now disabled...but can still do job..advice wellcome

  1. I am a 50yr old nursing student, on the point of completion. however I am now registered disabled due to arthritis in my knees getting worse. I am worried about this stopping me getting a job once qualified. At the moment i am on a very busy surgical admission unit with 30 beds. by the end of the shift i may be limping a bit but can still do all the duties required of me. Also i would tend to apply for smaller units or practice nurse jobs.
    has any of you had similar problems, would welcome any advice anyone can give me.
  2. Visit carol-j profile page

    About carol-j

    Joined: Aug '11; Posts: 2


  3. by   llg
    You raise a very interesting societal issue. Why are you considered "disabled" (and presumably, eligible for disability benefits) if you are actually still able to be on your feet all day and perform adequately in a physically demanding job?

    A lot of people (me included) would question that. I believe you can't have it both ways. Either you are disabled (and eligible for tax-supported benefits) or not. Or perhaps, you are "partially disabled" -- able to work some types of jobs, but not others. I think you are going to have to decide which way to go. You may have to make a decision which category to place yourself in. It sounds as if to me that you may best fit the "partially disabled" category -- but I don't if there is a legal category for that. You may need to talk with an attorney who is knowledgable about employment law to help you sort that out.

    Are you going to be asking your employer to make accommodations for you? If you will be needing special accommodations, it might limit your job choices. The abilities to stay on your feet, stoop down, lift, etc. have traditionally been considered a reasonable requirement for most staff nurse jobs. People may hesitate to hire you for physically demanding jobs if you can't do those things without special accommodations. Do you have education/experience that will help you land a job that does not put so much strain on your body? What types of jobs will you be seeking?

    I'm interested in seeing what other people have to say on this.
  4. by   Laurie52
    I'm not sure what you mean by registered disabled. Could you please expain?
  5. by   carol-j
    sorry for the confusion, i have Arthritis in both knees, ( so consider myself partially disabled) -- able to work some types of jobs, but not others. i can do what is required of me on the wards but by the end of an 8 hr shift am in a lot of pain. I aim to work part time, possible max of 30hrs wk. Due to the increased pain and limits on mobility, my GP as classed me as disabled, but as most of you are aware once it get to a set point i can have knee replacements, its this in between time i am worried over….. thought possibly smaller unit, or medical rather than surgical unit
  6. by   Laurie52
    I have bone on bone arthritis in both knees. Yes, sometimes at the end of a 10-12 hour shift my knees hurt, but I would never allow my physician to classify me as disabled. It has the potential of increasing my costs for insurance and decreasing my chances if I was interested in a new job.
  7. by   maggieboston
    Hi, Yes you totally can still do a nursing job. I had been a nurse for 10 years when I had a very large stroke which paralysed my right side. I had been an operating room nurse, and before that did med/surg, telemetry and ICU. I never thought I'd do a desk job. But you reasess your options after something like that. I still had 10 years of experience. Now I do telephone triage for a neuromuscular group. Arrange: home care, outpatient testing, infusions, perscriptions, and a little research. I love it. I have the experience to understand the problem in a medical way but also in a more personal way. Most of my patients dont know that Im disabled. Unless they've met me there is no reason to tell them. Not that I try to hide it, but it isnt about me its about them. Don't worry, a nurse at heart will find a way.
  8. by   Cobweb
    I work in an electric wheelchair on a rehab unit. My patients love that I work in a wheelchair! I guess it makes them feel that they can have a life after all I can walk about the room enough to pass meds and help turn people, although I no longer trust myself to take people to the bathroom. So, there are definitely jobs that you can do.
  9. by   msgirl68
    Try to find a telephone job because the gen public are on a radar to be on the alert whenever a nurse
    gets a moment for a break or bathroom visit.