Returning to work p 2yr absence full of anxiety (Long)

  1. Warning Long story ahead: I am an LPN 6 to 8mos from being an RN. I have been a nurse for 7yrs all in LTC for geriatrics or multiply handicapped. My last job I had just started it was in geriatrics and I was 87 days in. I was severly injured assisting to lift a 400+# resident. We only had two lifts in the 100 bed facility both outdated. Anyway I recieved a crush/twist injury and was taken to the ER. Of course my PCP wrote me off of work indefinity pending further testing. I was immediatly terminated. They said not fired just not going to keep me since I was still in my 90 days. It ended up being a pretty major injury I have been off on worker comp for 2yrs. In that time I have had two surgeries and will most likely need more. After a long tedious very depressing, dehumanizing court battle I won. I have had the two surgeries and intense physical therapy. While I have been off I continued with my RN classes and am now 4 classes away.

    The whole experience has been very traumatizing to me. I know that sounds strange unless you have been through it. Physically it has been very painful but I really think it was almost way more hard emotionally. It was like it destroyed me inside. All my confidence, all my identity I guess I had wrapped up in my career. I got a late start. I did't finish high school instead quiting school in my freshman yr to have my son and get married to the man I remain happily married too. I returned for my GED when I was 27 and ended up inspired to go on to college. When I finally finished getting my LPN and went to work I was completely shell shocked. I had only been a stay at home mom cleaning houses for the elderly on the side to help with our income. I was completely shocked at the sometimes pure meanness of coworkers and management. The whole thing was just not what they lead you to believe it will be in school. The one thing I did love about it though was the residents and working 3rd shift I got to flex my organizational skills. I can not say that I have as of yet had a good work experience. If it isn't management then it was a toxic work environment. Then of course when I got hurt and the facility turned on me going so far as to LIE I was devestated. Of course their lies came out and they ended up fined and I won. But still if I had it to do over again I think I would have tried to hide how badly I was hurt just to avoid all the heart ache.

    It took me 8 weeks on the workers comp job search program which is 15 face to face contacts per week. Oddly enough if your are perfectly whole and healthy on unemployment you only have to do 3 face to faces. How strange is that? Anyway 8 weeks and 120 doors slammed in my face later I got a job. It is in a small 50 bed LTC facility. My MD didn't want me to return to LTC ever but I was having no luck anywhere else so when this one came up and they were willing to take me injuries/restrictions and all I couldn't not take it. jBesides I do love geriatrics. I must admit though that the two days of orientation did not go well at all and I am scared as all get out. I feel confident that I can do the job honestly that is not what scares me it is the people ie management and coworkers that scare me. I could use any prayers from those that may be into that and encouraging words for anyone into that. I have to do it and I know I can I am just so dang anxious. I was good at what I did and I know I still can be I just have to get this anxiety under control. Anyway that is my story and I am sticken to it I just needed to share it with those that might understand and be supportive. Thanks Bell
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   rn/writer
    I'm so sorry that you've had such a terrible time of it. I had a similar bout with work comp and a long recovery. You do lose your confidence and yet, the only way to get back in the game is to . . . get back in the game.

    It isn't easy, but it does get easier as you progress.

    Keep your focus on the residents and the tasks at hand. Be friendly to co-workers, but don't go to work looking to make friends. If that happens, great, but many of us tend to be too trusting and reveal too much to people we haven't checked out well enough yet. This can really backfire.

    Keep a small notebook and write a success story in it every day. You made someone smile. You got a compliment. You filled a request. You solved a problem. Don't worry about the negative things--you'll have no trouble remembering those. When you're having a bad day or you just wonder if you have what it takes, pull out your notebook and recall the good things you've done.

    You'll have more clinical experiences as you finish your education. Use those opportunities as well to add to your positive list.

    The biggest thing is, as much as you possibly can, breathe deep and relax. Let go of the tension fear creates and put in its place the thought that you CAN do this job, for your residents and for yourself.

    It gets a little better every day.

    I wish you the best.
  4. by   bellcollector
    Thank you so much Miranda for you words of wisdom and encouragement. I always keep a small flip up notepad in my pocket to jot down bs's and bp's and such. I will add to it your idea of jotting down each positive too. I know that that works because when I first started as a new grad in LTC as a charge nurse on 3rd all by myself I use to walk around singing in my head. I would sing "This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it" and "I'll do my best I'll do my best I'll do my best for you Lord" So I know your right about focusing on the positive. I also know to focus on residents and my job and not trusting and making friendships with coworkers. I try very hard to guard my tounge I have been burnt enough to know how much it hurts. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Bell
  5. by   Retired R.N.
    Quote from bellcollector
    Warning Long story ahead: I am an LPN 6 to 8mos from being an RN. I have been a nurse for 7yrs all in LTC for geriatrics or multiply handicapped. My last job I had just started it was in geriatrics and I was 87 days in. I was severly injured assisting to lift a 400+# resident. We only had two lifts in the 100 bed facility both outdated. Anyway I recieved a crush/twist injury and was taken to the ER. Of course my PCP wrote me off of work indefinity pending further testing. I was immediatly terminated. They said not fired just not going to keep me since I was still in my 90 days. It ended up being a pretty major injury I have been off on worker comp for 2yrs. In that time I have had two surgeries and will most likely need more. After a long tedious very depressing, dehumanizing court battle I won. I have had the two surgeries and intense physical therapy. While I have been off I continued with my RN classes and am now 4 classes away.

