Can you be a nurse if you've had a heart attack?

  1. Hi Everybody

    This is my first post to the message boards. So excited to be here.

    Now on to my question.....

    Last August, I had a heart attack at 40 years old. I am a diabetic and in all truthfulness, I really didn't take care of myself prior to my heart attack. I had a stent put in but still suffered with pain months and months after this procedure. I was 99% blocked in one artery and 90% blocked in another.

    The Dr's in the hospital told me that my veins/arteries/valves going into my heart are too small and that if I had another heart attack or something and needed open heart surgery...basically I was out of luck.

    I went in for a check-up to my cardiologist. He didn't like what he heard and scheduled me for surgery the next day. There was a new stent he was going to put in on top or inside the other one that was small enough for me AND was medicated....he called it a drug illuding stent. you know my background. My question I ever have any hope of going to nursing school and then having a career as a nurse....or are my chances shot because of all this "stuff" that's happened to me?

    Everyone is telling me....NO WAY!!! HELP!!! Thanks!!!:redpinkhe
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    About MrsBabyComet

    Joined: May '10; Posts: 2


  3. by   Silverdragon102
    As long as you are healthy and think you can manage the workload whilst back at school I can't see why not. Although in the UK I knew of a few nurses that was post MI admittedly they had their NI post schooling but worked OK as long as they took care of themselves
  4. by   MrsBabyComet
    Thanks Silverdragon...that helps alot!!
  5. by   llg
    Talk with your physician. Nursing often involves high physicial and emotional stress, irregular work schedule, irregular sleep schedule, irregular meal schedule, etc. Ask him/her whether or not you are healthy enough to begin a career that involves those things.

    Certainly there are people who have had heart attacks and/or have diabetes that are nurses. However, most of those people became nurses before those health problems occurred and were/are able to use their experience to get jobs that fit well with their medical conditions. It is a more difficult situation who would be entering the field with those health problems and who would have fewer choices for possible jobs -- and who might find things more stressful than an experienced nurse.

    I'm not saying it can't be done ... but the stresses in nursing are very real and you shouldn't ignore them. Talk with you physician to get his/her opinion before making the huge investment of time, energy, and money necessary to become a nurse.
  6. by   Tweety
    What llg said is true. It's a tough demanding profession, both physically and emotionally. Ask your doctor. You should be in reasonably good health.