Nursing with Carpel Tunnel

  1. If Dx with Carpel Tunnel will it effect my career as an RN?

    Replies appriciated...
    •  
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   jemb
    Probably depends on where you work and the specifics of your job. A co-worker of mine had problems with IV pushes and occassionally IV starts. Ours is an IV therapy department, so she transferred to an area that she is able to handle without repetatively stressing her wrists. I've worked in other areas, including a med-surg floor, where nuses are able to do the patient care, but wear wrist braces for the paperwork.

    I don't have carpal tunnel, but a different wrist problem from an injury that did permanent damage, so I can certainly sympathize. I've learned different ways to do certain things that make them a bit easier on the joint.

    It has forced me to learn my limitations and ask for help when I need it. (What? Ask for help!!?? Yeah, I know-- totally new concept for a nurse...)
  4. by   mattsmom81
    My friend (and numerous coworkers of mine as well) has developed carpal tunnel through her 25 yr nursing career. She did not have it before becoming a nurse.The demands of computerized charting and manipulation of the wrist/arms/hands have kept the wrist aggravated. She has reduced her hours at her doctors' direction, and changed to a less demanding unit, but continues to have problems.

    Talk to your doctor /and or physical therapist. I don't see nursing as a career that is easy on anyone's joints/body, and those with pre-existing problems are not likely to get better working as a nurse. JMHO from my experiences.

    Best wishes to you whatever you decide.
  5. by   ktwlpn
    I find that splinting every night,vit b complex and a motrin now and then keeps me from flaring up...I am in LTC and the med passes can be killer-I try to adjust my grip on the pill crusher in different angles and use my lazy hand when I can.....
  6. by   chartleypj
    MIssy,

    I suppose any limitations you may have are dependant upon the severity of your CTS. Splinting and medication helps a lot. I found steroid injections to offer a long period of relief. I have bilateral CTS. I had the worse/ more painful side released surgically with good results. The one drawback to waiting too long for surgical treatment is the resultant muscle atrophy associated with waiting so long. I did have post-op p.t. to improve strength and grip. When the injections and splinting no longer offer relief for my other hand I will have that done, too.
    Good luck,

    Paula
  7. by   ST_NURSE_MLD
    Thanks for all the replies. The test results indicated that I had a mild case on my right. They did not Dx the left. Although, I'm having the same symptons. I must admit that my first thought about p.t. wasn't very fair. I didn't think it would help. Boy was I wrong. It helped on the first visit. I could tell a major difference!!


    Thanks,
    M-
  8. by   Disablednurse
    When I had my carpal tunnel fixed, I had worked for 25 years with it. MD told me that I was the worst case he had ever seen. It was an aggravation, but caused no problems until the last few years when I could not count pulse without doing the apical heartrate.
  9. by   luvbeinganurse
    I also have bilateral CTS. I work in home care and do a lot of blood draws. The most difficult part for me is when there are multiple tubes to fill - sometimes I cannot feel my fingers holding the needle, and I am afraid I will drop it. Of course, the paper work brings it on very well, too. And pulses - occasionally I have a hard time because of the numbness, so I always do apical pulses.

    However, for me, when I wear a magnetic bracelet, it really does improve the circulation quickly, and the symptoms are relieved quite a bit.
  10. by   nrw350
    ok sorry for the non-nurse question, but what is an apical pulse?

    thanks.
  11. by   AHarri66
    Originally posted by nrw350
    ok sorry for the non-nurse question, but what is an apical pulse?

    thanks.
    The apical pulse is the ventricular heart rate, or the rate of contraction of the lower chambers of the heart, that is measured by listening with a stethoscope (auscultation).
  12. by   ST_NURSE_MLD
    I see the p.t. today. I'm going to ask what are some ways to counteract the stress to the wrist. I'll post the information, that way it will give the young girls something to do to keep from getting this... CTS creeps up on you...
  13. by   AHarri66
    Has anyone had nerve conduction studies r/t carpal tunnel or ulnar nerve compression? I just returned from my PCP office, and she's setting me up for them. I've heard they're painful...
  14. by   manna
    Originally posted by AHarri66
    Has anyone had nerve conduction studies r/t carpal tunnel or ulnar nerve compression? I just returned from my PCP office, and she's setting me up for them. I've heard they're painful...
    I had an EMG (if that's what you're referring to) to test for CTS a couple of months ago. Wasn't too bad. I think I need to go back for a repeat since my symptoms have gotten much worse!

    Good luck!

close