Nurses over 50 &/or with health issues affecting work - page 3

I'm sure I'm not the first (or the last) nurse to deal with this issue - I've been a Nurse for over 27 years and now I find myself having trouble "keeping up".(( Due to age? Weight? Arthritis? effect... Read More

  1. by   traumaRUs
    This is a very interesting thread. I am 43 y/o and work in a large level I trauma center and love it! At the moment I can keep up. I'm very lucky that I'm very healthy and have never been injured. I'm also a volunteer fireman/pre-hospital RN with my local rescue squad.

    May I suggest looking into education? Teaching and doing education is a lot of fun!

    This thread has also reminded me to keep options open. I love the new technology and never turn down an offer to learn. The younger nurses ask for my advice and assistance and I try to keep a good relationship with everyone. Sometimes, its hard. We too are experiencing a huge problem with no nurses. We sometimes hold 4-6 ICU patients in our ER for 24 hours!!! There are beds, but no nurses to care for these patients.

    Anyway, I wish you all the best. I have also added short and long term disability insurance as well as catrosphic medical expense insurance. (Hopefully, I won't need it).
  2. by   kaycee
    I'm 47, work in a busy ED steady 3-11 charge. Been on my feet workin at the bedside for almost 27 yrs.
    I'm still keepin up but sure do feel it at the end of a busy shift. I don't know how long I'll be able to do this, but as long as I can I will.
    I am scheduled for back sugery on 1/18 to remove a synovial cyst that's huggin my spinal cord. Been causing me leg pain for 6 mos. They finally found it on MRI. Never took a day off even though I limp like grandpa on The Real McCoys.(at least you guys should remember that show)
    After 6 weeks hopefully I'll be as good as new. I hate the thoughts of back surgery.
    Wish me luck so I can be back in the trenches, cause that's where I want to be!!
  3. by   prn nurse
    what is parish nursing? i never heard of it.
  4. by   nightingale
    There is a Forum for Parish Nursing. Here is an article talking about Parish Nursing:

    Parish nurses aid the whole person

    Michelle Krouse
    Herald Writer

    How can one preacher minister to six hospitalized church members, four grieving widows, one marriage crisis, three couples dealing with aging parents and 30 shut-ins?

    With the assistance of a parish nurse, that's how.

    Several area churches utilize the services of trained parish nurses, including New Virginia United Methodist Church in Hermitage and Covenant and First Presbyterian churches, both in Sharon.

    According to Carla VanDale, the parish nurse of First Presbyterian, parish nursing has been around for centuries. Deaconesses of the early church provided important health care support, meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of congregants.

    However, it was not until the 1960s that physician-turned-pastor Granger Westberg found a link between the vocation of nursing and a role in ministering to the whole person: body, mind and spirit, noted Sue Williamson, parish nurse of Covenant Presbyterian.

    Westberg founded Parish Nursing Institute, Chicago, and began a training process for educating parish nurses.

    "A parish nurse has to be a registered nurse," said Mrs. VanDale, who also holds a masters degree in counseling. "Very few nurses know of this ministry."

    Recently Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh and Waynesburg (Pa.) College of Nursing began offering the Parish Nurse Basic Preparation Course based on the standardized curricula endorsed through the International Parish Nurse Resource Center.

    Mrs. VanDale, a member of New Wilmington Presbyterian Church, has been a parish nurse at First Presbyterian for four years. "When I became aware of parish nursing, this church was looking for one. I felt immediately that parish nursing was an ideal mixture of my nursing and counseling."

    Rose Young, a parish nurse and member of New Virginia church, believes that parish nursing is a calling that combines nursing and spiritual skills to assist in the church's ministry of reaching out and helping the whole person.

    Today's parish nurses follow a Bible reference from Luke 9:2, that they are " preach the kingdom of God and heal the sick."

    The five basic tenants of parish nursing are: providing health education and promotion, doing personal health counseling, and being a community resource liaison, a promoter of wholistic health and an organizer, trainer and coordinator of volunteers.

    However, it is a decision for each church and individual parish nurse to decide the focus of the ministry. With the assistance of the pastor and/or church leaders, the priorities of the parish nurse are established by determining the needs of the church.

    A paid parish nurse, Mrs. VanDale's primary work is pastoral care, focusing on hospital visitation, crisis intervention and education while working closely with the pastor.

    A volunteer parish nurse and member of Covenant, Mrs. Williamson has focused on education and community advocacy since beginning in 1990.

    "Patients sometimes receive conflicting information from many different doctors and agencies and I help sift through that information," she said.

    Mrs. Young, who has been an official, unpaid parish nurse at New Virginia for four years, has been "doing some of these things on and off for years," she said.

    Although their duties differ by church need, all three nurses aid their church members by doing blood pressure readings, teaching nutrition and answering health questions. Through these basic duties, the parish nurse gets to know the people.

    If, for example, signs of depression are seen, the nurse can assess the whole person by asking questions about nutrition, exercise and family problems. At that point, a referral could be given to see a doctor or a psychologist, or to have the patient's medication reevaluated. The parish nurse also may contact a family member about the matter.

    Parish nurses say the church should treat the whole person: body, mind and spirit.

    "In a secular world, you can be restricted in combining body, mind and spirit unless invited," Mrs. VanDale said. "Yet we are free to combine the three in the church setting."

    "We are able to talk about how an impending surgery will affect all aspects of a person's life, including their spirit and mind," Mrs. Williamson noted.

    Parish nursing differs from a minister's duties and a church's congregational care or the ministry of deacons or corresponding committees. "They focus on spirituality, but few people, unless they have a medical background, can address the physical piece," Mrs. VanDale said.