    The whole experience has been very traumatizing to me. I know that sounds strange unless you have been through it. Physically it has been very painful but I really think it was almost way more hard emotionally. It was like it destroyed me inside. All my confidence, all my identity I guess I had wrapped up in my career. I got a late start. I did't finish high school instead quiting school in my freshman yr to have my son and get married to the man I remain happily married too. I returned for my GED when I was 27 and ended up inspired to go on to college. When I finally finished getting my LPN and went to work I was completely shell shocked. I had only been a stay at home mom cleaning houses for the elderly on the side to help with our income. I was completely shocked at the sometimes pure meanness of coworkers and management. The whole thing was just not what they lead you to believe it will be in school. The one thing I did love about it though was the residents and working 3rd shift I got to flex my organizational skills. I can not say that I have as of yet had a good work experience. If it isn't management then it was a toxic work environment. Then of course when I got hurt and the facility turned on me going so far as to LIE I was devestated. Of course their lies came out and they ended up fined and I won. But still if I had it to do over again I think I would have tried to hide how badly I was hurt just to avoid all the heart ache.

    It took me 8 weeks on the workers comp job search program which is 15 face to face contacts per week. Oddly enough if your are perfectly whole and healthy on unemployment you only have to do 3 face to faces. How strange is that? Anyway 8 weeks and 120 doors slammed in my face later I got a job. It is in a small 50 bed LTC facility. My MD didn't want me to return to LTC ever but I was having no luck anywhere else so when this one came up and they were willing to take me injuries/restrictions and all I couldn't not take it. jBesides I do love geriatrics. I must admit though that the two days of orientation did not go well at all and I am scared as all get out. I feel confident that I can do the job honestly that is not what scares me it is the people ie management and coworkers that scare me. I could use any prayers from those that may be into that and encouraging words for anyone into that. I have to do it and I know I can I am just so dang anxious. I was good at what I did and I know I still can be I just have to get this anxiety under control. Anyway that is my story and I am sticken to it I just needed to share it with those that might understand and be supportive. Thanks Bell
    How long has it been since you last saw your MD? Considering that you had a major injury that has already required two surgeries and intense physical therapy, and will probably require more surgery in the future, I hope you will put your own health and welfare ahead of the demands of any job.

    You say that the orientation did not go well, and you are anxious about your management and co-workers. Perhaps your subconscious is telling you something and you need to listen. ??? Nobody wants to be a quitter, but it would be the height of foolishness for you to endanger all the progress you have made toward recovery by insisting on taking on more than you can handle. Will this job allow you to have regular hours so you can get enough sleep? Will you have regular meal and toilet breaks? When will you have time to study? You have the rest of your life ahead of you, and you have already worked too hard to risk any serious setbacks due to trying to burn the candle at both ends.

    Best wishes for every success! You deserve it!
  6. by   gitterbug
    Have you considered a home health position? clinic? anything that will be less physically demanding?
  7. by   sanctuary
    For grief's sake, what a horrible experience, but not, unfortunately, an unusual one. Watch your back, (pun not intended) and be sure to use all the mechanical lifts that are available. Remember the ADA regs, and ask for things that you need. Big hugs to you, and think about a clinic job, or someplace giving meds. If you can't work at your old job, ask for retraining...as an RN so you can work the "Ask a Nurse" phone line? Would that not be a yuk? Best wishes, and, as another said, put yourself first.
  8. by   sanctuary
    Quote from rn/writer
    .

    Keep a small notebook and write a success story in it every day. You made someone smile. You got a compliment. You filled a request. You solved a problem. Don't worry about the negative things--you'll have no trouble remembering those. When you're having a bad day or you just wonder if you have what it takes, pull out your notebook and recall the good things you've done.

    What a good idea! We should all do that!!:bowingpur to you rn/writer.
  9. by   bellcollector
    Thanks for all the responses. Gitterbug believe me in my 8 wks of 120 face to face contacts I applied at every MD office and clinic in a 30 mile radius. Sanctuary, I am currently taking RN courses on my own unfortunately contrary to what my attorney thought WC is not helping me financially with my school expenses. I do only have 4 more classes I started out needing 11 and have it down to 4 all A's and B's so I think I am making pretty good progress. Unfortunatly I do not have the option of turning down this job. On workers comp if the employer is willing to work within your restrictions you can not turn it down or you lose your compensation. It is only part time and my wonderful hubby protects my sleep with a vengence. Yes I continue to be under the care of my physician as I also have a chronic illness. I think the job is doable but it is not one I intend to keep once I have my RN. I originally thought I might until I discovered all the lies they told in the offer phase and that part time employees get no time off no bennies and no respect. Now I am certain I will look for greener pastures just as soon as I have that RN. Again I am loving reading the responses I have felt so alone in all of this I should have posted ages ago.
  10. by   outcomesfirst
    Cheers to you Bell! Great story and way to keep on going no matter what life hands you! Great advice posted here. Protect your health! Number one priority! No matter what, if there is the slightest chance you might injure yourself - always call for help - even if the patient has to wait! I wish you could have a more positive job experience right now - but keep your eye on the prize, you are amost there. There are many opportunities waiting for you where you can make a valued and rewarding contribution - without risking injury or being subjected to a toxic environment. Kudos!!!!

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