Published Aug 15, 2015
Dear Nursing Career Advice;
I am a nurse with over 13 years experience. I worked as a Peds Nurse for 10 years on a unit for acutely ill Neuro children; in a Peds/Adolescent Behavioral Unit for approximately 1 year, and as a Director of Nursing in a correctional facility for approximately 2 years. On my way to work in 2013 I was involved in a serious automobile accident. As a result I have had 3 surgeries on my right leg and now walk with the use of a cane. I also, lost hearing in my right ear and need the use of a hearing aid, plus have problems with my shorterm memory due to a tramatic brain injury. But, with all that said, I want to work at my chosen field; nursing. I love caring for people, but can no long do floor nursing. I am having problems in my area finding a job that I can physically do. Can you help give me a direction to start looking for a position?
Chloe Knudsen, BSN, RN, CPN
Chloe, I am sorry for your health problems & your losses. The biggest impediment is not your physical challenges, but the TBI. Quite honestly, with short term memory loss, I don't know how you can work as an RN. There are jobs such as those with insurance co. doing chart reviews, but you need to keep up a certain pace. There are jobs in gov't., but again you need to maintain a high level of cognitive function. I would reach out to the disability agencies in your state & see if there is a need for an RN to work PT & also connect w/ Vocational Rehab. Good luck to you.
I would look at rep jobs. there are a lot of big pharma jobs out there that are not patient care related but instead more of a sales pitch type job. what you ARE required to memorize is the basics of your med and the trials involved, etc. there are lots of part time, full time etc jobs out there. you do spend time on the road visiting physician offices and calling on doctors, many times taking lunch for them and their staff (pharm company gives you a lunch budget).you may be in a position to do those types of roles!
also, you may want to look at LTC positions that are not actually unit positions, but related to admitting patients, etc. they ARE out there, and may be able to accommodate your physical needs, since you wouldn't be running around a busy unit all day. and i have found that LTC can be a lot of fun too!
Lastly, there are chart audit type jobs out there that allow you to work from home and review charts for insurance companies. I don't know a lot about those types of jobs. I don't know if any of these appeal to you, but after 20 years as a nurse i know that there ARE jobs out there for all types of nurses.
I would also encourage you to look into cognitive therapy because it can make a huge difference for memory problems, and occ therapy because it will be important to convey to hiring managers that you are doing EVERYTHING you can to improve your opportunities. good luck!
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