Nursing Student: Can a Person with a Trach Work in the Hospital? - page 2

Dear Nurse Beth, I recently found out that I would need a permanent tracheostomy. I have one more semester left of nursing school (rn) before I graduate, but I have taken a leave from school to... Read More

  1. by   3ringnursing
    Have you discussed your future opportunities with your nursing professors/instructors yet? In addition to knowing you well, they have been your mentors throughout your nursing program, and are a great resource. They would very likely be able to steer you in the right direction, provide you support and reassurance, and the information may ease some of the anxiety you are probably experiencing. They also have the advantage of having "ears on the ground" locally in your area regarding whose hiring, and hospital policies. I think it's as good a place to start as any, and probably better than most.

    I wish you the best of luck with your health and career. Your strength is a huge asset, and I like your spirit too. I would be delighted to work with you when you graduate. Go get 'em my friend!
  2. by   quitor1moretry
    These patients, are just like cancer survivors. Why on-line nursing? Isolating could cause or add to depression.
  3. by   DeeAngel
    I would be super worried about infection. There are some really horrible things that come into hospitals that, as a student, you have probably been sheltered from.
  4. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from Cassiburtram
    I did my clinicals as a nursing student in many different facilities including acute care hospitals, psychiatric units, and long term care facilities. Yes, I was also on the ventilator off and on. I was fortunate enough to have my trach reversed my final semester of nursing school.
    I think you are being deliberately vague. The OP is going to require ventilation for 20 hours a day. And she's not asking about nursing school. To encourage her to even consider bedside nursing is doing her no favors especially since, by your own admission, you haven't actually done it. While I have the utmost respect for your overcoming your situation, I don't know if I would have the inner strength to do the same, we need to be realistic here. Yes, there are many things that a nurse with this disability could accomplish and some of them were listed in the inspiring post by Donna Maheady. I certainly hope the OP looks into some of those suggestions. However, the lack of acute care experience IS going to be limiting. A teaching or case management position requires that kind of experience. The OP's condition puts her at increased risk for infection and possibly will put her patients at increased risk as well. The liability of having her on the floor is astronomical and I just don't see administrators being willing to take on that risk. The logistics of dragging a ventilator around would make providing patient care very difficult and I'm not too sure having a nurse with this requirement would make the patients feel comfortable. Before you accuse me of being unkind I want you to know that I only have the best of wishes for the OP But at the same time don't want to set her up for disappointment. That would be the unkind thing to do. To the OP, I believe you would have a wonderful opportunity in the area of patient education and support. With your nursing background you would be able to answer the difficult medical questions at the same time being able to address the emotional and psych/social issues in a way patients would be able to very closely identify with. I'm sure you would have a significant and positive impact in this role both in person and perhaps as an author/editor. Congratulations on this enormous achievement while facing what to outsiders would seem to be insurmountable obstacles. You are an amazingly strong human being and I have no doubt will be just as amazingly successful in whatever you choose to do.
  5. by   kristier
    Quote from Wuzzie
    I think you are being deliberately vague. The OP is going to require ventilation for 20 hours a day. And she's not asking about nursing school. To encourage her to even consider bedside nursing is doing her no favors especially since, by your own admission, you haven't actually done it. While I have the utmost respect for your overcoming your situation, I don't know if I would have the inner strength to do the same, we need to be realistic here. Yes, there are many things that a nurse with this disability could accomplish and some of them were listed in the inspiring post by Donna Maheady. I certainly hope the OP looks into some of those suggestions. However, the lack of acute care experience IS going to be limiting. A teaching or case management position requires that kind of experience. The OP's condition puts her at increased risk for infection and possibly will put her patients at increased risk as well. The liability of having her on the floor is astronomical and I just don't see administrators being willing to take on that risk. The logistics of dragging a ventilator around would make providing patient care very difficult and I'm not too sure having a nurse with this requirement would make the patients feel comfortable. Before you accuse me of being unkind I want you to know that I only have the best of wishes for the OP But at the same time don't want to set her up for disappointment.
    I think I read that she is getting the trach to AVOID being on a ventilator 20 hours a day-- that her pulm said she "can be mobile with a trach". Maybe I am wrong but I doubt she thinks she can do anything toward a nursing degree or working if vented all but 4 hours every 24.
    Last edit by kristier on Feb 25 : Reason: spelling correction
  6. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from kristier
    I think I read that she is getting the trach to AVOID being on a ventilator 20 hours a day-- that her pulm said she "can be mobile with a trach". Maybe I am wrong but I doubt she thinks she can do anything toward a nursing degree or working if vented all but 4 hours every 24.
    Re-read it. I just did. It definitely says she will be ventilated for 20 hours of the day and she can be mobile WITH the vent. My post was directed to the quoted poster who was alleging that she could work bedside while being trached and on a vent.
  7. by   kristier
    And I would agree with you completely. Even with a portable, wearable vent, it would be difficult. But somehow I think this gal just might beat the odds and do it anyway. At least getting through school. Working in Acute care might be too risky.
    I'm definitely cheering for her. I know you are too.
  8. by   Gmete001
    How about triage in the ER? Case management? Or a specialized field such as a lactation specialist?

    You've proven that you're dedicated. I'm sure that you will convince someone to take a chance and hire you. Best of luck to you!
  9. by   NickiLaughs
    Quote from Gmete001
    How about triage in the ER? Case management? Or a specialized field such as a lactation specialist?

    You've proven that you're dedicated. I'm sure that you will convince someone to take a chance and hire you. Best of luck to you!
    Triage in the ER would not be a good option. She would get exposed to many respiratory illlnesses and it isn't uncommon to need to push patients in wheelchairs around and even go assist a tech to get a patient out of a car. I don't think having a ventilator would enable that. I agree case management or other similar positions would be more doable. The hard part is getting them without acute care experience.
  10. by   englishgarden
    Dear Needs a Trach,

    I too am so touched by your determination and spirit. I have seen a lot of good ideas offered by others in this thread. Just remember, there are many jobs for nurses beyond the hospital environment. It may be possible to volunteer some time in a hospital while having another job in nursing. May God bless you with good health and the support you need during your journey.
  11. by   RNNPICU
    I know of an RN who works in the hospital with a trach, but she is not on a vent. She does not work in acute care but works in utilzation review and I think case management.
    I think the vent presents a few more obstacles than the trach itself as people with trachs go out and do jobs all the time. Working in quality improvement, compliance, utilization review, etc are great and very interesting as well. Being on the vent, espeically during flu season and in direct contact with very sick patients could put the OP at risk for an infection.

    Would OP be bound to a wheel chair or would the vent be more easily portable. Ensuring that the OP had all of their supplies with them at all times would be paramount.
  12. by   EaglesWings21
    I would discuss it with your doctor. You might also be at risk for developing an infection. There are so many options for you, though. There are many innovative ideas and suggestions on this post. Acute care and floor nursing is nice but I as a healthy person have gotten sick much more often since I've started working at the hospital. It is also good experience but I don't want to be a floor nurse forever. I have my own innovative plans and ideas for myself. Good luck with your surgery!
  13. by   DiplomaNurseRN
    There are many jobs for nurses aside from direct patient care; advocacy, audit, investigation and case management to name a few.

close