Injured on the job-very sad - page 2

I was injured on the job several years ago. I am now considered partially disabled. I have a lifting restriction which is holding me back from getting a lot of jobs. Plus now I can not stand on my... Read More

  1. by   bsyrn
    have you thought about trying telephone triage/ nurse help line or possibly doing chart review for lawyers?
    I am sorry about your situation, I hope you find your niche soon
  2. by   TDCHIM
    You mentioned that funds are getting tight. Are you an established client of your state's Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation? Given your educational level, they won't be able to do much to help with your tuition or school fees, but they can help with many other aspects: supplies, equipment you may need to help you work more comfortably and effectively both at home and at work, headhunters who can help you search for jobs and market you to potential employers, even the occasional money for vehicle repairs. In some cases, BVR reps can offer tax credits to employers who hire BVR clients. A good BVR rep is worth his or her weight in gold.

    Keep up the good fight! I'm considered fully disabled (not from any sort of work-related incident, just genetics and bad luck), but accepting a life on disability just isn't in my nature. I may never be able to find an employer who'll accept me, but I'm not giving up without a major fight. Feel free to PM me any time. I wish you the very best of luck!
  3. by   LTCangel
    I can understand how you feel. I am only 41 years old and became ill with Fibromyalgia about 4-5 years ago although I did not get an actual diagnosis until 2009. I have been a nurse for almost 15 years. started as an LPN, then earned my ADN while working full time and then obtained my BSN. I was a night-shifter for 10 years and when I first started feeling bad I thought that this was due to night shift, so when a position became available I was able to go to dayshift. Big mistake! It was so hard to get up at 5 am and get to work and then work 12 hours non-stop with hardly a lunch or bathroom break. I worked on Orthopedics/Joint Replacement, which I had grown to love but it requires constantly lifting, assisting, turning, and repositioning patients who are broken or fresh post-op. My fibromyalgia worsened and so did my tardies and abscenses. I had a very caring and compassionate Nurse Manager who really wanted to help me and advised me to file for FMLA so that my absences would be covered. I did this and it was granted. I could take up to 16 hrs a week of intermittent leave due to fibromyalgia. Soon after my Nurse Manager(who is in the National Gaurd) was called to active duty and we were given a new Nurse Manager. I swear that her main agenda seemed to be watching me with a magnifying glass. So began the write-ups for tardies-1-2 minutes was considered late at this facility, no grace period. I tried to work with her and promised to do better. I even went back to night shift and it was easier. Each quarter my tardies were less and less but she still wrote me up. Now mind you, I am a good nurse, never have had a pt complaint, excellent charge nurse and people skills, excellent critical thinking skills, and considered an "expert" on my unit in Orthopedics. I'm not tooting my own horn here, this was written on my evals.

    So in March, I was terminated. I had 5 tardies of no more than 5 minutes. As she fired me she said you are a wonderful nurse but this is the policy. Since my termination, I have been contacted by several former employees who were either fired or "pushed out" after either getting injured on the job or admitting to being sick, ie FMLA. The hospital also fought me for my unemployment and I did not get a dime except my last check. We had to apply for emergency food stamps. I am the major breadwinner in my family and help to support my daughter in college and still have a teenager at home. It took 4 weeks to even get an interview and was at a LTC facility owned by a large corporation, they are hiring more RNs instead of relying on LPNs only.(Probably because they can get by with in these days and times with the economy and job market the way it is). I am very grateful to say that I am now finishing my 3rd week of orientation. I will be on night shift(sigh!), but I took a huge paycut and I will have to pay some pretty expensive health insurance premiums. We did not pay insurance premiums at my former job mostly due to the union in the facility that fights for that stipulation every 3 years.

