Nurses over 50 &/or with health issues affecting work - page 2

I'm sure I'm not the first (or the last) nurse to deal with this issue - I've been a Nurse for over 27 years and now I find myself having trouble "keeping up".(( Due to age? Weight? Arthritis? effect... Read More

  1. by   PhantomRN
    I feel bad for all of you who are unable to work secondary to your injuries and management inflexibility.

    I have worked on 3 different floors in my hospital. Of he RNs that work there was only 1 that was 60 +, the rest are 35-40 years old and below. So, consequently I am nervous about myself, I am old in nursing years.

    This is what all of us nurses have to look forward to as we age. I think the young people dont realize that this will affect them as well.
    Last edit by PhantomRN on Jun 29, '02
  2. by   live4today
    Thanks for your responses to my own comments above. When we were young, we didn't think about "our turn" of being over fifty, but now that we are it's a whole new experience. We are NOT dead, we are very much alive and kicking, with plenty to offer this world. I wish I had the money to build a hospital and selectively hire all over forty year olds to work in it, giving them the best benefits and pay anyone ever could ask for.

    I've been investigating ways I could still use my nursing degree, but I will miss the bedside care. I'm looking into Parish Nursing. It's not a paid profession as yet, at least not in most places I've researched. I would love a "paid position" as a parish nurse once I finish the course.

    What other ways can we use our nursing careers to gain employment? Any thoughts on this?
  3. by   nightingale
    Oh how I wish I could do that now... I think.. that would be heaven (lol) for me.

    I worked in a program for my senior work (while completing my RN to BSN) that worked with the senior population at the senior center (it was run by a nurse through the college of nursing). It was funded via a grant. Check into Grant Funds. It is my guess, with the right research and an excellent grant writer, something might be possible for a modest income....

    Renee and my other comrades almost or @ 50 something.... I went today to have my chin hairs done with electrolysis! lol... I often remember those darling little ol ladies with their whiskas and I always cringe when I seen my own inevitable signs f aging!

    I may be aging... but I am gonna fight it every step of the way!

    B.
  4. by   live4today
    Hello Nightinggale,

    I found a lot of different quotes by entering the words "find famous quotes" in the search engine block of my ISP space.

    Also, for finding information on parish nursing, here is the information for that:

    The International Parish Nurse Resource Center
    205 W. Touhy, Suite 124
    Park Ridge, IL 60068
    1(800) 556-5368
    email: ann.solari-twadell@advocatehealth.com

    For the website, click on advocatehealthcare.com or advocatehealth.com

    As for aging, Nightinggale, our bodies will turn "south", but our minds keep pointing "north" as we press on to reach our "higher calling".
  5. by   RNPD
    To Renee, I would have no problem agreeing that I could lift a patient myself if the "situation called for it". What I wouldn't bother to mention at an interview is that the situation could NEVER exist that called for me to lift a patient by myself-for either the safety of the patient or my own safety.

    As far as the topic-I qualify for both! I still do bedside nursing and am able to do a good job if I pace myself. This means working per diem and never 2 days in a row, and no OT. Even so, I am not sure that I can do this for many more years. I do see the end of the road in sight and I know I will miss nursing when it comes. Depending on my life situation, I may look for an office job, or just retire outright. We'll see when the day comes. I just hope I'm smart enough to recognize the day when it happens, and strong enough to say "this is it".!
  6. by   live4today
    Thanks RNPD for your comments. I will keep them in mind IF I go on any other interviews.

