Newish RN with new back injury - help! - page 2

by CranberryMuffin 2,125 Views | 13 Comments

I'm a relatively 'new' RN (~2 years experience) with a back injury (herniated disc) I acquired from an on the job injury. I'm being treated for it through work and have no complaints about that - I have gotten great care, albeit... Read More


  1. 0
    I have never had a serious back injury thank goodness, but...I have had 3 months off for a crushed hand.
    Now I admit, it isn't like a back, but there was a great deal of concern on the part of myself, and my surgeon about my hands abilities to function again. Hands are so important to our job.

    Thankfully, thankfully, I had an excellent surgeon. My hand is corrected. I was also terrified to go back to work. My hand took about a year to fully recover and I had to do a lot of adaptive things for a while, including having to do some jobs which I really disliked (We have very different roles each day where I work). When I first came back to work, I could not even always get the caps off the saline pre-flushes. It was really frightening. In the end, I did get better. I think you can get better, and come back to work, stronger and safer.

    You need to decide if you want to continue in critical care, or move into a different area. I think either would be fine. I do encourage you not to let fear guide your choice.
  2. 0
    Teaching, case management, legal reviews, research.....just some ideas. Take care-a lower back injury is why I left the bedside and am now a FNP student. I wish you the best & let yourself take the time to heal!
    Last edit by kakamegamama on Aug 12, '12 : Reason: misspelled word
  3. 0
    I herniated my L5 (badly!!!) and am in pedi home health. I really would love to be a CRNA one day, but am also entertaining the idea of being an FNP as I'm not sure there is a way for me to gain NICU experience around here (Northeast) without going through med/surg or other adult specialties...and honestly, that really isn't an option for me. I am one year out from my injury...I go to the gym 5x/week, I lift weights, etc. but I still "know" I have an injury. I was in such a tremendous amount of pain for such a long time and my mobility, quality of life and happiness was crap. It truly saddens me to know that I may never achieve my dream, and may never be happy in nursing without the acute and technical nature of it I am looking for, but at the end of the day, this is my life, and my quality of life is paramount. Especially because I am only 29 and have not yet had children. I DO NOT want a life of one spinal fusion after another.

    Look into alternatives, they are limitless in nursing, or head to PA/NP school. For me, the gamble isn't worth it. It's a road I don't want to go down again. No matter what.
  4. 0
    Unfortunately I have a similar story. I went back to work (med-surg) after having a discectomy for a huge L4-L5 herniation. I had horrible pain in my left leg. I lasted 6 months before it happened again and this time the pain was in the right leg. I swear I did no lifting. The doctor said that the whole area was just unstable and being on my feet for 12 hours and bending, etc did it. So I had another discectomy. This one lasted a year and then it happened again. This time it was pain in the middle of my buttocks. I ended up having a fusion of L4-L5. Stupid me, went back to work. After a couple of months I started to have leg pain again. They did an MRI but no herniation. I was sent to pain management. The pain doctor looked at me and said "You need to find a different kind of nursing". I left Med-Surg and went into home health. That was 11 years ago. I ended up loving home care.


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