Published Jul 27, 2005
Hi, I have lupus and I am going back to college. :) I want to become a RN Nurse.
My question is there any nurses out there with an illness? How do you cope with the stress and your activities?
Hi, I am a nursing student and currently work full-time on L&D as a tech and have 3 children. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis. I don't know a lot about lupus yet, but my condition is exacerbated by stress - which I have plenty of! The way I see it though is that I would be hurting, fatigued, etc no matter what I am doing in life so I might as well do something that I enjoy. I can't escape this disease but I can learn to manage it better and accept it. I also can't stress enough the importance of taking very good care of yourself. You can't push yourself to the limit the same as everyone else. Good luck, SG
Hi! Best wishes!
Sure...it's been done many times! My aunt has Lupus and is an RN- she works per diem, but frequently and seems to manage fine. She is on meds, including steroids at times...sorry I'm not much of a Lupus expert. I have something ??? we know what it's not (not Lupus, not MS, etc) but pain symptoms are similar to MS and it does seem to be auto-immune- flares when I'm stressed/ unhappy or when I'm happy but staying up too late, not eating right, etc. Some days are hard- esp my OR days that can be physically demanding- carrying heavy instrument pans, wearing lead skirts, etc. Some days I have fine motor impairment and find it difficult to tie gowns or open small sterile packets. So I left the OR full time, picked up extra hours in a totally different environment (homecare) which I love! I found that I can manage the OR environment as long as I limit my exposure. I think nursing is a very flexible career...always something new to try when you find you can't stand what you're doing anymore. Early on in my illness I had some worried/down moments- I'd get very upset when I'd catch myself having trouble with movement (the pain I can handle, I was very afraid of disablity) I'd have trouble drawing up a med in a syringe, etc and panic- what if I have to leave nursing! Not gonna happen- there's so much I can do even if I end up in a W/C, I'll still be a nurse (though I very, very much doubt that will happen!)
You'll have to know what works best for you and your body, often mental stress is worse than physical stress, but you might not be able to tolerate nights and may have to compromise on your first job as an RN to get a shift your body is OK with. You might do better with fewer 12 hr shifts or more 8 hr shifts, homecare has some 4 or 6 hr shifts that sometimes are just right for me. You'll find your niche!
The one thing I can't comment on, though is getting through school...my symptoms didn't start until my last semester.
It is nice to know that i am not the only one with illness and want to be a nurse.
MissJorn can i choose home care as soon as i graduate or do u have to work in a hospital?
I have multiple sclerosis and am still working full time at the bedside. I just recently had a bad exacerbation but it was the first really bad one that caused me to be out sick for 10 weeks. I think stress probably makes my symptoms worse, but it would be there whether I was at work or not. I am actually glad to be back at work because it was depressing being home. Don't know how this disease is going to go and no one else does either. I'm hoping to get a few more years at the bedside and may consider going back to school for my masters in health education or something.
Thank you ValerieB.
How many years you have MS for? How long have you been an RN? is your work schedule a 12 hr or 8 hr shift? Does your co-worker now about your MS? Was it hard to find employment?
sorry for the re-type
Thank you ValerieB.How many years you have MS for? How long have you been an RN? is your work schedule a 12 hr or 8 hr shift? Does your co-worker now about your MS? Was it hard to find employment?sorry for the re-type
I was diagnosed 5 1/2 years ago. I have been an RN for 21 years. I work 12 hour shifts. Some of my co-workers know that I have MS and even my boss knows. I am so lucky because I haven't had any real problems with the disease until this year and I'm feeling great now. My co-workers and my boss have been so supportive during my illness and it was nice to be welcomed back to work. I've been working at the same hospital since 1987 so I was diagnosed during my employment. It was a bit scary because it's a disease that allot of people don't understand and can't figure out why one person is totally disabled and then there are people like me who have some "exacerbations", get treated and then are perfectly normal. I'm taking a different medicine now so hopefully I won't have another flair up or if I do it will be a long time. It was up to me whether I told people about my MS and I found other nurses that have the same illness and it's nice to know for moral support. :balloons:
I am happy you are feeling good! :) It is nice to know that you are able to continue to do what you like best. I hope I am able to be successful in this field. I always admire the work of a nurse but thought that i could not become one because of my Lupus. Even though Valerie my lupus is somewhat like your MS it hasn't really disable me in any way. except bi-lateral hip replacement(i am getting my left done in sept).
Thank you for sharing your experience with me
There are other roles in nursing and I have to keep reminding myself about that aspect too. I actually did leave the bedside for a few years when I was first diagnosed. I was a QA director in a nursing home ( what fun that was). I just missed taking care of patients so much that I went back to the bedside. I've learned allot about my disease and it has made me a better and more patient practitioner. I now know what it's like to walk with a walker after having done it recently. It makes you tired! I think when we nurses have been a patient before it does give us a different percpective on how our patients feel and know what they are going through. Good luck to you in whatever role you choose.
It is nice to know that i am not the only one with illness and want to be a nurse.MissJorn can i choose home care as soon as i graduate or do u have to work in a hospital?
See if home care/ private duty interests you in school...many agencies still want a year of acute care/hospiat experience before hiring, there all some exceptions, but the trick is either way in finding a reputable agency. I don't see homecare so much as a specialty but I do think experience is needed first...get comfortable with pt care and interactions with families and doctors while you have co-workers to fall back on for support and advisement!
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