HELP Recyle disabled nurses - page 6

I know that I am not the only nurse who is no longer working as a nurse due to a back injury. In the US, OSHA requires that you be able to lift 50 lbs to work on the floor as a nurse. I can't. My... Read More

  1. by   NURTAIN
    To everyone, I just want to sincerely thank all of you for your input. I don't feel so all alone. I know of 4 nurses who over the past yr have had various surg. on various parts of their bodies. They are back working except for 1. Nursing is like combat. It is very tough on the body. I just finished a case mgmt course online & am getting ready to send out resumes. Wish me luck as I wish you all luck in whatever you choose. I will kep coming back for more. Thanks again.
  2. by   mattsmom81
    A case management course online? Ooh, that sounds interesting, Nurtain...give us details please!

    That is another option for those of us who are injured.....although I know of a nurse who was REFUSED a case management position because of her inability to lift (???).

    I may have mentioned her before, she is now a social worker doing the same type of work but not as a 'nurse'.
  3. by   live4today
    I'm anxious to be RECYCLED as a nurse! I will be working as a nurse again by next year. I am determined to be, and I won't allow anything negative to get in my way, either. Returning to college is a must for me, and I am looking forward to it. Life is as good as I make it for myself!
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Hi Renee! Are you all set to go to college? What will your major be? BSN or??? Enquiring minds want to know, LOL! I hope to feel up to that in time myself.

    And I am hereby finished with that blasted SSD paperwork (at least the first round of it). It is SOOOO repetitive from the pain report to the function report to the disability report...<sigh>

    I mailed it off today so we'll see what happens.
  5. by   live4today
    Hi mattsmom
    Actually, I want to become some kind of doctor. I can be a PhD nurse and major in counseling... My dream is to become somebody's doctor, so I figure I can use my nurses degree and build on it to become Doctor Renee one day. My major was Psychology before I became a nurse, so I can continue in that area and become a Psychologist. I just want to expand my options, even if I expand them as a nurse...a PhD nurse of course. I'll keep you posted, but it aint gonna happen anytime soon...unless I win the Texas lottery or something. :chuckle
  6. by   Huganurse
    I wonder how many nurses are not at the BS d/t injury or the actual physical demands of BS nsg? I'd bet it is a high percentage. I can only offer words of encouragement to keep trying and keep focused on your goals. You'll get there! There is degree or a job for you. I found mine!

    Similar thread about this subject on this BB:
  7. by   mercykitten
    Hi, Everybody. Been thinking about you all this week. It was a rough one where I was. One night we worked two nurses short, one more Er admission would have made us three nurses short.
    I couldn't help but think that recycled nurses like us could have helped. In some cases just somebody able to do IV pushes and give IV pain meds would have been a big help. When you are working short, any help is worthwhile.
    My floor is now short by at least 8 nurses. That is more nurses than we have working night shift.
    Still haven't heard anything about a job interview.....but this can be a slow process.
    Let's all keep encouraging one another. It is nice to know that others understand what we are going through.
  8. by   mattsmom81
    I don't believe anyone other than nurses know OR care just how physically demanding bedside nursing really is. Add constant stress and responsibility for lives....and you got an accident waiting to happen. An accident...or a gradual breaking down/degeneration of joints...which is what Ihave in my spine and knees.

    Physical therapists preach at us... but even they do not really grasp what we is very different and under different circumstances than what they do. They are not under pressure, they work in teams under controlled circumstances, they can walk away and 'make the nurse get the patient up' if the patient refuses or fights them...

    Even my husband in construction does not have a lifting requirement of 100#....and that is what is in the PP manual the last place I worked.

    There oughta be a law....
  9. by   mercykitten
    What kind of law would you like?

    We have a lot of laws now, but hospitals are really bad about not complying to them. I mean, we are supposed to get two breaks, and a 30 minute supper break per 8 hrs. shift. The only ones who get those are the smokers. The other night we worked two nurses short......I had a ten minute break the whole 12 hr shift I worked. I couldn't ask for more, because everyone was having it rough. The nurses working the floor were too busy to sit at the monitors so I could take a break.
    It is a shame, and I believe that hospitals will be judged by God for not taking better care of their nurses who are injuried on the job. The problem is that there is no one to help when you get into some of these difficult situations.
    Right now we have two pts that it requires just about all the night shift staff to get up to the bathroom. Pt refuses to use bedside commode or bedpan.
    But, honestly, if I was back on the floor working, I would refuse to get this pt up. It just puts too much staff at risk of injury. I am not a skinny person saying this. I would expect a bedpan.....I would not want to risk other's welllbeing....
    Anybody else have comments.....
  10. by   IrishElf
    Hi, everyone. This is my first post. My heart goes out to people who have had injuries and deal with chronic pain. I'm going to ask for some advice on a different disability.

