able to retire. We'll be taking care of pts and ourselves, walking down the hall with our walkers and changing each others depends.
    Let us therefore continue to care for each other now, as we may be taking care of each other for the duration.
  7. by   Agnus
    Thank you for the education. I appologize for my pollyanna posts earlier. :imbar
    I believe all of us not just those who are disabled now need to become concerned and enlightened about this isssue. Because next week or month or year this could be me.

    This is a very upsetting issue that we only become aware of when we ourselves are in that situation.

    I am going to be following this thread closely to educate myself and others about this. What is happening to you is plain WRONG.

    I do not want to waite until I am in your shoes. Thank you!

    Respectfully
  8. by   mattsmom81
    Discarded, I have begun the process of applying for SSD and have many questions and concerns, as you do....on the application forms it asks about LTD monies and the like...they realize this will end. It takes months to get through the initial processing so everyone has told me to 'apply now' with the initial info, then go after the documentation in the months following. So...that is what I'm proceeding to do. Here's the link to the homepage and it leads to other forms, etc. and walks you through the app process, you can do the initial app online:

    www.ssa.gov

    I know of a nurse who has been on SSD for quite awhile and is finally getting assistance to return PT for her masters to teach and have gainful employment. She is allowed to make a small amount of money and still keep her benefits. Her state Rehab Association is assisting her. So....I know it isn't necessarily a dead end street...people do improve and return to school and work. There is also a nine month 'trial' work period where you continue to receive benefits while you see if you can hack work.

    It is interesting reading on this SSD site and I'm educating myself about SSD....gives me something to focus on.

    I am enjoying reading everyone's stories...maybe misery loves company ...LOL....but it feels good to not feel so alone.

    PS...I've been also having panic attacks on top of the pain and depression.....I finally saw someone for it yesterday so I'm dealing with that... actually thought I might be having a heart attack last night...panic attacks are not fun.......thank you all for your prayers!

    (((HUGS))) to all! And sorry so long...
  9. by   discarded APN
    mattsmom,

    Thank you for the encouragement. I think I'll give in and start that application process. My LTD company actually decided to pay for classes for work as a Legal Nurse Consultant. Something that I would be able to do from home. I'm almost through the program. We'll see how it works out.

    I have my MSN and experience in research (that was the job I had when I started my disablility leave), I was a clinical instructor in a BSN program, a contributing author for a textbook and a few other things along the way. The Occupational rehab consultant was trying to help me get a job with an insurance company and was told that I was overqualified. Other insurance companies looked promising. Funny how those jobs were no longer "office" jobs, but suddenly changed to require travel to patient homes and the doctor's offices to gather information on the patient's medical history. (I'm no longer able to drive) One of the things that this Occupational rehab consultant said that sticks in my mind was that hospitals and other health institutions were the least compassionate and the hardest to deal with when trying to help disabled employees. If this is how they treat "one of their own" makes you wonder how they treat others. But then again they can make money off the illnesses, injuries, disabilities, misfortunes of others without having to lay out a penny for sick leave, health insurance etc.

    I'm really sorry to hear about the pain you are in and the anxiety attacks and depression. You are in my thoughts and prayers. If there is any way that I can help you please let me know. Sometimes just someone to talk to who has been or is in the same/similar situation helps. Since I lost sensation and function in my lower extremities I no longer feel physical pain. The emotional pain is obviously hanging on. Our brains still work. We do have a lot to offer. I often wonder if the original authors of the ADA are aware of the holes that employers have shot through that disabilities act. Maybe our united group should find a way to contact the politicians responsible and see if they can help.

    (((HUGS))) Sorry, this ended up much longer than I had intended.
    Thanks for listening.
  10. by   kids
    I strongly suggest that any of the posters considering SSD start the application process ASAP...being approved for benefits can be a process that takes YEARS, especially if you are younger and or have advanced degrees or many years of experience...

    I gave up the fight due to finances.

    The good news is (for those who know my long sad tale)...with the weather warming up I walked thru a grocery shopping trip! (but did have to use 'the chair' for a marathon Walmart run).

    Every step is a step...
  11. by   mattsmom81
    Discarded, you are very brave, as are ALL the nurses who have shared their stories on this forum.

    Have any of you been to the AOL workplace forum for nurses? There is a forum within it for disabled nurses. The host is Doodles, who is not a nurse but she is a quad who counsels disabled clients and she has SO MUCH good info and support to offer! Perhaps this is a logical direction for us injured nurses...counseling injured/disabled clients. We'd be naturals.

    Just wanted to extend an invitation and hope this isn't construed as advertising...if so I apologize and please pull this, moderators!

    And Maahs, congrats on winning your SSD! I'm encouraged to hear of nurses who DO qualify, as I've heard from others SSA feels we have too much education and tends to deny us on that point alone...at this point I don't feel there is much work I could hack of ANY type, (mentally or physically) so I'm giving SSD a shot. I will keep you all updated, and hope ya'll will do the same as I'm interested in all of you....as we 'continue life's journey' after disabling injury.

    Prayers for ya'll!:kiss
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jun 1, '02
  12. by   mercykitten
    Dear Mattsmom, thank you for the info on the AOL site for disabled nurses. I don't think that was advertising anymore than giving the site to help file for SSD. Any info that could help someone in the position we find ourselves in should be welcome.
    As this thread continues, I think that eventually we may be able to organize some kind of group ourselves (or be a part of another).
    Argus, thank you for your comments on educating yourself. You don't need to apologize for your earlier comments. Even though we are in a bad position, we do need to try to keep a positive attitude. It can be hard to do.....but I do feel this thread can help us .....As we share we feel like we are helping each other. Isn't that the most positive thing in each of our situations?
  13. by   maah
    For any of you that are starting the SSD process I got it in a very short time. The way to do it is have yor Dr.s send all of the records that pertain to your disability. I was also told I could not be collecting any money for 6 mos. before being accepted. I called an attorney that specializes in disability claims. They will help you with knowing what to do to get started and alot of times they give free initial consults. They will alo help you get what you deserve from your companies. Also for all of your info. SSD requires that you and you spouse have no more than $2,000 in essets. I had to spend my 401k that I had earned. Either way we are sc_____ed. Anyone have any questions and I'll gladly help.Good Luck I'm on still on SSD.
    Mary

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