How will being diabetic affect my chances...

  1. ...... of working as an OR nurse?

    I'm finishing up my pre-req's now, and have 2 tentative (*knock on wood*) acceptances to nursing school for the fall. I know that my being a Type 1 will come up for my pre-admission physical, and that is fine. Being diabetic is something I do not hide, though it did not come up during my nursing school interviews. I am on an insulin pump, and test 8-10x a day, and maintain fairly good control. The pump has been a God-send for me, allowing me great freedom with food, exercise......everything. I have only been diabetic for 7 years, diagnosed at the ripe age of 29 (LOL - did I just give away my age???? :imbar ).

    Anyway, I'm just wondering how this will affect what type of nursing I am able to do. I'd really like to become an OR nurse, possibly even become a CRNA someday. I know the Disability Act is on my side, and have know there are many diabetic doctors around, though I'm not sure about surgeons.

    Any info or tips would be appreciated!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Diabeties is such a wide spread disease and more and more of us are getting it everday.

    You're personal health issues are yours and yours alone. People need not know you're a diabetic as it's not a contageous disease. Just keep your bracelet on so people know in an emergency.

    Be aware though that in the OR when you are in your sterile area, you just can't run out and eat or get a glass of juice when you want one and some cases are very long. I know you know how to take care of yourself, so I'm not going to tell you how. But that's the only hinderance I can think of.

    Good luck and follow your dreams!
  4. by   BadBird
    I see no reason why your diabetes should inhibit you from performing your job as a nurse. I am a type 2 myself. Just don't skip meals. Good luck to you.
  5. by   RedSox33RN
    Thank you for your replies.

    I know some OR cases are very long, and that is why I thought the pump would be such a God-send. If my basal rate is set correctly, I don't have to eat at all - no worrying about highs and lows and missing an injection. Lows are always a possibility no matter how carefully I plan, so maybe it is something I shouldn't even consider. I've actually had people tell me I'll be nothing more than an office nurse because of my diabetes, but I have a hard time believing that. I remember watching a show, on TLC I belive (Trauma? maybe?) and there was an emergency room doc on it who also used an insulin pump. I know there are plenty of diabetic docs and nurses out there, and have a hard time believing all of them are in an office setting.
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from wannaBEanRN
    Thank you for your replies.

    I know some OR cases are very long, and that is why I thought the pump would be such a God-send. If my basal rate is set correctly, I don't have to eat at all - no worrying about highs and lows and missing an injection. Lows are always a possibility no matter how carefully I plan, so maybe it is something I shouldn't even consider. I've actually had people tell me I'll be nothing more than an office nurse because of my diabetes, but I have a hard time believing that. I remember watching a show, on TLC I belive (Trauma? maybe?) and there was an emergency room doc on it who also used an insulin pump. I know there are plenty of diabetic docs and nurses out there, and have a hard time believing all of them are in an office setting.

    You are correct and those people are wrong. You can be any kind of nurse and work anywhere you desire if you are a diabetic. You know yourself, your body and your limitations. Go for it!
  7. by   nurturing_angel
    I am Type 2 and have been a nurse for many years. It has caused me very little problems. I have problems working night shift though so I will have to get off it soon. It is too hard for me to control blood sugar when I can't eat or sleep on a regular schedule.
  8. by   sharann
    I don't see why you couldn't work as an OR nurse. You most likely would be circulating cases and would be able to step out for a minute if needed to eat a small snack kept in your pocket or locker. People who circulate leave the OR all the time to get supplies. I think you could do it.
  9. by   stephera
    I am a diabetic to and was wondering the same thing. I have been type 1 for 21 years and worst out of all of it is that I have had 3 laser eye surgeries because of diabetic retinopathy. If you run into any problems with being a student with diabetes, please let me know.

    Steph

    Quote from wannaBEanRN
    Thank you for your replies.

