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Can I still become a Nurse with an ICD?

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by JoshuaA JoshuaA (New Member) New Member

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Title says it all pretty much. I've had cardiomyopathy for around 6 years now with an EF of 30% which has remained stable all throughout the 6 years, and I have never had any symptoms and I've always been able to do anything without any shortness or breath or anything like that. I turned 18 a few months ago and have just had an appointment with my new cardiologist now that I'm an adult, and she recommended I get an ICD. Due to my condition, early on when I was first diagnosed I spent quite a lot of time in hospitals and so did my brother as he had the same condition, so I have really come to appretiate and respect what nurses do which is why I want to be one. I will be starting my prereqs for nursing this fall but am now wondering if I would even be able to work as a nurse with an ICD? Thank you for any comments.

Edited by JoshuaA

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dianah has 43 years experience as a ADN and specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology.

2 Followers; 9 Articles; 2,661 Posts; 67,435 Profile Views

I can't directly answer your question but instead tell you about an RN I work with who, since he has worked at our facility, had an ICD implanted, for VT treatment.  He has continued in his present position and is a valued member of the staff in his department.

Have you discussed this with your Cardiologist?  Is there a support group (might have to be online) in your area for ppl with ICDs, with whom you might discuss this?  Surely there are MANY MANY successful people in the workforce who have ICDs. 

I hope you are able to sort out the pros and cons, and make the decision.  Let us know what you decide!  And, you might chronicle your journey via a blog, for others!

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FurBabyMom has 8 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 763 Posts; 24,438 Profile Views

I don't see why you don't at least try!  I can't see it being a problem really, except in a few specialties.  I think, because of the (albeit low) risk there could be something wrong with the device itself (and it not fire when it should - I've cared for a few such situations) - that you may not be encouraged to take a position in, say, flight nursing where there is unlikely to be anyone else to help care for your patients if something happens to you.  But in general, as long as your providers would clear you - I see no real issue.

I don't know if it helps you feel better about pursuing this, but I've coded coworkers, students, etc., in two of the hospitals I've worked in.  They all ultimately came back to work (their issues were either vasovagal or arrhyrthmias and were lucky to occur at work).  I think one actually ended up first with a loop recorded then was implanted with an AICD due to the what the recordings showed.  I've worked with coworkers who had surgery of all types and coworkers with many different types of devices.

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