    I gave this hospital 14 years of the best years of my life and I am still mourning the complete lack of empathy shown to me. I am so excited to get my first paycheck tomorrow after 2 months, although it won't be much it will be something. I am also working on my MSN-ed but am on a break from it right now because I knew I wouldn't be able to do floor nursing much longer. I worked in LTC as my first job and really came to love my residents and I am sure I will again. This company offers a very generous Tuition Assistance Program and encourages upward movement in the company, so I can see myself working a job such as CNA instructor, RN Education Cooridinatoe, MDS and Care Planning... the list goes on. I asked God to show me where I needed to be now. When I interviewed for this position, I told the DON the whole story from beginning to end and she looked at me and said" sounds like someone was picking on you." She also shared that she has fibromyalgia so she understood all of the symptoms that go along with it- insomnia, pain, fatigue,etc. I felt this was my sign! So I am making an effort each day to close the book on my hospital career and let go of bitter feelings and open the book on my new career so I can be the best nurse I can be. I live in Southern WV in a tristate area that is absolutely saturated with Nursing Schools and I consider myself blessed to have gotten an interview and to be hired on the first interview. By the way, this facility has a 7 minute grace period when clocking in for your shift:heartbeat

    Hang in there and remeber that Nursing has many avenues. Some of them we never see ourselves traveling but it just may turn out to be for the best!! God bless you. Lisa
  4. by   jakesmom42
    Hi Nuse Sandi,
    I am in a very similar circumstance as you are. I was injured on the job. It will be 11 years next month. Unless you go through it, you cannot understand. I also lost everyone and everything. I now live alone, with my three dogs. My husband "didn't want to be marrid any longer", but he was remarried before we were divorced a whole year. I went through years of very deep depression, almost suicidal at times. I had anxiety attacks. I was on huge amounts of pain medications, along with many other medications. I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, which started at the injury site, my right ankle, and is now in both legs, my back and my neck. I still get migraine headaches. I have pain in both feet and legs with standing, walking, or sitting with my legs dependant. I now have pain in both hands, except for my last two fingers on both hands.
    It was very difficult for me to realize that my career was gone and I would never be a nurse again. But, I continued to pray and listed for God's voice for direction. After many years of fighting Work Comp, I finally received the treatments that I needed. I have a spinal cord stimulator and an infusion pump. They do not get rid of the pain entirely, but they make it tolerable. I, like you, tried to go back to work, but I could not get a position because I have been out of work for so many years. Therefore, I went back to school in January of 2009 and am getting ready to graduate with my bachelor's degree in December.
    I have faith that I will find a job. I know that it is in God's timing. He is the Author of my faith and the Director of my path. With Him, all things are possible. I am now seriously considering working on my Master's in either Nurse Education to teach at the college or in Administrative/Management. There will also be a serious shortage of Nurse Managers in the future. Maybe that will be my setting.
    I hope that what I said here gives you some level of hope in the future. God is awesome and with Him, you can truly live. :redpinkhe I hope & pray for all the best for you. In His name, FS "Jakesmom42"
    Last edit by jakesmom42 on Jun 19, '11
  5. by   xtxrn
    Boy can I relate to how "friends" just dry up and are never heard from again.

    Here's something that at first might sound lousy- but I've done it, and never thought I would. Nursing homes have positions for assessment nurses (MDS nurses) to fill out federally required assessments. They HAVE to have a nurse do these. Most are willing to talk to someone with a bedside background, who has good assessment skills, and is self-motivated. It requires assessing the residents/patients, and entering the data into a computer. Other departments also have sections to fill out, and the whole thing generates info for the care plans. It's a desk job, but still allows for moving around. Generally, the most you have to lift is a chart.

    I've done this position in 3 different cities (between other types of nursing- back in the days when it was commonplace to just do something else when it got boring). And, even though I thought I'd hate it, it's what I did the longest at each of the facilities. Just make it clear that being on call (if required) is dealt with before starting. I couldn't work a shift (unless it was nights, with fewer meds) and then deal with bouncing between shifts and get the assessments done right. I liked doing these. I still got to interact with patients, but didn't go home in agony from pain.