    I started to notice some hearing loss when in college. I had my hearing checked and was told that it was normal. When I started my second semester of nursing clinicals in 1994, the instructors made me get an amplified stethoscope when I had trouble hearing BPs. After graduating with a BSN in 1995, I started work in a state psych facility. I began to get concerned when I had to get really close to psychotic pts before I could understand them. I had my hearing checked & learned that I had 75% hearing loss in the lt ear & 55% loss in the rt.

    Since that time I have had progressive hearing loss & wear digital aids bilat. I also have a $500 stethoscope. I've worked on a psych unit in a general hospital x5yrs. I work nocs b/c its quiet & there's less background noise when I'm on the phone or talking to a pt. My problem is now we are getting patients who are as sick physically as they are mentally. I'm afraid I'm miss something in an assessment or an event on the floor d/t my hearing loss.

    If I go to apply at another facility, should I wait till after I get the position & then tell them I have hearing loss? If I asked for a non direct pt care job in my hospital, who do I ask- HR? What exactly does VocRehab do & would they help me retrain for something else? What kind of documentation do I need? I'm at my wit's end -my hearing is gradually getting worse. I'd really appreciate any input on planning for my future as a nurse.

    Sorry this is sooooo long!
  11. by   mercykitten
    IrishElf, first welcome to this post.
    I don't know any definite answers for you but can give you some advice from the disablity problems that I and others here have discussed.
    First, I recommend that you do NOT share with HR or other administrative people at your hospital about your problem. It would be in your best interest to investigate your options first. When you do discuss this in the appropriate format with your hospital, you want to know your options and your rights under the American Disability Acts.
    A lot of us were naive enough that we actually believed that our hospital would take care of us when we were permanently injuried on the job. We found out differently.
    See what others here can come up for you. Look at the support group at AOL (if you can).
    Anyone else have any thoughts. I am going to think some on this......Get back if I have more.
    But I do want you to know that we support you, understand what you are going through. I do know of a nurse who ended up on disability because she lost her eye sight.
    Hang in there.
  12. by   mattsmom81
    Hi Irish Elf! Welcome!

    I'm sorry to read of your hearing must be very frightening.

    Have you checked with your societies for the deaf for info and resources/support?

    Do you know what is wrong with your ears and if it is correctable...I know there surgical procedures that can be done in some cases to reverse the problem.

    I know you can email the federal and local authorities who oversee the Americans with Disabilities Act....if you go to their website..there you can find out more about what is available to you.

    I agree with Mercy, do some research yourself before you talk to your employer...I have found out the hard way just how unconcerned they can unless you trust them MAJORLY I would be cautious.

    I have a friend who knows a lot about disability, I will ask her about your problem and see if she has some good advice. Anybody else lurking here who knows??

    God Bless and keep posting!
  13. by   IrishElf
    Thanks Mercy & Mattsmom! I really appreciate the support.

    I never did feel entirely comfortable with the idea of going to HR- especially without having a lot of knowledge re: ADA rights. My new supervisor is very understanding of my hearing problem, but I'm very leary of admin. & HR. I had a mgr once who told me that people complained that I didn't listen... a few months later she realized it was probably b/c of my hearing loss. I don't even like having to share my business at work, but it's necessary to tell coworkers they need to get my attention before talking to me and that the hearing aids amplify everything so they have to keep the noise down in the nsg sta. Grrrrr.

    The area self-help group for the HOH is inactive, but I found a # for another one. I also got some #'s at the library for the area voc rehab. I'll also look at the ADA website.

    Mattsmom- no, my hearing loss can't be corrected with surgery. I've been told that a sensorineuro deficit is non-correctable. I also asked my ENT about implants, too. One's hearing has to be completely gone before surgery can be done.