Nurses over 50 &/or with health issues affecting work - page 8

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   Lorniki
    Originally posted by LadyNASDAQ

    I feel your pain and I have lived it, too.

    I was in a horrible car accident in 1994. I had a very bad atelectasis to my left lung and had a crushed comminuted right wrist that what my surgeon told me would have 10% function. On top of that, I developed a condition called R.S.D. which is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy of my right hand , fingers and spread up the entire right arm. My index and middle finger were damaged at the knuckle where they suffered diagonal fractures ad were pinned back together.

    Yes, together with Epstein-Barr that was discovered I was quite a mess.

    I was lucky to have a private disability policy which was paying a whopping $1400/month. I was lucky. I went to live with my Mom who was grateful I lived through this car wreck which happened on the way to work .

    Even though Iwas not at fault, the car accident settlement was chincy and I lost 6 months of pay and almost lost 2 arms and my life.

    After 6 months of painful rehab, I finally went to work with my surgeon beging me to go to social security and apply.

    Can you believe this? I wanted to work. I was so desperate to work because that was normalcy.

    I know that this is going to sound very peculiar but I really urge you to fight back if you can. Talk with your Doctor. We can not lose you. We are in a heck of a Nursing shortage. If it's a weight thing, there is help in message boards, in places like Weight Watchers.

    For me, the answer was to go agency. After that, Iwent for the Travel thing. That's my best loved job yet and you know what? I am not tired like I was in my other job. In fact, I'm happy and so very energetic. It depends upon you. You may want to teach but leaving the profession is not the way to go. You have too much experience and you owe it to yourself to spred the words of wisdom that you have.
  2. by   Lorniki
    I am 60 - but doing utilization review. Gave up bedpans at age 50 --- not because of age ---- but because of Dept of Nursing support and the type of nurses they were graduating. Staffing was terrible --- I went home crying most nights because my 12 hours (in a 8 hr shift) wasn't enough. Most days, if I was lucky, it was me and a "rent a Nurse". At age 50 I was given "Nurse of the Year award --- the first one given at our hospital ----- I cashed it in for UR. Do I miss nursing? no. Do I miss the patients and the satisfaction that you might have made a difference ---- YES!!!!!! But what I saw on the ward with the younger nurses made me sick ----one actually asked a patient "if she thought this was a hotel?" that was when the patient asked for a blanket and fresh water. Lord help me when I am sick, as I know there won't be anyone caring out there for me.
    Last edit by Lorniki on Feb 4, '02
  3. by   Karen4HIM1951
    I don't think anyone has given up - just looking for suitable alternatives!!!

    Me - If Parish Nursing isn't where the Lord wants me to be - then I will work in HH still - but part-time and work around my Good Days - I think that just by getting out of the full-time Case Manager roll - my stress level - ie health - will improve!!

    Lorniki: I know just what you mean! And these young nurses think we don't know a thing!! I was a patient not too long ago in the hospital for surgery - BOY has the care changed!!! I tend to agree with others who have posted on this site - It really is Administration that is behind this - they haven't found a way to manage the health care financial problems while maintaining staffing adequate to meet the patients needs!!!!

    I had a foot of my intestines removed (this was back in 1998) and was in the hospital 6 days - NOT ONCE was I offered a back rub (we were taught in Nrsg school that back rubs are an essential part of HS care) - and I was lucky to have my water pitcher filled up daily!!! I couldn't tell you how may water pitchers I filled and how manyu back rubs I gave over the years before the DRG's
  4. by   live4today
    Ditto Lorniki an KAREN4HIM,

    I totally agree with you both on the comments in your post.
    The seasoned nurses are full of a vast amount of knowledge, experience, and years of managing nursing issues, yet here we are...given the boot by those who are aging gracefully right along with us. Now, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black!

    Should we throw in the towel? Not on our life! At fifty, I haven't even begun to show what good stuff I'm made of, and neither should any other nurse our age. We are in the 'prime' of our lives! It aint over 'til it's over!

    The world is your playground. Why aren't you playing?" -- ELLIE KATZ
  5. by   RNKitty
    Okay, here I am, this new young nurse in her 20's with 5 years of experience. I was beginning to get my hackles up at the generalizations regarding the young new nurses.

    Then Karen4HIM1951 wrote: "had a foot of my intestines removed (this was back in 1998) and was in the hospital 6 days - NOT ONCE was I offered a back rub (we were taught in Nrsg school that back rubs are an essential part of HS care) - and I was lucky to have my water pitcher filled up daily!!!"

    Made me think. Ya know, back rubs WEREN't emphasized in nursing school. Our instructors cared more about quizzing us on pathophysiology, pharmacology, and critical assessments. I think also that nursing itself has changed since the older generation graduated. Consequently, the older nurses had time to develop the people skills. The technical skills gradually were updated as technology updated. I don't feel the schools adequately prepare new grads for the world of nursing, but maybe some of you felt that way when you graduated.

    Anyway, be kind to the new blood and I'll promise to give you a backrub.
  6. by   live4today

    Here is a special message for you since I noticed your birthday is tomorrow (February 1):





  7. by   RNKitty

    What a wonderful post! Thanks Renee!
  8. by   live4today
    How's the birthday woman today? Sure hope you are being pampered on your special day!

