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New OR Nurse injured 8months in Now what

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Hello all, I have worked so hart to become a nurse. I finally landed my dream position in the Operating Room with a Major hospital right out of school. I went through their intern training program and graduated from it. 2 month after finishing the training program I took a horrible fall that has left me with muscle pain, weakness and spasms in my neck, back, arms shoulders, hands. I have a lifting restriction of 20lbs only occasionally not even a consistent 20lbs. i am working hard with therapy to get to 25lbs but we can't seem to get there. My hospital requires all nurses to be able to lift at least 40lbs and in the OR it is at least 75lbs. My specialist and therapist aren't sure I am going to make it to the 40lbs any time soon and don't recommend my ever going back to the OR.My OR position has officially been taken away and re-listed on the job site. Now I am an internal candidate with workers comp breathing down my neck trying to kick me off and if they are successful, then the hospital can officially fire me. I haven't been able to find another position because it is either outside of my restrictions or I don't have the necessary education or experience. I am a second semester senior in an rn to bsn program. I have 5 more classes until i graduate. I feel like me nursing career is coming to an end before it even got started. My hospital has treated me horribly and i had to hire a compensation lawyer and an employment lawyer. Without them the hospital would have gotten rid of me long time ago. They have lied to me, occupational health has been guilty of malpractice which exacerbated the level of my injury. I actually sustained a second injury while on light duty because I was following occupational health's recommendations.

If fell over cords and avoided bumping into a piece of machinery that would have bumped the surgeon while he was actively cutting on a lung. That machine could have kept me from falling but would have caused injury to my patient. Now the hospital does not want to honor my sacrifice. I think I may have lost my nursing career before it started. Any advice at this point would be greatly appreciated. :(:no:

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,785 Posts; 251,887 Profile Views

Wow. I am so sorry you're going through all of this. I wish I had some words of wisdom to give you, but of course we can't offer any type of medical or legal advice, so I'm going to encourage you to work with your legal team to ensure your rights are being respected. And you can vent here any time you like. Sometimes what's needed most is to be heard.

Wishing you all the best. Please keep us posted on how things are going.

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2 Articles; 11,114 Posts; 15,687 Profile Views

Keep working with those lawyers. Finish your degree. I don't know what state you're in, but in most states, you cannot be required to treat with a physician or therapist determined by your employer (like good ol' employee health); you can treat with anyone you choose, and work comp has to pay for it. Your career is not over.

I'd look seriously at seeing a good university hospital physiatrist (MD with an specialty in rehabilitation) with a subspecialty in spine and a good working relationship with some neuro/spine guys and specialty spine therapists. There are definitely some good ones out there. See what they have to say. They can also help you with the critically-important concept of dangerous pain vs nondangerous pain, and help you get a life and some hope.

I don't know how long ago you were injured, but sometimes it takes longer than people originally think for you to recover. So often they tell you that you have 6 months to reach MMI (maximum medical improvement), and they can often find some doc to support that, but a good doc and a good therapist will tell you that if can take much longer. Don't despair. Even if it takes two years (Two years???? Well, you're not planning on being dead by then, so you might as well see what happens, the time will pass whether you like it or not...) you'll have recovery sooner or later with appropriate care.

You can PM me if you like and I can give you some referrals-- I have excellent contacts all over the country in rehab and related topics.

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151 Posts; 5,598 Profile Views

thanks so much for the encouragement. I was injured in Jan of 2014. Yes they are sending me to a doc for mmi at the end of this month even though my physiatrist says i am not at mmi and it is just taking longer for me to heal. I know that i can take this time to finish my degree and if i must i will take a refresher course and some other nonclinical skills courses too like you said, i don't plan on being dead so i might as well be as productive as possible.

Thanks again.

