Quote from nurselife21
I'm 21 y/o female and I was recently diagnosed with Lupus about 10 mths ago. I was always healthy and strong before getting into my first "flare". I even had to get a blood transfusion because my blood count was really low.
Anyway now that I'm on Lupus medication, (including Prednisone which I hate and made me gain 30lbs) and out of a flare, I'm a lot better than I used to be. but EVERYDAY I'm always left feeling tired, achy joints all over my body, back pain, weakness, & feel like I can't stand for more than like 2-3 hrs w/o feeling so tired and weak with swollen feet.. and the list goes on.
I'm a pre-nursing student hoping to be an RN and eventually a PNP and hoping to apply for nursing school by 2014. I'm having second thoughts as to being a nurse because I know i would have to work 12 hr shifts, no sitting, possibly no lunch breaks if busy, and so on. Stress, spread of germs, lack of sleep, etc. could possibly set me into a "flare" and being sick for weeks at a time really sucks.
My questions are for the people that have Lupus or any other autoimmune diseases..
-How is your day after a long 12hr shift?!
-How to protect yourself from all the sick pts that come into the hospital?
-How to minimize back pains and joint pain from working long hrs?
-Even though I have Lupus, would Nursing still be a great career for me? Or too much for me to handle physically, emotionally, & mentally?
Any other info would be greatly appreciated & helpful.
I'm sorry about your diagnosis, but I'm glad that you're feeling improved.
I don't have an autoimmune disease, but I have multiple conditions that made me worry at one point about my ability to work (I also am acquainted with a NICU-turned-PICU RN with lupus who has similar thoughts as me). I'm a NICU nurse. My NICU is divided in pods. Oftentimes, our patients are in the same pod, which is great because there's no running up and down a long hallway to see everybody. Plus, we're taking care of babies, which is nice because it decreases stress on your joints (i.e., you're not turning adults). Because of that (and because we try to cluster our care), sitting down is possible. We sit down to feed our feeders/growers. I've absolutely had days where I've had a baby crash and I've been on my feet for multiple hours straight to try to save him/her, but I've found that caring for a baby is a lot easier on the body than caring for a sick adult.
Working on a supportive unit is important. Good hand hygiene and infection control is important, especially in NICU. We're pretty OCD, I've found
. We ask sick visitors not to come in, and we will have them leave if they seem sick. Wear good, supportive shoes, and compression stockings; your legs and feet will thank you later. My co-workers all make sure that everybody gets a break at some point throughout the day. It might not be your entire 30 minutes (mine was 20 the other day, but that's happened one time so far), but it's something. We usually get another shorter break at some point during the day, too.
You can make it work if you set your sights on it, and if you take care of yourself. Talk to your doctors if you have particular concerns about your condition.