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Losing job due to injury

Nurses   (2,710 Views | 30 Replies)

576 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hello everyone, I just wanted to get some advice/vent about my current situation, as I'm feeling a bit down right now. I am a new grad (graduated May 2018) and have been working in my current job for 5 months and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately, a month ago, I was hit by a van while walking my dog (don't worry, my dog is alive and well!) and fractured my talus, orbital wall, and suffered a few other injuries. After receiving a few surgeries on my ankle, the orthopedic surgeon placed me out of work for the next 6 months. It seems that I will be non weight bearing for the next 3 months and then starting PT after that (which essentially means I won't actually be walking properly for quite some time). Of course, she has told me that there is a chance that I may return earlier, but for now it seems like a long road ahead due to the severity of the talus fracture.

Earlier today, I received a call from my manager in which she told me that she could only hold my position for the next 3 months due to staffing needs, but would continue to check in on my recovery. Thus, if I am unable to return by May, I will no longer have my job. She also stated that if I cannot return in May, I could always reapply when I am ready to return and she would do her best to help me get a position, although it is not guaranteed. While I understand the reasoning behind everything, I can't help but feel stressed and extremely bummed out because this is my dream job and the thought of losing it because of a freak accident is heartbreaking. I am also part of a new graduate residency program, so that has been put on hold as well. 

Anyways, thank you all for taking the time to read this. For now, I am trying to remain positive and focus on my healing -- who knows, I might make a quicker recovery than anticipated! If any of you have advice on how to cope or have been in a similar situation (losing a position due to injury, etc.), please feel free to share. I'd love to hear your experiences! Also, has anyone had to reapply for a position after an injury and got it again? Or was my manager just trying to be nice by offering to help me and I'll most likely not be returning?

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,949 Posts; 172,618 Profile Views

Oh, man this sucks!  I can understand your manager's position regarding staffing -- but it still sucks for you!  

I don't know your manager, but mine held my job for me when I hurt my back and was off for six months.  She hired a traveler to fill my position while I was out of work.  I don't know if your hospital allows travelers.  I also know that things may be different because you're a new grad.  

I really have no words of wisdom for you, but hang in there.  If you've been a good employee, she may indeed try to make sure you can be rehired.  Meanwhile, do what your doctor tells you and work hard in the therapy when it starts.  I hope this turns out well for you.

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12 Followers; 4,056 Posts; 31,232 Profile Views

So sorry to hear of this! I don't have personal experience to share, but wanted to offer well wishes for speedy healing.

I'm sure others will have more knowledge and advice. All I can say is that I haven't directly worked with any manager whom I believe would try to undermine an employee's future under these circumstances, although they can't work miracles to overcome the HR-related stipulations they work within. I've seen them work compassionately with people experiencing a variety of life circumstances. All things equal I would believe that they would try to work with you in the future if at all possible. In the meantime, it can't hurt to make sure your manager understands how much you have truly enjoyed your position thus far and how you plan to be back in the game as soon as you can do so safely/in good health.

Your healing is super important. A talus fracture is nothing to blow off, so really commit yourself to staying in good spirits while you go through the interventions and therapies necessary to maximize your future mobility.

A ((hug)) for you!

Edited by JKL33

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River&MountainRN has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Primary Care, LTC, Private Duty.

222 Posts; 2,348 Profile Views

I am so sorry this is happening to you! I was/am in a similar boat secondary to a low back fracture. It really does feel like the carpet is pulled out from underneath you, and unfortunately we have no job protection. 

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

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Like the others, I send my empathy for your situation. I realize it's difficult, but you seem to have your priorities and concerns in the right places.

My wife B, who is a medical nurse, fractured her ankle back in '13 and was off for six months. She knew after healing and PT that she still could not be on her feet for an entire 12 hour shift, so the orthopedist stipulated no more than an 8 hour shift.

She worked Med Surge at Wrongway Regional Medical Center and they basically said, "If you can't work 12 hours, you can't come back".

So, after about 7 or 8 months she returned to work. They held her position and she was reinstated in her old position in good standing.

The circumstances are a little different, JB, but I hope it all works out for you too.

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twinmommy+2 has 15 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ED.

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If I were in your situation, I would apply for FMLA and for short term disability (if you have that in your insurance package). The FMLA will allow you to keep your job for 12 weeks of unpaid leave after your sick time is used up which may help as long as you have enough time all together. The short term disability I think usually lasts for 6 months to keep the bills paid. I hope this helps!

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River&MountainRN has 5 years experience as a ADN, RN and specializes in Primary Care, LTC, Private Duty.

222 Posts; 2,348 Profile Views

1 minute ago, twinmommy+2 said:

If I were in your situation, I would apply for FMLA and for short term disability (if you have that in your insurance package). The FMLA will allow you to keep your job for 12 weeks of unpaid leave after your sick time is used up which may help as long as you have enough time all together. The short term disability I think usually lasts for 6 months to keep the bills paid. I hope this helps!

Unfortunately the OP doesn't qualify for FMLA...they've only been there for 5 months.

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twinmommy+2 has 15 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ED.

1 Article; 1,283 Posts; 17,852 Profile Views

7 hours ago, River&MountainRN said:

Unfortunately the OP doesn't qualify for FMLA...they've only been there for 5 months.

Missed that part :( 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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But you may qualify for unemployment insurance if they "can't hold your job" for you. So sorry this happened.

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4 Posts; 576 Profile Views

Apparently word has gotten out that I may not be able to return (haven't spoken to anyone about this so maybe my manager said something), so my coworkers were reaching out to me yesterday as well. Two travelers were hired after my accident so they were all under the impression that the travelers were there to take my spot until my return. My coworkers were all quite upset about the possibility of me not returning because they said I'm a "great nurse and an excellent addition to their team". They may have just been saying that to make me feel better, but it was extremely nice to hear during this tough time. Feeling a little more confident and uplifted today. 

Thank you all for your replies thus far! It's great to be able to read some words of wisdom from other people. All I can do right now is stay positive, pray, and hope for a speedy recovery. Who knows what may happen in the future, right?

 

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 66 Articles; 13,949 Posts; 172,618 Profile Views

16 hours ago, twinmommy+2 said:

If I were in your situation, I would apply for FMLA and for short term disability (if you have that in your insurance package). The FMLA will allow you to keep your job for 12 weeks of unpaid leave after your sick time is used up which may help as long as you have enough time all together. The short term disability I think usually lasts for 6 months to keep the bills paid. I hope this helps!

The time to buy short term (or long term) disability is either when you first take the job or during the open enrollment period.  You cannot buy it AFTER you've been injured.  And the OP hasn't been there long enough to apply for FMLA, either.  

It's always a good idea to buy disability insurance -- it has saved my butt numerous times -- three orthopedic surgeries and a bout with breast cancer.  Unfortunately, that's not going to help the OP now.

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AceOfHearts<3 specializes in Critical care.

895 Posts; 14,601 Profile Views

Short term disability made a difference to me too. My workplace automatically deducts it- I don’t even think we have the option to waive it.

OP- I understand how you are feeling. I was in an accident through no fault of my own and was out of work for an extended period of time. I hadn’t been at my job for a year yet, so I too didn’t qualify for FMLA. 

It was hard being off work and a roller coaster of a ride. The day I confirmed I  wouldn’t be able to return to work for an unknown number of weeks more I had a very ugly cry session in my car. 

Best of luck and if you ever need someone to listen, feel free to send me a PM. I don’t want to give too many details on here. 

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