Employers accomodating injured nurses - page 2

Have a question here. I am a med-surg nurse. Lots of physical work with my position, such as lifting, bending, stooping and such. My back has been a mess for about 3 weeks. My NP I have been... Read More

  1. by   donmurray
    deespoohbear, I am aware of the negative connotations that the label of disability carries, but much of that negativity is in the individuals attitude. By your own description, you have a disabling condition, caused by your employment as a nurse. If, in order to assert your rights under law, you need to register that disability, it can be a positive thing in protecting yourself and your family in the future. I think it's time to grasp the nettle.
  2. by   flowerchild
    deespoohbear, PLEASE Don't take the emotions in these responses as totally directed toward you. Much of the emotion comes from the anger many nurses have, which stems from the issue of nurses getting screwed and spat on, after a injury, that leaves them unable to perform under the guidelines set by the hospitals. Many, many of us have been in your shoes, in our past, we have lived what you may be getting ready to go through. The responses are heartfelt and intended to educate you, so you can avoid some of the traps we have found ourselves or those we care about are in. You cannot expect people not to feel for you when we have already lived through it. Expecting your employer to help you is as risky as not realizing that you are not 100%, which in turn is a disability, you are asking about accomodation, which is a term that is used for the disabled. You have no idea weather or not this is permanate or short term disability at this time, but the odds are not in your favor unfortunatly and you will probably suffer with the injury for a very long time, perhaps the rest of your life. And, the reason you are suffering is b/c of an injury that you sustained as performing your nursing duties, on the job, which makes this a work related disability and is not fraud to call it such or get the benefits that you deserve...we're only saying that to get what you are entiled, is near impossible. That's where the anger comes from, it's not fair that we are used up and then forgotten about. The hospitals should provide accomodation and they should pay for nurses who are injured on the job...even if it is not one incident. The job itself and the system is what causes the back injuries and they happen over a long period of time. It's rarely one incident that causes the injury but repetitive acts that cause the injury. Secretaries are covered for carpel tunnel without question. Nurses should be covered and cared for when their backs are shot. Please think your moves out carefully and do protect yourself b/c there are people out there and on this BB who don't even know you, but care about you b/c you are a nurse.
  3. by   deespoohbear
    Nurse Ratched-thank you for your reply. It is a good thing us nurses look out for one another because heaven knows most of our administrators and facilities won't.

    I know that we all know nurses who have had their backs/shoulders/ etc ruined by years of wear and tear of lifting, pushing, moving, bending, stooping. I am trying very hard not to become one of those stats. I am trying to get this thing corrected so I can go forward with my career. The problem is I am only an ASN degree nurse, and a lot of your "desk" jobs require a BSN.

    First thing I really need to do is get a definitive dx. Then I will have more of an idea of what I am looking at for the future. Thanks for all the well wishes. Don't worry, I will protect my back. It is the only one I have.
  4. by   NurseDennie
    Originally posted by deespoohbear
    Unfortunately, I cannot pinpoint this to one occasion when I hurt my back. I cannot honestly say "I hurt my back when we moved Mr. Smith in bed." Just one day my back started aching and it hasn't stopped. So I cannot honestly file a workman's comp claim. I will not be a participant in fraud.
    And how would that be fraud? You are a nurse, you turn and lift people for a living. I guess you more likely hurt your back at home, what? doing the dishes? ironing?

    Sending prayers and strengthing "vibes." I really hope you do have a quick recovery and none of this ever applies to you.


  5. by   TheLionessRN
    I had a great experience with a back injury (NOT), about a year out of nursing school. Tore some ligaments in my lower back, while moving a patient that had fallen across the bed. No time to adjust the bed height, or any of that. I was not permitted to return to work unless I was 100% and I frankly had to lie to do that, cause I still have recurrent pain...3 years later. The answer to the back thing at the facility I worked at was that I had to wear one of those back braces from then on out, or would be denied any further care if reinjured.
    I was out of work for 3 months, with a lot of PT. What happened subsequently was that, after compensating for the pain, I put my entire pelvis out of line, which just made the pain worse. I was sent to a PT who did "fachial" massage with ultrasound and deep tissue massage, and a lot of floor exercises. I could tell when my pelvis got back into alignment. It was awesome and I wish more PT folks were trained for this.
    I have gotten to the point that I simply refuse to do much lifting and tell them flat out that I am protecting my back.
    Maybe we need to bring back orderlies?