    I know some OR cases are very long, and that is why I thought the pump would be such a God-send. If my basal rate is set correctly, I don't have to eat at all - no worrying about highs and lows and missing an injection. Lows are always a possibility no matter how carefully I plan, so maybe it is something I shouldn't even consider. I've actually had people tell me I'll be nothing more than an office nurse because of my diabetes, but I have a hard time believing that. I remember watching a show, on TLC I belive (Trauma? maybe?) and there was an emergency room doc on it who also used an insulin pump. I know there are plenty of diabetic docs and nurses out there, and have a hard time believing all of them are in an office setting.
  10. by   RedSox33RN
    Thank you everyone! You've made me feel much better about my decision to try and be an OR nurse.

    I'm sorry to hear about your eye problems, Steph. That is the one thing I am most afraid of with diabetes, because my only symptom when I was first diagnosed was blurred vision. I couldn't make out any images or read for over 2 weeks after it was diagnosed and I got in under control, and even though that was 7 years ago, it is always fresh in my mind.

    Has the surgery helped your vision? I get my eye exam done each September (and for some reason, always get the brightest, sunniest day! KWIM?? LOL) and my Dr. told me that around year 6-7 is when they start seeing eye changes, even just minute ones, in a diabetic, even with good control. Luckily they haven't seen any yet, but I really feel for you. I'm hoping my new (well, a little over a year now) pump regimen will help prevent complications. I didn't have great control, but my A1c ran about 7.3 to 7.7 or so. It's come down to usually less than 6.0 now, or right around there.
    I was doing MDI up until Thanksgiving of 2002, when my endo got me approved for a pump. I love it so much, I could never go back. A close friend of mine is Type 1 also, but she has had it since childhood. She's on MDI, but has seen how much freedom I have with the pump, and is considering it for herself also.

    Are you in nursing school currently or just thinking about applying?
  11. by   stephera
    I have applied for the LVN program but am afraid I will not get in for: diabetes and/or not enough work or adult education. I don't know how any other schools do it but here, you can get a certain amount of points for each work/adult ed. or college courses. I will take an asset test on April 3. I have been a diabetic since I was 7. It is very hard when you are a kid, I was so stubborn. My eye problems caught up with me when I was about 18- so that was 11 years after I was diagnosed. The laser surgeries only stop the disease from progressing, it does not turn it around!! On top of that I have cataracts!!-yes, at age 27!! It really depends on your control. I have been on the cozmo insulin pump for a little over a year, my last HA1C was 8.2. Mine has been as high as 12. My worst fear of diabetes is foot amputation!! I will die with my feet........(lol!!!) I have nerve damage but can handle that!! Anyways, I wish you luck with diabetes, it sounds likd you have great control right now. Thanks for your reply.
    Steph
    Quote from wannaBEanRN
    Thank you everyone! You've made me feel much better about my decision to try and be an OR nurse.

    I'm sorry to hear about your eye problems, Steph. That is the one thing I am most afraid of with diabetes, because my only symptom when I was first diagnosed was blurred vision. I couldn't make out any images or read for over 2 weeks after it was diagnosed and I got in under control, and even though that was 7 years ago, it is always fresh in my mind.

    Has the surgery helped your vision? I get my eye exam done each September (and for some reason, always get the brightest, sunniest day! KWIM?? LOL) and my Dr. told me that around year 6-7 is when they start seeing eye changes, even just minute ones, in a diabetic, even with good control. Luckily they haven't seen any yet, but I really feel for you. I'm hoping my new (well, a little over a year now) pump regimen will help prevent complications. I didn't have great control, but my A1c ran about 7.3 to 7.7 or so. It's come down to usually less than 6.0 now, or right around there.
    I was doing MDI up until Thanksgiving of 2002, when my endo got me approved for a pump. I love it so much, I could never go back. A close friend of mine is Type 1 also, but she has had it since childhood. She's on MDI, but has seen how much freedom I have with the pump, and is considering it for herself also.

    Are you in nursing school currently or just thinking about applying?

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