    If it hadn't been for my right shoulder injury almost five years ago, I would still be working as an agency nurse or hospital per diem nurse. I loved working that way versus staff nursing as it accomodated my family schedule quite well. Now that my kids are grown and with families of their own, I wish I could just work two days per week in nursing, and return to school for a different degree. I have very fond memories of when I worked in nursing, but reading about how nursing has become today, I'm not so sure about it anymore. If I stay in nursing, I will probably pursue public health education or parish nursing. I use to be a clinical instructor for CNA students and loved doing that, so time will tell what I will end up doing.
  7. by   LadyNASDAQ
    Originally posted by Karen4HIM1951
    I'm sure I'm not the first (or the last) nurse to deal with this issue - I've been a Nurse for over 27 years and now I find myself having trouble "keeping up".(( Due to age? Weight? Arthritis? effect of an AA (sustained while working) and other reasons)).


    I think it would be great to be able to talk to others about how they are handling things or what they have done in the past (for those who have retired or found alternative means of remaining in Nursing that are easier for them.

    Feel free to email me or respond on this buletain board!

    HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!
    I feel your pain and I have lived it, too.

    I was in a horrible car accident in 1994. I had a very bad atelectasis to my left lung and had a crushed comminuted right wrist that what my surgeon told me would have 10% function. On top of that, I developed a condition called R.S.D. which is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy of my right hand , fingers and spread up the entire right arm. My index and middle finger were damaged at the knuckle where they suffered diagonal fractures ad were pinned back together.

    Yes, together with Epstein-Barr that was discovered I was quite a mess.

    I was lucky to have a private disability policy which was paying a whopping $1400/month. I was lucky. I went to live with my Mom who was grateful I lived through this car wreck which happened on the way to work .

    Even though Iwas not at fault, the car accident settlement was chincy and I lost 6 months of pay and almost lost 2 arms and my life.

    After 6 months of painful rehab, I finally went to work with my surgeon beging me to go to social security and apply.

    Can you believe this? I wanted to work. I was so desperate to work because that was normalcy.

    I know that this is going to sound very peculiar but I really urge you to fight back if you can. Talk with your Doctor. We can not lose you. We are in a heck of a Nursing shortage. If it's a weight thing, there is help in message boards, in places like Weight Watchers.

    For me, the answer was to go agency. After that, Iwent for the Travel thing. That's my best loved job yet and you know what? I am not tired like I was in my other job. In fact, I'm happy and so very energetic. It depends upon you. You may want to teach but leaving the profession is not the way to go. You have too much experience and you owe it to yourself to spred the words of wisdom that you have.
  8. by   live4today
    Hello Lady NASDAQ,

    What an inspiration you are! You sound like such an amazing person, and no doubt you ARE a mighty fine nurse, too! I feel so inspired and encouraged by you and the others. Thanks for your words of wisdom, and thanks for sharing your painful story with me and others so that we might be inspired by you. We truly need one another's support in this field of nursing, let alone life as a whole. Again, thank you. Pray your New Year be filled with blessings abundantly!

    "What does not destroy me makes me stronger." --Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
  9. by   LadyNASDAQ
    I am one who has a very strong love for this profession and feel strongly that every Nurse wants to be in this for the time that they want to and not have it cut short.

    I also fought my way back and have a renewed understanding of the patients I take care of from the other side of the siderails but hey, I don't want any Nurse to experience what I have.

    I do want to say that there is fear, there is anger and there is a bargaining feeling that is overwhelming when one encounters something so horrible as this car accident. It has helped me realize that though I love being a Nurse, I also know that I am very important to me. I left a job 6 years after this all happened because I thought that I was unemployable (can you believe it?) and now that I am doing what I love to do, everything is so wonderful. I love my job, I love the idea that I can leave and go elsewhere because when you are a Travel Nurse you can go to all 50 States. I also feel that when I am 50 years old, I will be traveling all over the Country enjoying my life, enjoying everything that is out there. For right now, this job nearby at home suits me and being able to work still feels good.
    Last edit by LadyNASDAQ on Jan 9, '02
  10. by   Karen4HIM1951
    HI

    LadyN - Don't worry - I am fighting! There are a number of paths I'm checking out! New development - was just diagnosed two days ago with Chronic Fatique (EpsteinBarr PLUS S & S Positive).

