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 work out all of this health stuff. I don't know when exactly I will get it, but I am trying to push it off as long as possible. I am still mobile and everything else is fine, but I would be hooked up to ventilation about 20 hrs of the day. My pulm said that I could actually be mobile with the vent.
Can a person with a tracheostomy actually work in the hospital? The whole cross contamination seems like it could be a huge liability to the patients. Is there something I could go into right from graduation that I could work as an RN with the tracheostomy?
Dear Needs a Trach,
I'm sorry for your medical problems and applaud your spirit.
The most important thing for you now is to take care of your health and adjust to your abilities and limitations. Give yourself time to stabilize.
Nurses with medical histories and disabilities can make powerful connections with patients. I don't have an employment answer per se, and you are right, it may not be in acute care, but there are so many options in nursing.
An at home setting would be ideal, such as working for an insurance company.
I would find a community of nurses such as yourself for support and advice.
I do have a great resource for you: Exceptional Nurse | Welcome
This is a site run by Donna Maheady, an RN with expertise in nurses with disabilities. You will be inspired and amazed by her help and insight.