Explaining a Career Shift After Injury

  1. About a year and a half ago, I experienced a lifting injury while on the job. I was returned to work with no basis for declaring me fit for duty, then when I didn't recover as they wanted, they (again with no medical or objective reason) declared a minimal permanent impairment which meant they could terminate injury medical coverage and WC lost wages. I lost my inpatient position and was eventually placed in a specialty clinic where heavy lifting was not required.

    Long story short, I didn't fight it initially because I was in pain and nobody was able to figure out why I didn't heal on the expected timeline. Healing has been a long slow journey, but I have paid for care out of pocket and my physical therapist is encouraging me to get the ball rolling on having my "permanent" lifting restrictions removed. That's a fight I'll go about on my own (independently for finding new work elsewhere, then with a lawyer when I go after the system that deliberately mishandled my injury). My question is not about that process.

    My question is, how do I go about explaining the career shift when I start to interview again? I have been out of acute care for a year, and I never would have chosen to leave - at least not for my current situation. If I mention that I had an injury and they could not hold my original position, I believe that is a reasonable explanation for why I would leave, and why I want to come back. I would not mention the prolonged healing process, only that I have medical clearance to work again.

    My concern is that if I mention being injured, I'm not sure if that will prejudice interviewers against me with the worry that I'll end up re-injured or unable to perform.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   aflahe00
    Finding the right job is important here maybe aim for dialysis or office or school nurse- something that would require you to do a lot of lifting perhaps. But all you should do is be honest just tell them your story because they will be curious to know why you've been away for so long.
  4. by   NotAllWhoWandeRN
    Quote from aflahe00
    Finding the right job is important here maybe aim for dialysis or office or school nurse- something that would require you to do a lot of lifting perhaps. But all you should do is be honest just tell them your story because they will be curious to know why you've been away for so long.
    Thank you for the reply. I am already working a light physical duty job that requires only a limited slice of nursing knowledge; I'm not looking to go from one to another.

    I'm losing my knowledge and skills, I get $3 less an hour, and I'm tied to the job 5 day a week. I hate it. I love my coworkers and I enjoy not having the politics of bedside nursing, but that's why I want to go part time with my current job and part time acute care. I'd love to get into OR. But definitely not looking for or needing light duty.

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