    "The pastor goes first to visit, then the parish nurse and finally the committee gets involved, setting up meals and transportation," explained Mrs. Young. "Some duties cross paths but we work together."

    All three women said they feel parish nursing should be expanded in duties and in the acceptance of the positive and healing role parish nurses play within a congregation and community. Mrs. Young said that she would like to see a parish nurse in every church.

    A parish nurse care receiver, Nancy Helmuth, Masury, said she has a close relationship with her parish nurse, Mrs. Williamson.

    "She is the same person I see all the time and knows my fears and concerns while addressing my physical and spiritual questions," said Mrs. Helmuth. "Ministers are great but they are too busy and have many other people to see. Parish nursing is a great thing. I don't know why more people don't take advantage of them."
  5. by   Karen4HIM1951
    It's me again! Really am enjoying reading all your comments!

    Lady N - Yet - you do have a good MD. I'd reallized that the weight probably was a large contributor to my fatigue - after all - a person with a small frame and only 5'1 1/2 inches of height SHOULD get tired carrying around over 200 lbs!!!! Like you, I had decided to eat more healthy this year and work towards a NEW ME!

    I am probably going to apply for FML from my job - It is so-o-o stressful that it is making everything worse now and my boss mentioned that option -- seems to be the best thing at this moment. (She doesn't know that I probably will find a less stressful job while I'm off work!) At least that will allow for me to get myself togeather and get my teeth taken care of!

    As far as teaching as an option???? Well, you need a BSN for that and I'm just an old school Diploma Grad!!!! If Something doesn't work out, I"m going to figure out a way to afford the health insurance and only work Perdiem so I don't have to case manage and work full time! (May have time for my wrilting and crafts that way!!!!)

  6. by   Karen4HIM1951
    I'm going to try to adopt a NEW attitude! ! !

    Figure if I fake it, I just might Make It!
  7. by   NurseDennie
    Hi -

    I've kind of put off reading this thread, because I knew it was going to hit hard.

    Prmenrs - you said "If I retire now, I'll only make about $2800/mo before taxes. I don't think we can live on that.

    I'm crying right now as I type this. If I'm not a nurse, what am I?"

    Wow - I make just about that right now, working full-time.

    In TN, which doesn't have the greatest "rate" for SSI disability (my hubby is a SSI disability QA person - he was a disability examiner for years, so I've learned a lot of this stuff from him), Medicaid comes with the disability. So people on disability here, don't have to buy their presecriptions.

    I don't know what happens to them when they turn 65 and can't get disability any more, though. I think that SS retirement doesn't pay for any prescriptions.

    I've found another job - research. It's still stressful, but it's not as hard on the body as floor or unit nursing. I work at a large campus and I have to do a lot of walking but that's good for me, even though it's tiring and time-consuming.


    Last edit by NurseDennie on Jan 12, '02
  8. by   live4today
    Thank you ever so much for taking the time to print the article on Parish Nursing. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is very inspiring. I printed out a copy of it to keep since it explains what a parish nurse is and does better than any article I've ever read before. Since I am hoping to one day become a Parish Nurse, the article expounded on a few areas of the profession that I was curious about. Now, I know that I want to return to college soon and get a degree in counseling.

    I've always been told by family and friends that I should have become a counselor anyway, but how often do we "listen" to someone else's thoughts about what we would be better at?
    Today, I know that counseling is definitely more me than anything else I've ever done. When I worked as a nurse, I was always more interested in taking the wholistic approach to patient care than anything else. I believe patients heal better when their minds and emotions are clear of negative debris and stresses that keep them from thinking positive, so I always took the time to find out exactly what frame of mind my patients were in, especially if it was a patient preparing for surgery.

    Anyway, thank you again for sharing that article with me, nightngale. God bless you!


    Take the time today and tell someone you care about how much they mean to you.
  9. by   nightingale
    You are very welcome Renee... I too am interested in doing this "someday".... have a few other hurdles to jump first....

    Honestly, on the posting to here, I hesitiated because it is posted in the parish nursing forum... I found it in the news information of this BB. I too enjoyed it so much I cut and pasted it to put in the parish nursing forum....

    Good luck and blessing on your journey Renee... Keep us abreast with how you are doing!

    This post has been so interesting... thank you to all!

    NurseDennie... ya know! You are always a nurse, no matter what you are doing... huh... good luck on your new journey too.... I love your website... keep up the truthful thoughts!

  10. by   live4today
    Nightngale 1998,

    I am going to try and locate the parish nurse forum on here, too. I forgot to mention that in my previous reply to you, but I am so glad you took the time to post it on this particular forum since so many of us who are "aging" are in need of all the encouragement we can get to stay interested in nursing, especially for us who are on a temporary hiatus from the field of nursing.
  11. by   nightingale
    The parish nursing forum link is found on the home page under "Nurse Specialties". You will find it alphabetically under Parish Nursing.

  12. by   Karen4HIM1951

    We are all looking at many changes in our life - As I told a good friend of mine yesterday - I know that God is directing things,
    I know that I will end up where He wants me to be, however,
    the roller coaster ride to get there is NO FUN. I'll have to admit that I have been pretty frightened during this ride. If I don't take a Family Medical leave I may loose my job because my thinking is just not up to par - I keep forgetting things and I don't want it to get to the place where I put any patients in jeopardy.

    I just need to vent and talk to others who have been going thru similar things and who "know what it's like" while I continue to practice my faith with patience, waiting for His time and not mine!
  13. by   live4today
    Hi Nightngale 1998,

    Thanks for the information on where to find the Parish Nurse forum. I wondered where I could locate it.


    Hang in there! Things will start looking up for you, too. You gotta hold on to that hope. You are in my prayers. Feel free to send me a message if you ever need to share beyond this post, or just to have an online friend to vent with.