    My options that I can see (and all will need a bit of research, talking with other professionals and with my family) are:
    -taking a medical leave
    -parish nursing
    -a new nursing position in a womans clinic that will be developed
    soon
    -checking with a former coworker who has now opened an agency
    and explain my situation and see if he can come up with
    something
    -going to PRN and pacing myself more

    Will keep you posted - EVERYONE KEEP ME POSTED TOO!!!!!






  11. by   CATHYW
    Occupational Health has been the answer for me. I have problems with an ankle and a knee, and will have to go "bionic" one of these days.
    My background was ER, Occ Health, ER, (where I was injured but did not pursue financial compensation), cardiac cath lab, and now 2 years back in Occ Med.
    The days/hours are good, there is not nearly so much standing and walking, and you don't have to lift patients.
    Good luck!
  12. by   LadyNASDAQ
    Originally posted by Karen4HIM1951
    HI

    LadyN - Don't worry - I am fighting! There are a number of paths I'm checking out! New development - was just diagnosed two days ago with Chronic Fatique (EpsteinBarr PLUS S & S Positive).

    My options that I can see (and all will need a bit of research, talking with other professionals and with my family) are:
    -taking a medical leave
    -parish nursing
    -a new nursing position in a womans clinic that will be developed
    soon
    -checking with a former coworker who has now opened an agency
    and explain my situation and see if he can come up with
    something
    -going to PRN and pacing myself more

    Will keep you posted - EVERYONE KEEP ME POSTED TOO!!!!!

    One thing about Epstein-Barr...

    it makes you gain weight.

    Be aware of this. You will have the most ridiculous appetite at times.

    It's after the Holidays now. For me, I am on a rampage. I am starting a healthy new year with the new me on the way.

    I am going to eat right and carry some Slim Fast bars with me because this Nurse refuses to let Epstein-Barr rule her.

    I have to tell you that my downfall is chocolate. I have gained so much weight going to the gift shop. I can not believe what this faigue syndrome has done to me but I will tell you, if this is what is ailing you, the weight may be why you are fatigued and not the disease at all. I called my private Dr. a liar and we had words. I can not tell you how many times I have apologized to him. The weight is what is the problem and as soon as I am eating right, THERE IS NO FATIGUE! NONE!!! ZIPPO!

    Pay close attention to your diet. Be sure you are really sleeping and eating right. My Dr. hit in on the head and he truly will stay my Dr., indefinitely for this.

    Be kind to yourself and get a job tht is less stressful and you will see jut how much fatigue leaves you.





  13. by   RN-rural
    Originally posted by Healingtouch
    I am 46 years old, soon to be 47. Objectively, I look 10 to 15 years younger than my chronological age. People are very suprised when they learn just how "old" I am (LOL). I have noticed in my intensive care unit that there is a significant division between the "older" and "younger" nurses. In terms of keeping up, it is STRESSFUL (physically, emotionally, mentally) for ANYONE who works in our unit, regardless of age. I take tons of supplements just to feel omanager), but NO fifty-something nurses. Don't know why
    I am a 56 y/o ER nurse (21+years) When I was 45 I could run with the youngsters, now I have to rest more often. I moved to a rural area and small hospital 7 years ago and the job got easier. Last summer I was fed up with not getting the time off I needed and I switched to contingent and now I make my own schedule. (I do have to pay my BlueCross tho) And I know I can't keep on keeping up forever. However, the younger nurses I work with are a joy and an inspiration (sometimes). They expect to be treated like valued employees instead of getting what administration doles out. We are working on raising the consciousness of all the nurses at my little hospital, and we are finding a lot of interest. We older RNs tend to follow the rules instead of trying to change the system for the better. We are the largest lobby group of workers in this country but we have not learned there is safety (and rewards) in numbers. If we all just get together and worked at it, we could have great jobs and then retire in comfort. I hope sites like this help us get together and organize. We take care of other people, but who will care for us???

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