Vision Problems-What HC transitions would be best?

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    Ok, the long story short is that I had cancer in my eye many years ago with a correctable resection. It lasted me many years so I am fortunate in that. At this point however, my eye has begun to fail to the point where I am no longer able to focus up close. The affected eye just will not allow me to do that so while looking at the bevel of a needle or to see the units on a TB or diabetic syringe, is nearly impossible for me to do. While I am not completely blind in the affected eye, it is annoying as I see double when trying to see something small or up close. This makes it too dangerous for me to do all the things that I need to do as a nurse.

    I have spent that last 2 years in mourning for my career as I love it so but it is time to stand up and take some action. I do want remain in healthcare and as close to nursing as I am able. I was thinking about HIT but not sure how this would pan out with the new healthcare bill being up for grabs at the moment. My reasoning for this is mainly that I already have 20 years of healthcare experience and I can easily see on the computer so I thought this may be a good transition. But being that there would be little to no patient/nursing contact, I am not completely thrilled about this option. But I do have to do something as I am way too young to stop working.

    Any other things come to mind? I has thought about MDS but don't have any training in this area. But I do know that the MDS nurse does get the opportunity to be in contact with patients which is a plus as far as I am concerned. Just don't know how to get experience in this aspect of nursing. Also, I am concerned that with the healthcare debate at large and at least in my state, the Governor is making huge cuts to medicaid that it would make it that much more difficult to obtain a job.

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Mourning time is over and I have a need to be useful again.
  2. 2 Comments so far...

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    Have you considered case management? With your wealth of experience, it would seem to be a good fit. In addition to the case management jobs we are all familiar within organizations, most healthcare insurance companies also employ case managers. You can obtain certification in CM with any basic nursing degree & 2 years of work experience Nursing Case Management - American Nurses Credentialing Center - ANCC

    HIT is rapidly becoming 'Informatics', and this is a rapidly expanding career field. Informatics is very hot right now due to Federal mandates (meaningful use) pushing adoption of electronic health records for all providers. However, these jobs do require additional education and certifications - don't know if this is what you have in mind. Informatics jobs withing an organization would certainly be do-able for you, but working for a vendor may be challenging due to the level of travel that is usually involved.

    I really admire your spirit - very 'nurse like' - LOL. We're used to rolling with the punches, right? Question - since you now have a partial disability that prohibits you from continuing to engage in your normal job, is there any funding available for re-training or to supplement your income while you re-train??? Seems like there should be.
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    Lol, well I used to have that spirit but lost it for a few years...though I think it is coming back! It was hard getting my mind to really really accept that something that I worked so hard to be able to do and put so very many hours and years into was now off the table for me. So glad that I am getting off the pity pot to look around and see what I can do as opposed to focusing on what I can no longer do!

    Case Management has always sounded interesting to me. I was introduced to this type of nursing when my husband was severly injured on the job and was assigned a Case Manager to assist him through multiple surgeried, therapies and retraining. She was instrumental in helping him/us to navigate his care and was very vocal and proactive with the various medical specialites involved, often coming to our home and to his doctors appointments and surgeries. I hadn't persued this due to lack of experience with insurance companies but I will look at the link that you offered...I appreciate that.

    As for funding for retraining, I have not persued this avenue. Up to this point, it seemed to me like I was giving up... on myself and admitting defeat that I could no longer be a 'bedside nurse' but now I just have to face the facts and move forward. Though I believe that the avenue to this form of income supplement would take too long as it usually takes a year and several times of applying to get this.

    Thanks for your input, it really helped!


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