The false assumption, which is perpetuated by hospital administration, physical therapists, and many nurses is that the reason we (read as nurses) have back pain is that we don't use proper body mechanics or need to wear support or braces to accomplish our work.
The truth is that our bodies are not meant to be pushing, pulling, turning, lifting or even catching objects that weigh over 50 lbs. on a regular basis. Proper body mechanics and lifting techniques are based on lifting OBJECTS not people by males who have much different body composition and capabilities than the usual nurse (who , sorry guys, is generally a female). Industry does not expect laborers to move 300 lbs without some kind of assistance. The reason that we are all hurting our backs is that we are overstressing them on a daily basis. And please, don't be fooled into thinking that anyone will appreciate your hard work when your back is ruined and you are in constant pain.
I have been struggling for almost two years. I have had several procedures done which haven't helped much. Many health professionals have been decidedly unsympathetic and unprofessional in their treatment of me. Chronic pain is very misunderstood, even by those who mean well and even moreso by those who are resentful or who are out for themselves. The "worker's compensation" system is more of a haven for physicians who can make $ by working for the insurance companies or hospitals and either string you along for the monthly payments while ignoring your problems or even go so far as to give a totally unfounded opinion that you are able to work when it is obvious that to do so would be unhealthy for you and dangerous for your patients. They still get paid either by the visit or even more when they give depositions which pay them thousands. The legal system mostly protects them while allowing the insurance folks to torment you.
In case I sound bitter...its because I am. I'm about to have another procedure done...IDET. And just received notice that the insurance company wants me to see an "independent medical examiner" again..read as a doc that they pay to come here from another state just to examine people and say they can work. That's his entire job...he doesn't even have a practice ..just gets sent around by the company with all expenses paid. I saw him last year too...and he was a real jerk. Made me extend and move WAY past where it is painful for me..causing me increased pain levels for days afterwards. He never asked about what my job entails, and actually told me that he didn't want to hear about the pain I was having...even though that's essentially my problem. Anyway, its sooo frustrating I've gone to court twice all ready and won both times. But under the law, the insurance company doesn't even have to appeal the prior case..they can just get the doctor to say I can work more...again !!... and file a new case. My lawyer (yeah I have to pay her too) says that many times they will just continue until the person gives up because of the hassle and stress. Arrrgh..it makes me angry!!! And sooo sad....We are all such fools to put ourselves at risk for this. And for low pay, poor benefits, and little prestige may I add.
If I had known this when I was 20...I would have looked for another profession. And puh leeeze don't think that I was a bad nurse. I can quite honestly say that I have been a great nurse. I cared about my patients and tried to always do the best job that I possibly could. I did every shift imaginable in my time. I worked extra, came early, stayed late, skipped meals, didn't take breaks, etc. When I think about doing something else, even if it were to be a non patient care nursing job, i know I will miss the interaction with my patients. If I could possibly afford it I would give up right now..but unfortunately my family needs my income.
Guess that didn't answer your questions, but i had to speak out.