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Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

Going on Disability and Needs Part-time Job

Nurse Beth   (1,889 Views 6 Comments)
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Dear Nurse Beth,

I have almost 4 years under my belt as a rehab nurse in a long term care facility. I am just about to get my BSN. I want to find a part time job that would have shorter shifts, like a 4-5 hour day. I don't even know where to search. The hospitals and affiliated offices would want full 8 hour shifts. Indeed is a pain to sort through...

I may be going on disability, not sure if that would help me make a deal some place to only work 4-5 hours a day?

Thanks for any help!!!

Dear Wants Part-Time,

Going on disability and having work restrictions does not help you make a deal- if anything, a potential employer will shy away from accomodations that benefit the employee but not necessarily the employer.

Some facilities provide "light duty" and shorter hours for a period of time when an employee is recovering and plans to go back to their regular job. Employers are not required to create a part-time job when a full-time job is needed, however. Some progressive facilities may allow shift-sharing but that requires a colleague who is willing to work in perfect tandem with you for patient care coverage.

Your best bet is finding a position away from direct patient care. Getting your BSN will provide options away from clinical bedside practice. You would need first need to gain skills, such as case management, or documentation specialist. Once you have experience, you are in a better position to negotiate for a part-time position, or to look for a position from home, which might be more manageable.

The most important thing is your health, and you are wise to start planning your career around your future limitations.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

Edited by Nurse Beth

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Private duty home care tends to have oodles of clients needing 3-6 hours of 1:1 care per day.

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You can't work 4-5 hours a day and be on disability. That's not how it works.

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Long term care facilities often offer short shifts to cover heavier time periods yet cut down on the expense of having an employee on board for too many hours. I once worked a four hour shift in the afternoon where I did the 5-6 pm med pass for a group of residents as well as certain other specific duties. This could also occur during the first four hours or so of the morning shift. Talk to LTC management to see if such an arrangement could be agreed upon.

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You can't work 4-5 hours a day and be on disability. That's not how it works.

Yes, if you can work, then you can work. Disability would be withheld. People who draw disability and work usually keep their employment under the table. If they get caught at it, though, the consequences can be severe.

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It depends on where you live. In Massachusetts the law is you can be on disability, but you can't work more than 20 hours a week. Not sure about other states.

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