nurse back problems

  1. Yes, Iam new to this site. I've been reading a lot of good info. about nursing. My husband is a student, and wants to become a nurse. I have heard that one of the number one injurys nurses get on the job is a back injury. My husband is 40 year old and has a ok back. But if any one could please. Let me know. That when he starts working as a LVN nurse. Should he work in a hosiptal, care home, visting LVN, privite doctor office. ??? He will be a great nurse he loves to take care of people. But being older in age we want to make the safer choice. So that he can work until 65 year old. Any bodys help in ths matter would be great.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    Welcome to Allnurses. I'm 47 and have a good back and work in a hospital. He will learn from the very beginning how to protect his back. I also do exercises at the gym and do yoga that specifically helps my back. After 15 years, so far, so good.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by Tweety on Nov 19, '06
  4. by   Simplepleasures
    After 27 years as an LPN I now have Degenarative Disk Disease- multilevel, Degenerative Joint disease of spine , also multi level and DJD of bilateral knees, it is hard , grueling physical work and it is the one of the jobs in which has the highest record for back injuries, see the OSHA website.
  5. by   TazziRN
    I've had a few back injuries, but nothing permanent or that required surgery to correct, thank God. Nurses are at high risk for back injuries, as well as other parts of the body, but he will be taught in school as well as at each new job's orientation how to utilize proper body mechanics. Sometimes it happens no matter how careful you are: I was once lifting an elderly, heavy woman with my tech and we were doing fine, when the woman's son decided to "help" and pulled me off balance.

    There are worse things to worry about.
  6. by   Dixielee
    If you have been a nurse for more than a few years and have not hurt your back, then you are not doing your job right! LOL, just kidding but it is a common problem. I am 52, been an RN for 34 years in acute care and am still running around like an idiot in a busy ER. So, encourage your husband to do what he enjoys, not just to look at the one issue of a possible back injury.

    If he is only looking for "safety", then he can work for an insurance company sitting behind a computer all day. But then again, he could be in a car wreck on the way to work, or trip over a kids toy in the yard. I carry disability insurance because I think I will be more likely to step in a gopher hole in my garden and break my ankle, than I will be injured at work.

    Life is not a safe place.
  7. by   P_RN
    Fantastic back after 22 years on an ortho unit. Then...........

    Your husband will ultimately have to make the decision as to where he works, but I commend you in wanting only the best for him.
  8. by   Calgon-take.me.away
    I have been nursing all my life....21 years as a CNA,,EMT for 27 years, and now a nurse for 13 years. I have constant back pain, siaticpain, and am not sure if my knees are gonna hold out....virtually falling apart at the seams.
    But I would not change one minute of my nursing for sitting behind a desk or working in a factory.
    You have to protect your back at all costs,,lift correctly,,bend your knees, don't lift with your back,,wear a back belt if you need it. Also, warm up before you start work,,,do some stretching,,,and most of all get help with lifting even if you are the slightest bit hesitant about doing anything by yourself
    umpiron:
  9. by   fleur-de-lis
    I would advise him to only work where there are adjustable beds. I am just a student, but last week in Clinical in newborn nursery (where cribs are not adjustable) I spent the morning bending over babies and have a bad back injury to show for it. I am 5'10, and in Med.Surg I can bring the beds up to a good working height for me, but since that was not possible with the baby beds, I had to stoop, which ended up giving me a nasty lower back injury. I still need to have MRI's done to make sure it is only muscular and not involveing the disc. At this point I am crossing my fingers that my career has not ended before it even began!
  10. by   blueyesue
    I have what you would call a "bad back" I have scoliosis, and my body actually goes crooked about once a year. For about 1 week I am in excruciating pain. During the rest of the year, I will have periodic aches and pains. However, I am still going for nursing because it is a lifelong dream. There are many things that try to "get in the way" of us pursuing our dreams. It all boils down to how badly we want them fulfilled. If your husband really wants to be a nurse, then he should become one.
  11. by   kayRN21
    I also have degenerative disc disease and had disc surgery on my neck. My lower back is fine. I would suggest that on employment obtain disability insurance at work or with an insurance company outside of work. I could not say when I hurt my neck so I am left to the mercy of the Social Security system. It usually takes two years to get Social Security Disability if you can get it at all. After 32 years of bedside nursing I worked till I couldn't use my right arm. I am an RN and I will never go back to patient care. I am in constant pain.
  12. by   kenny b
    I'm glad you brought this up. I had the same question myself.

    I'd have to agree with Tweety here. A well-crafted strengthening and stretching program would be a great idea!

    I've got a sort of a mentor who's an RN and an ex-Marine. He's also a Physical Therapist and he is going to put me through the paces.

    It's a relatively weak muscle set, and I'm looking forward to strengthening it. Many back problems are preventable.
  13. by   NurseNathan
    I have worked several year in a Nursing facility. I have some back problems from all of the lifting that I have had to do. Most of my problems were caused from lifting from old hospital beds that did not have electric lifts. I believe that if the facility had had modern equiptment, that I would not be having the problems that I have today. Understand also that men are asked to do alot more lifting than women are. Best bet is to look into the beds and other equiptment that he will have access to.
  14. by   Simplepleasures
    KayRN21, I feel your pain -literally.I too have sever DDD,DJD in various areas, need a three level fusion, cant get it because I have no insurance, because I have no job-more on that in a minute. I applied for Social Security Disability and was denied.This is usual for first time applications.I am now in appeal with the Social Security Department.But as to why I dont have insurance -I was fired in retaliation for reporting illegal /unethical practices by my former employer and fired the next day. I did bring this to court and have lost despite mound of evidence and wittness. My attornies assure me we have a very good chance of reversing the judge's decision in appeal.SO I am now out of a job, no insurance-going to free clinic, need surgery, being supported by my wonderful family,gone through my meager savings,and TWO appeals going at the same time .

    I am going to warn nursing students here as I have warned my own daughter who is an RN in the Navy and probably get alot of flack for it , but here goes .THINK HARD before entering this field, it could be a wonderful profession IF nurses had a saftey net from unscrupulous people out there.IF the whole nation could follow suit to the states that have unionized-California, Minnisota,Michigan, New York, we nurses would be able to do our beloved chosen profession with dignity, pride, and secure in the knowledge that they have recourse under the law . There will be those out there who say I am mashing sour grapes, and they are TOTALLY right.Its too late for me, but not for you.

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