    The worst thing that can happen is not liking it...but having given it a shot.
  6. by   cdicapua
    I am a cna I was injured by a patient and it is thank god a small injury but none the less I can't work. I was enrolled in nursing school and was told how will I be a nurse if I can't use all my fingers. I am going to the school before the semester starts to change my courses if I can. For 26 years before I became a nurse I was a mortgage banker I worked hard to change my career to health care and now at 59 I am out on workman's comp. I have been home for 2 mos now and the feeling of being useless is overwhelming. My heart goes out to you. It is a feeling like you don't belong. Good luck to you.
  7. by   Felec
    I am a home health nurse and was injured transferring my pt from the bed while he was sitting to his wheelchair. I felt terrible pain and a noise while moving him, and cried out "I frigging tore something" tears filled my eyes. That happened a month ago. I have since then been getting worse. I am on ristrictions and work out of the office doing paper work. I am sad and feel useless because it hurts to much to even do that. I am confused because I do not know who I can trust anymore. The workmans comp Dr. told me I had something in my MRI that could not be work related and I found out two days ago that the disease he told me I had, I do not. I am thankful to God that I do not have it and that the Dr. who told me I do not have it is willing to take over my care and find out what is wrong with me. I am scared and the people I work for are very nice and told me they are going to get me a "field case manager" to go to my app. with me if the workmans comp insur. will cover it and the new Dr. who wants to take over my care. I was okay before I hurt myself. Now I am not. I do not understand why they would tell me something untrue and so scary and why they will not just fix me? I am not asking for money I am missing from time I am missing I just want to get the help I need and stop being told my injuries are not work related. What does a field case manager do anyway? I know I have not helped you with your question but home health does require a lot so that is prob not the best place for you as I know from my one year of exper. If you can tell me anything to help me I would be very thankful as I am losing faith in our system.
  8. by   emilyrain
    I have been going through a battle with a back injury for over a year now, worse today than I was before I had surgery. I just keep my eyes on the lord and know that he has a plan for me and yes, I have my days that I cry and feel useless, I just keep praying for strength and endurance. I just want to mention to everyone who thinks I am young it won't happen to me, I am in my early 30's and it happened to me!!

    I actuall am reading this post trying to figure out the direction to find work. I have been told that I can not return to work as and RN and am seeking different revenues of work. I loved being an RN, have been looking into the NP field but due to the weight restrictions of employers will not be able to get a job if I went to school for it. Guess I will keep on searching.....

    To Felec do not trust anyone not even the people you work with. The nurse case manager is assigned through the industrial commission but is paid by your employers insurance company. They are going to call and question you and try to twist words around, be very cautious of everyone.
  9. by   nurseprnRN
    felec, a field nurse case manager is a nurse who works for an insurance company coordinating care, evaluating responses to care, educating the patient and the insurance adjuster in charge of the claim about the injury and treatment modalities, educating physicians and therapists about jobs and their physical requirements, and often making recommendations for referrals to specialists (physicians or therapists).
    emilyrain, i did this work for more than 15 years and it's a great way to positively influence the outcome of a work injury. i was not employed or assigned via the state department of industrial accidents; i was an employee or an independent contractor of the insurance carrier.
    one of the first things i said to a new patient was that i knew they or someone they knew was gonna say, "you don't care about me, you work for the insurance company, you just want to save money."
    and i would say, "i was a nurse for a long time before i took this job and i am still a nurse. it would be unethical for me to do anything i knew would harm you, or by doing nothing to allow harm to come to you.
    there's nothing inherently wrong with saving money. if we didn't have to worry about saving money it would be because we were all independently wealthy, and then neither of us would be working and we wouldn't be here today. so. are you getting paid more or less money on comp than you had in a regular paycheck?" (less, of course) "and on comp you're not accumulating seniority or vaca time, either. so you get more money if i help you get better faster, right?"
    "you understand that work comp is a health insurance plan that your employer buys, like you buy car insurance, right?" (discussion) like with your car insurance, if you make a claim for an accident and the insurance pays for repairs, your rates go up. so does your employer's premium if he has a lot of injuries that the insurance company has to spend money on. so yes, he saves money if you go back to work, plus he doesn't have to spend money to hire and train a new person."
    "and of course, if you get better, the insurance company saves money."
    "so yes, i do help everybody save money. except me, i'm on salary." (this usually got a smile)
    did i have injured workers who were fraudulent? sure, but they were the teeeeeny minority. most people really were injured, really did want to get better, and really did go back to work. there were always a few who would queer the deal for everyone else, and of course it was part of my job to figure that out. most of the time, though, if i recommended a specialist or a diagnostic test, the insurance company would approve it, because i was supposed to know what i was doing. as a nurse. doing assessment, diagnosis, planning, and implementing. nursing process, just not wearing scrubs.
  10. by   nurseprnRN
    and emilyrain and others with back injury, do not think me harsh when i say that pain needn't stop you from work. i have a ten-inch lumbar scar so i know what you're going thru. it's important to know that surgery cannot be expected to cure back pain *( the physicians don't usually make that too clear), it's only to stabilize unstable things. that said, people who bull through their pain, keep moving in spite of it, and do not fear do better in the long run.

