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Any Diabetic nurses out there?

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by turtletyme turtletyme (Member)

turtletyme specializes in Medical surgical, women's health,tele..

2,089 Visitors; 26 Posts

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I have been a diabetic for 22 years and now on the insulin pump. I am a new nurse. I just want to know how others manage their diabetes and work as a nurse. I have found it to be very hard and challenging. I was hired to work on a women's unit, instead it is a catch all unit. I say this because they remodeled and made all private rooms(our unit is the only one in the hospital with private rooms). We have alot of nursing home patients as well as the ones that are not expected to live long. I work nights with one other nurse and maybe an aide if we are lucky. Anyway, this is killing my health. I am wondering if I should have become a nurse if this is how nursing is going to be. I love taking care of people but not at my health's expense. I know for a fact, medical surgical is not my cup of tea it never was in school. I need to find a job that will help me to heal again. I have worked hard to get my BSN degree and I am so hurt that my first job has been a disappointment.:o

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woody62 has 27 years experience and specializes in icu, er, transplant, case management, ps.

5,097 Visitors; 928 Posts

I have been a diabetic for 22 years and now on the insulin pump. I am a new nurse. I just want to know how others manage their diabetes and work as a nurse. I have found it to be very hard and challenging. I was hired to work on a women's unit, instead it is a catch all unit. I say this because they remodeled and made all private rooms(our unit is the only one in the hospital with private rooms). We have alot of nursing home patients as well as the ones that are not expected to live long. I work nights with one other nurse and maybe an aide if we are lucky. Anyway, this is killing my health. I am wondering if I should have become a nurse if this is how nursing is going to be. I love taking care of people but not at my health's expense. I know for a fact, medical surgical is not my cup of tea it never was in school. I need to find a job that will help me to heal again. I have worked hard to get my BSN degree and I am so hurt that my first job has been a disappointment.:o

I am on insulin but I am also permanently disabled. I suggest you quietly look around for another position more suited to your likes and your diabetes. Being one of two nurses opens you to suffering a low back injury or worse. Your employer is unlikely to look out for your health needs. You have to.

Woody:balloons:

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purplesdk has 13 years experience and specializes in Geriatrics.

2,156 Visitors; 38 Posts

hi turtletyme,

i am a newly diagnosed diabetic. i work the 10-6 shift at our state school as a rn charge/shift supervisor 4 nights a week. i have 3-4 nurses working with me at any given time. we have 12 dorms (18-22 clients each dorm) to monitor. at night, there is usually not a lot happening, but we stay busy. we are usually not overwhelmed like we were when we all used to work in the hospitals or nursing homes. when i have 4 nurses, i may take 1 dorm or none, depending on how i am feeling. when i do not take very many dorms i go to each dorm and check charts and make sure the nurses have what they need or need any help with their dorms. when i have 3 nurses i usually take 3 dorms and supervise the campus also. most nights it is calm, but occassionally it is caos. we have a handful of clients who require tube feedings through the night or neuro checks, and occassional fall assessments to do or injury reports to do. we do not do treatments or give medications at night, so it is pretty laid back. we either bring our food to work or if someone needs to go pick up food, we cover their dorms while they go get their food and bring it back to work. it can be easier to manage the diabetes, but it took me a while to get the timing of my medication adjusted with my sleep/wake cycles.

when i worked at the nursing home, it made my blood pressure go up and arthritis act up, making each night quite painful and then difficult to sleep once i got home. i no longer have as much pain and my blood pressure has gone down. i am happier and a little healthier now that i am working at our state school. the state schools also have great benefits too. this might be an area of nursing to look into.

good luck.

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woody62 has 27 years experience and specializes in icu, er, transplant, case management, ps.

5,097 Visitors; 928 Posts

If you don't mind me asking, where in Tennessee do you live? Do you live within driving distance of Chattanooga,Knoxville, Nashville or Memphis? I know the first three cities have several major medical centers. And are generally always on the look out for nurses. And Erlanger, in Chattanooga, has Children's Hospital attached to it. Also there is a large mental health hospital located within city limits. Knoxville has the University of Tennessee, which has a medical school and several major medical centers. There are several different types of health care areas you can work in, including home health. They are generally a good outfits to work for and you can generally manage your times and your meals.

If I can think of anymore ideas I'll post them.

Woody:balloons:

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1,378 Visitors; 25 Posts

Hey, I also am an insulin dependent diabetic and I have an insulin pump. I have noticed that in the quick paced environment, I often get low because we dont get scheduled lunch breaks. I am hoping I will not have to experience the problem you are being faced with, have you found a solution yet?

