Quote from RNinWI
They gave me restrictions which are most likely permanent. Because of these restrictions (primarily against lifting over 50 lbs, bending, pushing, pulling) it seems that no one wants to hire me due to safety concerns.
I am also currently on chronic opioid therapy for pain management in addition to Gabapentin, relafen and cymbalta. I have been on it for almost 2 years and have no cognitive impairment. I have been applying and interviewing since last September and only had one job offer (which was withdrawn after I went to the pre-employment physical).
Your back problems can be a factor but at this point in time nurses with no limitations and tons of experience can't find jobs.
If your PCE was done 6 months post op that is too long ago, ask for another one. Even better, how long since you had any PT? Ask for a PT eval and get treatment for deconditioning R/T failed low back. If possible do the PT with a facility that can also do the PCE at the end of the program. You'd be surprised at the difference a couple years and some conditioning can make from 6 months post op.
applying for jobs that meet your restrictions, a doc doing the pre-employment physical should have the job description in front of them, only applying for positions that meet your restrictions avoids them saying you're not fit for work based on restrictions.
If the application or any of the other 'tools' you're given ask if you've had a back injury, don't lie and do finish the application. Don't assume they won't hire you.
On the application do not list the gap in employment as being due to surgery, etc. You took this time off to care for a family member, to devote time to your family, use your imagination.
Do NOT list your pain doc as your primary care physician.
Do NOT disclose your meds except at the time of the UA. For that carry the meds with you but don't off them up, other than to tell the person administering the test that you are "on a prescription med that may show up, what the process is for providing proof of prescription?".
Once you do finally get your foot in the door do not ever, EVER, even once make a move on the job that is outside your restrictions. Be very, very careful of your body, breaking restrictions even a little can void any workers comp claim. Once you get back working you will find work arounds for things that are outside your restrictions.
I have a very obvious physical disability due to my back, the only time it's not apparent is if I'm sitting down. I've managed to work steadily for the last 16 years (except for time off for surgery & recovery) doing what I posted above. I'm in a wheel chair 50% of the time (a deterioration since I took the job 3 years ago),. I'm working on my BSN because I'm headed for 50 and am burning out, it's time to explore some new options.