Well, here is my story. I have been thinking of becoming a nurse for some time now and I have experience as a home health aide. For the past 4 years I have been taking prerequisites on and off and should be able to start nursing school either fall (private) or spring 2014 (CC). I have 2 classes left to complete. However, since late last year I have been having knee pain, especially when going up or down stairs. I went to the doctor and found out I had both knee osteoarthritis and a torn meniscus in both knees. It didn't take long after that diagnosis for my left knee to start limping and I had to eventually use a brace. I did surgery (knee arthroscopy) last month and even though I am healing well, I still walk with a limp and I can no longer walk long distances. I am hoping the limp will go away by summer but I am not sure if it will or if I will ever be the same. I am in my late thirties and the doctor says I need to loose weight which I am working on. I am afraid that if I start nursing school, I will have difficulties with clinicals or even if I get through that, I won't be able to land a job, giving the current market and now my obvious physical limitations.
I think about doing occupational therapy instead sometimes, I am not sure how less physically demanding it will be. Right now I am just at a loss. Some people say the limp will go away after I heal completely, but considering I was limping since November last year and it hasn't gone away yet, I just don't know.
Are there any new nurse who had a physical limitation such as limping and how did it affect you in the job market?
May 23, '13
Anyone with any kind of advice???? Unfortunately, I just did another surgery yesterday - knee arthroscopy on my other knee. I definitely don't think I will start school before next year as I need some time to fully recuperate and let my legs heal before starting school or clinicals.
May 24, '13
Take some time to heal. Have you done some physical therapy? It will help some. I recently broke my left fibula (technically a Weber C ankle fracture) and now am battling tendonitis in my left ankle. I limp. I have a brace take my pain meds and am starting physical therapy 6/12. I am confident the limp will go away. I have a job where I can sit as needed. Good luck. I think you have been limping so long you may be used to it. Physical therapy can help.
May 26, '13
Thanks for the advice. I think I will wait awhile before starting school and give my legs some time to heal. With that said, I probably won't start before next year summer or fall. Also depending on my recuperating process I might do OT instead if I believe it will be less physically demanding on my knees. I will check it out some more though, but from what I have seen the OT's get to sit a lot at the desk and the OTA's can also sit while performing their some duties.
I did about 7 weeks of PT and have gotten my range of motion back, but I still have a slight limp, which might take awhile to go away fully. I am just hoping it's not obvious by the time I am in clinicals or job hunting. I also have a feeling that an injury such as meniscus tear or tendonitis that causes a limp is easier to go away after treatment than one that is coupled with arthritis. I believed because I have both it is making it harder to fully go away. I also wear braces on both knees.
May 30, '13
When I was an LPN student, I hurt my knee, had surgery and started to work on a busy med-surg floor 6 weeks after surgery. yes I limped, but I did just fine. The limp didn't stop me from doing anything that needed to be done and it won't stop you, I don't imagine. I had osteoarthritis literally all over my body, was overweight and 33 yrs old at the time! Don't listen to nay-sayers that may say you can't do it...you can do this! Best wishes for a quick recovery!
May 31, '13
Thanks for sharing your experience.Before I had surgery last week, I used to work a couple of days a week as a nurse's aide. It's not that stressful or physically demanding, but I still limp when I walk at times. However, I started PT this week and I am pleased to say, it looks promising. I am using using 2 crutches and having no noticeable limping - then again I am using 2 crutches. So far I am walking straight and hopefully I will continue once I am finished using the crutches.
Jun 3, '13
I'm not sure where you worked as an aide that wan't physically demanding.. Good ness, I would like to find that position!! Nurses aides work like crazy: lifting, transferring, running all over the floor, turning, changing, etc. They absolutely work themselves to death!! I love them!!! and RESPECT THEM!!!!
Jun 3, '13
Well, in prior years I have had patients who were bed-bound, quadriplegic, had cerebral palsy, severely overweight,on hospice, etc. I have had to lift and transfer many patients in the past. I have always worked one on one with jobs through the agency. This job however, the patient is mobile, he sometimes needs assistance getting up from the chair, but that's it in terms of physical demand. I do walk him and give him exercises during the day, but I am not on my feet all day. I am in the home so there is a lot of downtime.
Jun 4, '13
That does sound like a good CNA position!!!!! Best wishes!
Jun 6, '13
I have changed my shoes and what a world of difference it has made for me. I know your situation isn't the same though it has helped me tremendously.
Private duty CNA sounds like they can give you an assignment to meet your needs.
Jun 6, '13
That's a great idea. I have thought about changing shoes as well since reading about the positive effects of it here on AN. It's definitely something I will be looking into once I get back to work.
To Mds1 and nrsang97, it's a good CNA position. I took a lot of difficult cases when I was younger and never refused a job because of difficulty or heavy lifting. My mom used to tell me to stop taking those hard cases because they will damage my back and my body, but I felt pretty strong and I used to work out at the gym a lot, so it never bothered me. I now realize arthritis is in my family and I definitely have to be more careful with everything I do going forward.
The good news is, I am walking straight without a limp whenever I take a few steps without the crutches. I was still limping after one surgery because the other foot needed surgery as well. I more confident now in pursuing my nursing career.
Thanks for all the advice and motivation you both have given me.
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