Does your employer make accommodations for your disability? - page 2

by VivaLasViejas 5,416 Views | 29 Comments Guide

The working world is a strange place. You work in a zillion crappy jobs for most of your life, and then, if you're very, very lucky, you find the right job. You go along for a year or two, thinking you've got it made, being glad... Read More


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    I don't require any accomodations at my current job. The exponential reduction in stress that came with the new job has made my illness much more bearable. At my old (hospital) job there were accomodations, but they were made very grudgingly and I had to hear a lot about it from other nurses and the managers. I was allowed more than the normal number of absences. My doctor wrote a note for me not to have to work nights. I was told that this was impossible in my unit, but that I could move to a different (much less pleasant) unit. I refused and stuck it out until a day shift slot came open. I would occassionally get floated to work with babies, and the bili bed lights would cause me serious neuro issues. I had a note saying I couldn't care for babies under bili lights, nor could I be in close proximity to them. It was a fight every time I got floated. The last time, I got in a shouting match with the charge nurse. What part of "no bili lights" could they not understand? Apparently, to their way of thinking, I could do it if I really wanted to. I could turn off the lights when caring for the baby, or just turn my back to them.
    VivaLasViejas and sharpeimom like this.
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    I haven't had to have accomodations yet, but the day is coming when it will be either that or go out on disability. So far, my manager has been tolerating my issues with good grace. I know I'm a valuable employee due to my ability to teach classes and precept, but I also know that my bad back is a real challenge. The nurses I work with have taken up some of my slack, for which I am profoundly grateful. *I* know that I'm also taking up some of theirs because I can answer their questions, teach them how to do procedures they've never done and help them troubleshoot recalitrant equipment, but sometimes new nurses don't see that side of the equation.

    To be fair to my manager, who I like, I've seen her get burned in the past by nurses who've requested an accomodation just because. Two nurses claimed that they couldn't work nights due to health issues, were put on permanent days, and then bragged about how they put one over on the manager (and the rest of the staff, who had to work their share of the night shifts.) One guy hurt his back moving furniture on the weekend, dragged himself into work and then claimed that he'd injured himself five minutes into his shift pulling up a patient and submitted a claim for workman's comp. He's now trying to claim total disability, but somehow pictures of him mountain biking have surfaced. Those individuals are particularly dispicable because they ruin things for the people who really want to work but need accomodations.
    Esme12 and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    I have had mutiple back surgeries due to herniated discs. Now, I have chronic back pain and belong to a pain management program. Until recently I was an RN contingent field nurse in home health and I didn't need any special consideration from the management. A couple of months ago, I took a new job which was supposed to be an 8:00-4:30, 8 hour/day desk position with a very large home care company. I didn't tell my manager about my back because it never affected my work before. Unfortunately, within 2 weeks of starting, I found out that it was actually a 10 hrs/day salary position. I started having terrrible back pain sitting in that chair 10 hrs day. I did get a doctors note that my manager really did not want to honor and HR didn't know what to do with it. My manager decided that I should work 10-6:30 pm because we were busier later in the day. Of course, I stll wasn't able to leave at 6:30 and became good friends with the cleaning crew. This was not the job I agreed to! So, I resigned and now I'm going back to school for a higher degree hoping that I'll have more job choices. You are lucky that your employer is accomadating you.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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    As a manager I always try to make accommodations unless it seriously affected the operations. I got a new traveling job with a state agency 2 weeks before I turned 50. I went to my age 50 check up, they found a lump and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mind you I just started a new job. This new job could not accommodate me. I was crushed and numb. It was a state health and human agency. They placed so much pressure on me to quit, they thought I knew about the cancer and took the job for the health benefits. I did not know I had breast cancer before I started this new job, (had health insurance thru my husnbands job). Long story short I do not work there and have a great job now and am a cancer survivor.

    This has taught me to go the extra mile for employees not only as a manager but as a fellow co-worker too.
    Last edit by Neats on Feb 18, '13 : Reason: corrections
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    They suggest we tell them if we need accomadations re immunocompromise ie HIV, but I wouldn't trust them to honor it. However they don't mention if you need light duty re lifting. Forget about light duty, unless workers comp. Otherwise sit home and get by on 60% disability. I really don't trust or believe that they would honor a disability. Light duty for workers comp is just to make sure your not sitting at home getting paid to do nothing! As far as bedside nursing you must be able to work like a mule or there is no job for you

    Good Luck to you. Another reason I wish we had national healthcare to realize you are just one illness or job loss away from losing your health insurance, its just not fair! And why can't we have a safe no lift environment in this day and age! Too many healthcare workers are being forced to work in chronic pain just to keep their job and the roof over their head! Used to be a CNA needing a less strenuous job could become a HUC, but no more! Now you must be both a HUC/CNA so there is no room for you if you become old or injured. Less accomadations are available than before if you ask me!
    Last edit by brandy1017 on Feb 18, '13
    mh356 likes this.
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    I understand completely your concern..about finding a job, about being "branded" - all of it...employers right now have the benefit of picking from "tons" of applicants...with all the concerns healthcare businesses have now (cost containment, doing more with less people,etc) they are, in my opinion, less likely to, long term, work with/accomdate someone with a special need - they are, most likely, going to do what they have to within the ADA laws/guide lines but at the first chance relieve themselves of the employee - whether they like them or not. Sadly, people by and large, still in 2013, seem less understanding/forgiving of mental health issues that other ones (such as bad backs or diabetes). One of my past employers was extremely difficult in allowing nurses to work their schedules around for doctors appointments (this was a M-F 8-5 employer). One of the nurses has MS, she functioned very well, asked for nothing except to leave or come in 30 min. early/late once a month - the manager was always giving her a hard time..it was amazing what she had to go through just to keep her lab appt. Where is the compassion for employees like this? There is a vast difference in employees who abuse sick time/days and those that are genuninely in need.

    Take care of yourself Viva, you are a great help to many on here - myself included.
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
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    I would not have any issue with making reasonable accomodations for an employee who really needed them. BUT, I have a nurse who got her doctor to write she can't stand up and push a med cart so she's not on the on call schedule. Really....you can go to the casino and stand at a slot machine all day but you can't stand for 4 hours to push a cart?!?
    Esme12, sharpeimom, and VivaLasViejas like this.
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    I would look into getting an FMLA from your doctor and tell your manager that you will take a day off as you see fit. I have learned not to let anyone control me but to be control my own destination. If you need a day off then take it using your FMLA (if you don't already have one). You should be the one telling them when you need some time off. I have found in the past I have tried working with my managers and they were not willing to work with me so I went to the next step. Goodluck
    monkeybug likes this.
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    Oh and BTW...they do not like it when you do this.
    monkeybug likes this.
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    My employer is wonderful. Twenty years ago I was hired through a Vocational Rehabilatation work re-entry program. So he knew what he was getting. He has made several very reasonable accomidations for me over the years including regular hours, short shifts, and time off for appointments. He has been good to me and I have been good to him.

    Fuzzy
    VivaLasViejas likes this.


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