  9. by   RNKitty
    Actually, your post was the first birthday greeting of the day. I still had duties with my kids, but my hubby came home early and made dinner. I got to "open" presents that he didn't actually have time to wrap. He is currently doing dishes and putting the kids to bed. Tonight, we have a neighbor coming to watch the kids so we can go out together. We are going to a bar up in Collegetown in Ithaca. I have never actually been to a bar - can you believe it - 28 years and never been in a bar? Anyway, earlier this week I had a massage as a present for myself.

    Tomorrow life starts again. I work 12 hours. Then I have 5 days with the kids pretty much on my own, as my hubby is in his last year of grad school, has two jobs, and is interviewing heavily these two weeks for summer internships and jobs post graduation. I really hope he gets something west coast, as that is where all the family lives. I hope it will be our last move because I don't do well with constant change and I want to orient to a job and stay there! (I have had 5 jobs in 5 years, one I left because of poor work conditions, but the rest I had to resign because we moved.)

    Thanks for the good wishes!
  10. by   Franca

    I'm a new allnurses member.

    I'm late 40s and am/was looking into entering nursing school to be an RN and eventually studying for a BSN while working in the ED, my hoped for specialty.

    My other hope was that nursing, in addition to involving people contact/care, involved establishment of community as a team; but, two thoughts pop up for me after reading these posts.

    1) I'll be in my early 50s before I start and complete nursing school.

    2) The response of mgt. to you all does not give me a picture of community. I am not naive, but I thought it possible to be a nurse for a hospital, to desire to belp the hospital be the best healthcare facility it could be; in other words, I thought it possible to commit to the facility's success (and therefore good patient care) and in turn that the facility would want to commit to my success. I thought a facility investing in staff development would want to keep that staff. An "I can hire two new grads for the price of you" is short-sighted, very bottom-line thinking.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    By the way, have any of you considered gaining further education, if needed, and going into teaching? I read in the news that a shortage of nursing educators was expected. You all have strong clinical experience, and you seem to have compassionate hearts, wanting to be treated kindly like you have treated others, and those two facts make me think you'd be very good teachers. Or, is research an option?

    As far as how you have been treated, oy!; it makes me think I'd be as well off in medical transcription (7 years thus far, but I'd like people contact in a helping capacity) where my boss actually appreciates me and I work from home. The account is specialty clinics and/or hospital reports (op notes and discharge summaries). Look at the site to see what is required as to being an MT, and look at the MT Chat site to see what kind of knowledge is required, . Also Linda Andrews' site for her school, answers a lot of questions, such as how much an MT can make. She's an honest woman and will answer directly any questions you have if you email her.

    Or, how about the medical coding field?

    Brian, I hope it is okay to post this information. I get this "it's not right" attitude going and I start looking for answers. MT'ing might not be anyone's cup of tea, but I want to offer some alternatives. Plus, with MT'ing from home you can set your pace and rest when needed.

    I understand desiring to be valued and desiring to be a part of something good. I regret that the facilities you've described (which quite possibly are the norm) don't support those desires.

    I figured I'd manage in spite of my age by using various "helps" that folks learn as they age--of course, what "helps" work for physical exhaustion or pulled ligaments! However, I had not known about mgt.'s attitude toward age when limitations as to working all out are encountered. Is this attitude or the climate different in hospitals in other countries (as opposed to the USA)? I'm not against taking another language class in addition to the Spanish class I am signing up for this summer!
    Last edit by Franca on Feb 1, '02
  11. by   nightingale

    I took out the info with the job telephone number. This could be considered "advertising" and is against the BB policy. It appears you were innocent enough in your discussion and offer of the job oppourtunity but none-the-less is still a type of adveritising.

    It is not my intent to inhibit your dialogue. I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Please continue posting and welcome to the BB. You sound like you have the makings of an excellent nurse and I hope you opt to go with the nursing program.

    In peace,
  12. by   Maureen007
    [code][b] [i][u]
    hi there, my story is similar-hurt my back taking care of a kid with braces, that i had to lift to catherize, and they moved me to a hs then all around the district.finally gave up when i met my principal - waterloo! retirement for me saved my sanity.i still work part-time.renee, you are good at giving advice and looking things up-you should try some type of resource informatic type job.
  13. by   live4today
    Hello there birthday woman

    Sounds like your birthday today was indeed a very special one!
    Good for you! You deserve to be pampered every now and then. Why, I would LOVE a massage myself right about now. My neck has been stiff for about a week. Maybe I can get my hubby to give me a neck and back massage before crashing tonight. He truly missed his calling because he is without a doubt the best massager I have ever had give me a massage. I tried to talk him into becoming a masseuse, but he says, "No way!" He's also an excellent nurse!

    I totally understand the moving around bit as we are a military family. I've given up more good paying jobs just to be wherever the military sent us. That should soon be over as he is already into his 20th year. One more year here in Texas, then our next move should be our last. We are looking at going to North Carolina where they have a major retirement area at the airborne base, so hubby will feel "right at home" (he's airborne). It will be so nice to settle in somewhere at last.

    Well, I hope and pray your weekend is as wonderful as your birthday was for you!

    "The moment may be temporary, but the memory is forever." -- BUD MEYER
    Last edit by live4today on Feb 1, '02