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544 Visitors; 2 Posts

I am a Type 2 and also on insulin. I just started a new job doing homecare. Today was my first visit and I felt as if I had just graduated nursing school or something. My new employer is slowly finding out about my diabetes. I was never asked and I never brought it up in any interviews. But I don't hide it either. I think in homecare I will find the flexibility I need in my schedule to fit in blood sugar checks and a snack if needed. If you are someone who likes to be pretty independent and doesn't mind the traveling time, then maybe home care is for you. Plus, most companies use the federal guidelines to reimburse you for mileage. The current rate is $ .48 a mile. Even with higher gas prices you still have that expense covered. Good luck in your search. We have to be our own advocates. If you keep looking and don't ever give up the search, I am sure that you will find something that will suit your needs. Good Luck

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lujological specializes in rehab,geriatrics.

1,695 Visitors; 28 Posts

hi-I am so glad to see this handicapped forum got started!! this response is to TurtleTyme. It is comforting knowing there are other nurses out there having the same problems.,I am a diabetic for about 5 years and on oral medications,I work 12 hours from 6pm to 6am-3 days a week the night hours plus only 3 days in a week took some juggling till I worked out what works best for me and my body.I like challenges and planning what would work best was that.!.I love my job as supervisor because part of the shift I deal with orders and doctors but the night part I have a small wing of residents to give meds to so I have patient contact too.I think the trick is really liking what you do so that you can figure how to handle the diabetes best.the next important issue is that your place of employment allows you to do what you need to do to control the diabetes.I work at a christian facility that values their residents and their staff.they respect me and understand my health needs.You need to find a nursing position that allows you to take care of yourself yet do your job.Good luck to all you diabetic nurses!!

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Nur_1996 has 14 years experience and specializes in Camp/LTC/School/Hospital.

1 Article; 3,340 Visitors; 142 Posts

Hi, I too am a type II diabetic for 3 years now. I was having a lot of problems working nights, and trying to stay well. Also, I just don't do well with the 12-13 hour shifts at night. I am currently working a day job as a nurse for teen boys in trouble with the law. I am able to regulate my snack times, and lunch is scheduled with the kids the same time everyday. As some of the other readers mentioned ,you MUST look out for yourself! It is hard to treat others when feeling bad ourselfs. A couple of years ago after being newly diagnosed I was giving flu shots for a company that I worked for every fall, and my hands started shaking so bad I finally had to take a break to get something to eat! Nobody wants a shaky nurse giving shots!

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4,546 Visitors; 226 Posts

Hey I also have diabetes for 22 years and wear an insulin pump (for about 13 years.) I worked clinical in Women's Services up until about 11 years ago and finally had to get a desk job (Quality Management). I had problems getting the time to check blood sugars, eat, and take care of myself. My A1C was wacky. So it was either quit nursing or find a desk job! Doing much better now!

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nursemary9 specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, Home Health, Oncology.

10,305 Visitors; 657 Posts

Hi

After reading your note, I had to double-check where you were from--it sounded so much like my unit.

It really does.

I am diabetic, type II, on oral medication.

I work nites & have done so for about 30+ yrs.

At first, I found it very difficult to manage my diabetes, but as time has passed, I found that hasn't been too hard for me.

I check my sugars often; I take my med at the same time each day;

I spent quite a time learning how each activity & each different food affected my sugars.

I try to eat at the same times just about every day.

With a busy unit, I find that I have to sometimes have small amts of food at frequent intervals. Otherwise, I used to have some really low dips.

As time has gone on, I don't have to check my sugars as often, but I am a real fiend about keeping it below 90.

It can be done, but it's a real committment. Also, it took quite a time.

I just had all of my labs done & the DR. sent me the reports with a cover note that said--NORMAL!!!

I was SO happy!!

You must, tho, look after yourself!! Take care!!

Good Luck!!

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Silkiebyrd specializes in Pediatrics, ER, and NICU.

1,278 Visitors; 17 Posts

Hello,

I am a new diabetic and am oral meds plus loads of insulin and byetta. I too am having a little trouble figuring out when to take what. I work in a NICU and usually have 2 vented babies, doesn't sound that hard but some nights are very busy as with most nursing. I have been a nurse for 12 years and time manage fairly well but sometimes stuff just happens that prevents taking a break. :o But I think with a little time I will figure things out. I think this forum is great and I think the input from different people is very useful. We will figure out what works for us and hopefully we can find an area in nursing that will allow us to take care of ourselves so we can take care of our patients.;)

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955 Visitors; 11 Posts

Being new to Diabetes, I guess that I did post a stupid question. I'll have to talk with the infection control nurse where I work, and just figure it out tomorrow. I'll probably start bringing my lunch instead of ordering from dietary so the ice pack should keep my insulin cool. Sorry

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