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15 Posts; 816 Profile Views

Dear alodocios

Sorry you are having so much trouble! I can sympathize. I was injured on the job also while in school (not a nursing job) (RN program) and had to drop out because of the injury; the company ran me around for 2 and half years while I was injured and I fired two attorneys in the process. It was WC lawsuit also. The company took away my job which is by the way illegal. They must hold the job for you until you are able to come back and fill it. You are not removed from your company, you are on leave although they will do their darndest to push you out. You should also immediately file for a combination of WC payments and unemployment insurance if you haven't already. They will probably deny you unemployment but you need to fight for this. This is your right, you can apply at your local unemployment office. I got mine for two years and also WC benefits. I had to push my attorneys for this also. Remember, you do have attorneys but they also work hand in hand with the insurance company and the WC office. I did not like this when I found this out the hard way after two and half years but it is the hard truth.

I was badly injured and NO one believed me including my own doc. This was even after the obvious signs showed positive in MRI scans. After two and a half years, he still refused to do a surgery. I had to take my case through advocacy all the way to the State Board of WC to get a surgery fullfilled and to force the doctor and the insurance company to move on this. I walked around that long in pain and did an LPN program instead. Four weeks prior to graduating is when I got notice to do the surgery and I HAD to go. I had fought all that time.

So, you have a long road ahead of you I'm afraid. WC is not fun by any means. You must stay very strong. Do not sign one thing until you are 100% better. Keep telling that new doc every time you see him you are in 10/10 pain and you will be seen again and again. You must keep prolonging your recovery to get better. If you are wishy washy and tell them you are in 5/10 pain, they will only let you come back for 3 more months. That's how it works. Keep pushing for more therapy. Be proactive for what you want!

And remember, the best advice I can give you, you think the lawyers are on your side but they all work together to get it closed fast so they can get paid! :)

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xoemmylouox has 13 years experience as a ASN, RN.

1 Follower; 3,150 Posts; 38,962 Profile Views

I'm so sorry that you are going through this. While we can't offer legal or medical advice I will say to work with your lawyers to ensure all of your rights are being maintained. Many employers try to dump WC employees by any means necessary, especially for back related issues. I wish you nothing but the best of luck. Keep strong and finish that BSN!

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151 Posts; 5,598 Profile Views

Well its been a year, I've been out for almost 2 years. Job successfully fired me in May. I dropped the ball because I was so crushed and now am looking for a new lawyer. I am sure I need a new lawyer, think my current one was in on the plan all along. I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Hypermobility type as the reason I wasn't healing. I did eventually get rated for mmi but not the hospital is not paying. I exhausted my unemployment and am now taking a test to work the Hedis season while I am studying for billing and coding. It is a shame how how nurses give their heart and soul and then hospitals treat us like injure race horses and put us down when we get injured.

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OwlNation has 4 years experience and specializes in Psych.

41 Posts; 873 Profile Views

I'm so glad to see nice people willing to share their knowledge! I hope things get better for you. I have always feared that I will be seriously injured (forensic and civil psych nurse here) and not be able to do what I love. The journey won't be easy, but I hope you make it through!

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NurseStorm has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Mother-Baby and SCN.

1 Article; 153 Posts; 4,306 Profile Views

So sorry to hear of your injury and the way you've been treated :( I am horrified at what so many of have had to endure after being injured at work. I have also been severely injured at work but I am Canadian and they treat us better here than that. I am becoming more and more thankful for my workplace the more I read here.

I hope you find a new lawyer who can help you, and you can get back to work soon, good luck!

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Rose_Queen has 15 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

12 Followers; 4 Articles; 9,579 Posts; 111,600 Profile Views

I am sure I need a new lawyer, think my current one was in on the plan all along.

I'm sorry to hear of your injury, but what is with the quote above? What plan?

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151 Posts; 5,598 Profile Views

The hospital i worked for Yale is very influential and it is hard to find a lawyer that is not influenced or controlled by them. The plan was to get rid of me when i was injured and pay nothing or as little as possible and not honor my rights as an injured worker. It was obvious from the day i stepped into occupational health that i was in for a fight. without even so much as an exam, the nurse practitioner immediately told me part of the injury i was complaining of was not from the fall.

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