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Major career and life crossroads

Nurses   (5,355 Views 33 Comments)

dthfytr has 30 years experience as a ADN, LPN, LVN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I and works as a Disabled.

12,217 Visitors; 1,159 Posts

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Loved ER nursing and EMS, spent most of my life with them. In January a "perfect storm" happened to my back and disabled me. Through the aging process, some genetic influences, illness, and old trauma from some recreational stuff (piloting, parachuting, motorcycling, just the usual stuff), and my employer couldn't get me out the door fast enough. Protect your backs!

My doc says find a job I can do by phone at home. No standing, walking, lifting. CPR? forgedaboutit! I applied for SS Disability and what scares me the most is that they gave it without a fight. I'm working through the stages with a big emphasis on denial, but I'll concede to undulent depression.

Late 50's, single, no extended family, most of my material possesions went for survival this year and a previous knee replacement (no home), so all I've got is SS Disability. I need and want more, and with huge experience under my belt I feel I must be able to work somewhere. My soldier/daughter has taken me in for now or I'd be forwarding my mail to my car.

The sedentary jobs posted online all want lots of experience in case management or whatever the field they're offering. It's pretty much a given I'd have to leave the Southern NM/West TX area, and moving again isn't high on my list of favorites anymore.

So there's my mess, and my wide open wound. I've done some wonderful things in life, now I need to figure how to let life help me, unaccoustamed as I am. Constructive criticism is fine. Sympathy is soothing, suggestions are great. Inside tips on lottery numbers would be great. I've run out of ideas, so hit me with your best shot (figuratively, puhlease).

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8,858 Visitors; 490 Posts

I used to know this gal that worked as a telephone triage nurse. Her husband was a pilot and gone a lot, she wanted to be around when the kids came in from school. So this was her day job at home, sometimes she did nights too from home while the kids were sleeping. She has since moved and we lost touch. I googled it and came up with this link. Now this is not an endorsement on my part! But it did name some companies at the bottom.....

http://www.connectionsmagazine.com/articles/5/090.html

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ijuanabhappy has 3 years experience and works as a School Nurse.

16,559 Visitors; 381 Posts

Hello dthfytr,

I am very sorry to hear about your current hardship. I sympathize and understand. My boyfriend is in his 50's and was recently let go from his job of ten years due to a chronic illness and an issue over sick days, FMLA, etc. Money has been very tight for us and we have been through the struggle of haggling with the insurance company over continuing his well-deserved short-term disability, then filing for unemployment, and social security. Needless to say, he has withdrawn into a severe depression... so I do understand much of what you are going through.

Because I am a new nurse and inexperienced, I do not have much wisdom to offer you as far as more sedentary job options... wish I did. I have noticed that your posts are very thoughtful and intelligent. Your experience is priceless. I am sure in time you will find the perfect new job. Have you thought about jobs with the VA? I did a rotation in their substance abuse program and loved it. Good luck to you!

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17 Articles; 31,089 Visitors; 4,167 Posts

I was going to suggest the telephone triage possibility also.

And what about the possibility of EMS dispatch. You know the field and you would certainly have the background if your area allows dispatchers to assist callers with CPR and imminent births.

There is something out there for you. :up:

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HiHoCherry-O has 4 years experience and works as a RN.

2,374 Visitors; 123 Posts

My fellow New Mexican. . .:hug:. Better yet, snuggle up with some good red chili (and green!!). Reflect back on things that have interested you both in and out of nursing. Anything you could picture yourself investigating further? Education? (I personally think you would be quite valuable here). I know the EMS Academy hires adjunct instructors (If you would be interested in ABQ). Occassionally they have full time positions open up as well.

I hate to even say it. . .but. . .have you thought about dispatch? Lifeguard in ABQ often has positions for dispatchers. Your piloting experience would be helpful there. The pay would not be great but it may open the doors to other things.

Best of luck to you. I miss the chili. So eat a huge bowl of red and green for me!!!:)

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7,139 Visitors; 460 Posts

You are experiencing what I hoped to avoid by jumping ship to health-care nearly 20 years ago. Only the injury complicates matters to be sure. I'll share with you my mindset at the time which may hopefully cue your own mind to see possibilities where perhaps none may have existed previously. I found myself highly educated, highly trained, and highly expendable. The job market was as it was today, abysmal however, I was lucky to be single, 31, and unencumbered at the time.

The first order of business was a worldwide search within industry. Failing that, a decision was made to retrain. The reasons for my eventual path are self evident however, the runner up was in fact mortuary sciences (undertaker). I tell you this not as a suggestion but as an indicator as to "frame of mind" in my flexibility with regard to the decision making process. A frame of mind, which is difficult to adopt but, you may find helpful in trying to "think outside of the box" per Se.

I often think about what I might do if I lost the ability to be a Nurse tomorrow. Most answers require various degrees of physical ability and vary greatly in my case, Truck Driver, Undertaker, Flight Instructor, Restaurant Manager, wherever the supply and demand, experience, or other factors may be in my favor. I do know that I would sit and carefully evaluate what is happening in the world around me ("situational awareness") and take some positive steps based on that evaluation. My short impression of you with these bits and bytes that I see on my screen, is of a well spoken intelligent individual. An intact mind is perhaps our greatest asset as Stephen Hawking would no doubt attest.

I hope that this can be of some help to you,... you have my sincere best wishes.

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Retired/Disabled Nurse and Blogger.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 247,633 Visitors; 9,594 Posts

Some hospitals in my area (PacNW) hire nurses to follow up with discharged patients shortly after their procedures or inpatient stays. These nurses offer education, referrals, a shoulder to cry on, someone to complain to........whatever the patient needs at the time.

Other ideas might include case management, insurance company utilization review nurse, resource nurse, occupational health, even consulting. FWIW, I'm in my early 50s with a bad back, two bad knees, and osteoarthritis in my hands, and I too was unemployed for a while recently. I'm now working part-time at an LTC where the workload is insane and I know I won't last long, so I'm still looking for something a little easier on the body. Believe me, you have my sympathies. :hug:

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imintrouble has 16 years experience and works as a RN.

50,954 Visitors; 2,397 Posts

I don't have a clue. Sat here for a little bit and tried to figure something out. Couldn't. I'm not much help to you, but I very much wish I were. Usually I try to remain silent when I don't have anything to offer (sometimes I SHOULD remain silent) But in this situation I wanted you to know I read about your problems, and I'll continue to think about some options. I'm so sorry for your worries.

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imintrouble has 16 years experience and works as a RN.

50,954 Visitors; 2,397 Posts

Medical transcription?

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3,022 Visitors; 69 Posts

Perhaps not as exciting as ER, but what about Public Health nursing? Would that be an option?

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dthfytr has 30 years experience as a ADN, LPN, LVN, RN, EMT-B, EMT-I and works as a Disabled.

12,217 Visitors; 1,159 Posts

Retraining was an early thought. It's not practical, but not ruled out. If I go that route I'd be 60ish when done, maybe deep in debt. Logically it's bad choice, but emtionally it would give me a goal and a chance to prolong independence. I'm still regrouping from the loss of identity, the futre course yet to become clear. Thanks for sharing. As I'd hoped, nurses are being most generous in helping me gain some perspective.

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Bella'sMyBaby works as a MDS Coordinator.

9,493 Visitors; 340 Posts

How about Staff Development Coordinator or MDS Coordinator in a LTC Facility?

I'm an MDS Coordinator (Absolutely NO hands on care & I Love it).

Take Care!! :)

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