Working with interstitial cystitis. is it possible?

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    hello,
    i am a nursing student who has been diagnoised with interstital cystits. up until recently my condition has been under control without medication (although i wouldn't consider the amount i void to be "normal") recently i have been experiencing the worst flare i have ever had. this wouldn't be so bad if i could stay at home, but i took a summer internship to work at a hospital in the area as a cna. i love my job but i am worried that i will not have access to the bathroom when needed. (i already had one really close call). so my question is, should i inform my nurse manager of my disability and request a reasonable accomidation to use the rest room when needed? and if so, how exactly do i go about doing this? my other question is, is it possible to be a nurse who has bladder flares? this recent flare has gotten me worried that i may not be able to work as a nurse. any support would be greatly appreciated since i am feeling pretty down right now.
  2. 4 Comments so far...

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    Quote from Vally Willis
    hello,
    I am a nursing student who has been diagnoised with interstital cystits. Up until recently my condition has been under control without medication (although i wouldn't consider the amount i void to be "normal") Recently I have been experiencing the worst flare I have ever had. THis wouldn't be so bad if I could stay at home, but I took a summer internship to work at a hospital in the area as a CNA. I love my job but i am worried that i will not have access to the bathroom when needed. (i already had one really close call). So my question is, should I inform my nurse manager of my disability and request a reasonable accomidation to use the rest room when needed? And if so, how exactly do I go about doing this? My other question is, is it possible to be a nurse who has bladder flares? This recent flare has gotten me worried that I may not be able to work as a nurse. Any support would be greatly appreciated since i am feeling pretty down right now.
    Have you tried speaking with your personal physician for advice? I'm sure you are not the only patient with such a dilemma. The office may have some valuable information and suggestions such as a living with IC support network.

    Check your facility handbook or with HR to determine the procedure to request reasonable accommodations. (while your manager would be involved, HR is usually responsible for these types of requests. Sometimes physician documentation is needed to show need for accommodation especially if not a typical or common condition. HR would have to maintain confidentiality on a need to know basis.).

    Personally I think this sounds like a reasonable accommodation as long as patient care is not at risk. An unreasonable accommodation might be having to take a two hour break for every two hours worked, Lol.

    Good luck and I hope your flare ends quickly!
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    I worked with IC back in the 90's, the pain got so bad I had to go on morphine and stop work. I finally decided to have my bladder removed replaced with urostomy. and after adjusting to it I was able to fo back to work. I would speak with your manager and see that she knows why you have to use rest room so frequently. Good luck.
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    My mother was a dialysis nurse when she was first diagnosed about 10 years ago with IC. She was terminated for reasons she doesn't fully understand but probably has something to do with frequent bathroom trips and missing work for MD apts and to go to the ER for severe pain. Her supervisors knew for years that she had IC. She finally went to pain management and is on a mix of Morphine and hydrocodone.. so nursing isn't a safe place for her to work anymore (she feels and I agree.) That being said she lost her health insurance and has been denied disability multiple times. She is young, only 43, so even if she did want the surgery the surgeons have said she is too young. I pay (ALOT) for her to go to pain management and for her meds because without them she suffers. Mom finally got a private cleaning job last month in hopes it will improve her spirits. She also suffers from depression and anxiety r/t the disease.

    As previous posters have mentioned it is possible to work with IC, but it can be very difficult for some people. I hope your journey is much easier than my mother's. I am so glad some light is being shed on this disease.
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    I'm 30 and have suffered from IC for 6 years. In 07, I attempted to work as a CNA after I became certified and I came home in tears each night from extreme burning pain from being on my feet. After only a week, I quit. It didn't stop me from going into nursing though, and my bladder was hell during clinical. As a new grad, I'm starting a new job tomorrow so I've decided I'm going back to a urologist to plead for pain meds for flares. I've been so afraid to ask for pain meds for fear of being thought of as a drug seeker, but I've realized that if I can be an advocate for my patients, I can be an advocate for myself. (I've tried almost everything for my bladder but all that works are opiates. I daydream about having my bladder removed. I really really want to try rescue instillations where they numb your bladder, but I can't afford that yet. Sorry I don't have anything positive to say, my bladder hurts like hell from being on my feet. But I'm not giving up nursing. Have you heard of the site the IC network? I recommend it Good luck


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