RN with Trach and Cardiac Issues

  1. Back in 2000 due to some very lousy medical care I ended up on a vent for two months. A trach was never put in and cuff pressure never checked. This resulted in massive radial scar tissue which I've had 10 surgeries to correct without a single positive result. As such I will have a trach in place from now on.

    Also while on the vent I became septic which did minor cardiac damage.

    After months of rehab I relearned to walk, read and use an electro larynx to speak.

    I worked many years with radical head and neck cancer patients and sports med surgery(knees mostly) I've tried many times over the years to get back into nursing but have never once had even a single interview beyond the initial call from an HR dept. It seems once my use of a device to speak is discovered all interest in me as an employee disappears.

    With fresh CEs under my belt and a renewed license I thought I'd try once again and thought of returning here to seek advice. (have an old account but cannot for the life of me recall my log info)

    My disabilities are:

    I have a trach which I keep an HME on at all times.

    I speak using an electrolarynx.

    I can't manage more than about an hour up on me feet but if I can sit for about 20 minutes I'm good for about another hour.

    My mind is as strong as it ever was.

    I'm really tired of living on long term disability and SS. I have a great desire to work again and the inability to find it no matter how hard I try has started to depress me. Which is something I never thought I would say about myself since I've always been a very positive outlook person.

    Thank you all in advance for any advice you can render.
  2. Visit Deguella profile page

    About Deguella

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 2; Likes: 1


  3. by   traumaRUs
    I admire your spirit! What about something with insurance? Maybe case management? Teaching? School nursing? Private duty nursing?
  4. by   regularRN
    I think you would make a great nurse caring for, and inspiring people with similar health issues - maybe in a rehabilitation facility, or sub-acute arena for long term trach/vent pts, or trach pts in the community. Or even counseling pts and their families with such issues... you might need to think about gaining additional certificates/qualifications.
    I think your personal experience as a pt and expertise as an RN can be directed towards advocacy.
  5. by   Leelee2
    With your personal experiences, and a love for nursing and learning...I was thinking that teaching may be a perfect fit for you.
  6. by   Deguella
    Thank you for the replies. I direct my search in the suggested areas. My major problem is that once HR calls to setup an interview they hear that I have to use an electrolyrnx to speak and all interest in me an an employee dries up.
  7. by   iwanna
    I know the pay is not too great, but how about working at a pulmonary specialist office. Or, an ENT specialty, where i am sure that many patients would have a trach and would appreciate someone who has been through it.

    I have had a few trachs due to sub-glottic stenosis. Currently, I am just looking for a job as an LPN. I would like to start out part-time, as I have not worked a permanent job in seven years. I am now going to be 54 in a few weeks. I am tired of the LTD, too. I am tired of everything that you have to go through and the invasion of privacy. My LTD is looking to terminate my benefits. I have been looking for a job that I would be able to handle. It is depressing to realize that I may never actually work as a nurse, again. I just don't feel that I am very marketable due to my age, and I don't have much experience. I became an LPN at the age of 40. I only have about 5 1/2 years of nursing experience, and it has all been in behavioral health. I attempted to work in a nursing home(I know, what was I thinking), but it was way overwhelming, and I resigned after 6 weeks. Then I worked at an allergist's office and was terminated after only three weeks. A long-time pt. had an anpahylcatic reaction to a serum that was made in our office by me and nurse training me. We made the serums and pt. self injected once they were stabilized. I was let go because it was assumed to be my fault. This has really affected my self confidence.

    I can't do hospital nursing. Although, my functional capacity exam says, otherwise. I was tested for an hr. and not an eight hour day.

    I can empathize with you wanting to work. I need to work, and the small amount of SSDI is not enough for me to live on. And, you are only allowed to make $900 in a month to maintain the benefits. Honestly, I don't care to be on SSDI, either. My husband fears that if I forfeit it now, that I may never get approved, again. However, I feel with my age, that I would not have a problem, if my condition should happen to exacerbate. I have an auto-immune illness and have been stabilized, with the exception of fatigue and SOB when I overdo it. I just need to make sure that I get the proper rest.

    Being that you have an RN, you may be able to work from home doing triage. Or, working with insurance. Maybe, some private duty cases that you would be able to handle. That is something that I have not totally ruled out. However, I really have no med-surg experience.

    I wish you the best. Have you considered working with a vocational counselor through the ticket to work program?
  8. by   twinkletoes53
    Quote from deguella
    thank you for the replies. i direct my search in the suggested areas. my major problem is that once hr calls to setup an interview they hear that i have to use an electrolyrnx to speak and all interest in me an an employee dries up.

    i have just found a website for nurses with disabilities. it is called exceptionalnurse.com.
    they profile and are advocates for nurses who continue to work in spite of disabilities, such as muscular dystrophy, vision loss, deafness, wheelchair use, amputation, bipolar disorder, etc.
    it costs $15.00/year to join the site and access all their resources. but if you have a low income, you pay just $5.00/year.