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Any Advice On What I Should Do?

lizclair lizclair (New) New

Specializes in oncology, med-surg. Has 4 years experience.

hello everyone, i am new to this forum and looking for advice on a situation i am having at work. i have been an RN for 4 years and work 12 hour night shifts on the medical/oncology unit of a large hospital. last year i had surgery on my right foot to correct a bunion, hammertoes, etc. 10 procedures on the foot and pins in all my toes and on crutches for 8 weeks and off work for 12. that foot is great now and literally pain-free, i am happy to report. the problem is the other foot. i had planned to get it fixed when i qualified for the fmla again.........ocotober 2008.......but it has been causing me a lot of problems in the last 2 months. i walk funny to compensate for it and i have been having problems with my knee as a result. i cannot walk without a lot of pain and a noticeable limp. i saw an orthopedic surgeon who said fix the foot and the knee will correct itself. i am afraid i am causing myself permanent damage by continuing to walk on that foot so i decided to try and have the surgery sooner rather than later. here is the problem.......

everytime i have seen my manager in the last couple of months she has said "oh, you are limping" "you need to get that foot fixed" "you need to do what you need to do" i felt like she was supportive of my situation and wanted me to get myself fixed up. i contacted my HR department and was told that since i do not yet qualify for the fmla this year i would need to take a leave of absence based on my manager's approval. when i called her about this i was shocked when she said "you can have 2 weeks and if you cannot be back on the floor after that you will need to resign or be terminated". that will not work since the surgery will be at least as extensive as the last one and walking, even putting any weight, on the foot can affect the healing and make it worse than it was before. she knows this. i really feel like she wants me to quit over this. i am not sure why. we are way overstaffed right now, everyone is floating at least once a month, as opposed to once a year the way it used to be. we also have several staff who are gone for months and in one case, years, at a time and their jobs are protected and held for them. when i questioned her about this she said everyone's case is different and basically there are different rules for different people. i guess a drug or mental problem is more qualifying than an actual crippling deformity. the surgery would be a quick fix that will make me 100% physically but she absolutely refuses to give me the time. when i told HR her response they were shocked but said that their hands were tied. i went on a legal website to see if i had any options there but it appears that i do not........all i learned was that "bad management is not against the law."

so i guess i will just limp through to october, have the surgery and then decide what to do from there.

i really love everything about my job except the management and i hate to have to go somewhere else and start all over but i feel like maybe i should.

so does anyone have any advice for me? has anyone ever been through anything like this with their management? any input at all would be appreciated and thanks for letting me vent.

ukstudent

Specializes in SICU.

Giving you a big hug. Sorry I have no words of wisdom.

Can you talk to your manager about getting rehired if you resign in good standing in order to get the surgery and have the recovery time. Or do you think that the floor is so overstaffed that they would, in this economy, not post your position.

Do what you need to do in order to keep/improve your health.

I don't have advice for you.

but just some thoughts...

you must protect your feet. We are nurses. Our feet are our livelihood. We are on our feet for 13+ hours at a time. Walking in pain, compensating in your gait can stress your other joints to the point of further injury.

Only you know the answer to how serious you feel this situation is...it sounds like you have a good doctor (who did the first surgery...)

it sounds like only you know your answers but your manager sounds horrid!

I'm reachable...be happy to talk.

--Theresa

lizclair

Specializes in oncology, med-surg. Has 4 years experience.

thanks for your input...........and the hug, i need it. HR actually suggested that i resign and try to get rehired after the surgery. if that is what it comes down to i sure as heck am not going back to that floor. thanks, again.

lizclair

Specializes in oncology, med-surg. Has 4 years experience.

thanks for you input. my manager is horrid and in more ways than just this. one of the reasons i have stayed on nights is to limit my contact with her. the only good thing is she is about 60 years old and (hopefully) close to retirement. thanks, again.

can you speak w/your surgeon, and see if there's anything he's suggests until october?

leslie

lizclair

Specializes in oncology, med-surg. Has 4 years experience.

hi leslie, i am actually seeing him tomorrow morning and will see what he says........maybe an orthotic.......thanks for your reply.

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

Be careful of the idea of resigning to have your surgery - check what effect it would have on your insurance coverage (and any leave time you have) if you do so.

Yes, that's what I was thinking....your medical insurance!! that's what's nice about the FMLA is they have to continue to provide the same insurance coverage (I believe) but if you resign no such luck. God forbid you have some complications post surgery and lo and behold you are uninsured.

Also...what happens to any retirement, seniority, PTO etc if you resign? Some places these benefits increase with longevity...for instance employer matched contributions to retirement often "vest" at 25% a year or some equation like that...this would essentially "wipe the slate clean" on all your accrued, longevity type benefits.

But, on the other hand you gotta do what you gotta do.

Can you do a combination of paid and unpaid leave? Can you bank your vacation hours? I'm so sorry you have to deal with this right now. What a crappy manager! Can you possibly transfer to another unit with a nicer manager and put in for this same request in a couple of months? I know it sounds deceitful, but sometimes you gotta just look out for yourself as no one else is going to do this for you. Good luck. :D

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