    most people who have back surgery for disks are in about the same place at ten years postop as someone who didn't have it (assuming structural stability). "ten years!" i hear you cry, "i can't live like this for ten years!" and the point is, you won't. the first year or so will be hard, but less so every month, a little bit at a time. if you keep moving and realize the difference between dangerous pain and nondangerous pain, you will get better. people who do less and less due to pain because they fear it get shorter and shorter muscles, they have more pain because their muscles are tight (not dangerous pain) so they do less and less, their muscles get shorter and more painful, and then normal activity hurts and scares them, and they do less....and they start getting into a real hole.

    my goal postop was to have five minutes being pain free. just five lousy minutes. it took a few months, but then i got those five minutes. then my goal was ten minutes, then thirty, then sixty. i kept moving, kept doing what the pt made me do even though i thought she was gonna kill me, and walked for longer and longer distances. (the first time i went out for 1/4 mile and damn near had to crawl back to my car, couldn't move the next day. but the day after that, i went out again. for 1/4 mile. aaarghh.) by the time i was 10 months postop i was walking 3.5 miles in an hour and whistling. my goal was to have a day free of pain. then it was two days. then a week. sometimes it was a long time between pain-free days, but then they started to string together.

    most people are told they have to be at an endpoint at 6 months postop, and that's ridiculous. you'll make yourself crazy if you think that how you are at 6 months is as good as it will ever get. give yourself permission to not be afraid; in europe they give people two years, and that's about what it takes.

    my long-term goal was to forget i had ever hurt my back at all. then, "hah!" i said to myself, "that'll never happen. i ain't never gonna forget this." but you know what? now i go months and months without ever remembering that time. today's probably the first time in a year or so. there are days i get a twinge and it used to scare me, but then i remembered, "this is not dangerous pain," and ignored it. and it lost its grip on me, i got stronger and more flexible pain went away.

    i absolutely know how scary it is to think you will never be normal again, never work at your chosen life's work again, never get up off of the damn toilet without pain again.... but you can. good physical therapy and a good physiatrist (rehabilitation physician) with an interest in back pain will make it possible. and a good attitude.

    after i got my back fixed, that's when (but not why) i started doing comp work. i used to say to my injured workers that if a fat old broad like me could get better from back surgery and carry a 40# backpack with scouts, they could too. so can you. well, if you like camping.:d
  11. by   dapc
    I am getting the same thing. Got kicked by a patient and hurt. They don't want to pay for my care and if I cant return in 2 weeks with no restrictions I have to go. I never would have believed this could happen. Please bedside nurses do NOT get hurt ever!!
  12. by   hppygr8ful
    Depending on how many years of experience you have - Have you thought of becoming a legal nurse consultant? You could work for insurance companies, law firm's private practice attorneys etc... and it mostly just doing chart reviews - of course there is extra school to consider but you may be able to get money through disability return to work programs to help pay for it.

  13. by   dishes
    Quote from dapc
    I am getting the same thing. Got kicked by a patient and hurt. They don't want to pay for my care and if I cant return in 2 weeks with no restrictions I have to go. I never would have believed this could happen. Please bedside nurses do NOT get hurt ever!!
    Have you filed a claim with your state worker's compensation board?