Best jobs for nurses with multiple sclerosis?

  1. Hi! I'm new to this forum and I'm happy to have found it! I am an RN and am currently not working. I have multiple sclerosis, but am still very active, although I would not be able to return to the rigorous med/surg nursing I once did. I worked in my husband's office for a few years (he was an oral surgeon). Tragically, he died last fall of cancer. Now I would like to return to work, but on a part time basis, and something not too physically demanding. I like direct patient care. Any feedback you offer will be much appreciated. Thanks!
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    About pauladunlap

    Joined: Aug '11; Posts: 1


  3. by   xtxrn
    MDS nurses still get patient contact, but not the "floor" type of stress. There is some carrying of charts (but a wheeled cart would help with that- even a walker with a seat to carry the charts).
    Some LTCs may be thrilled to have a part time MDS person, since the regular nurses can get so far behind w/them.

    I'm sorry about your husband
  4. by   Jules A
    I'm also sorry about your husband. If you enjoyed working in his office maybe you could find another job similar? I've often thought telephonic nursing would be good but wonder how available those positions are. Have you considered some sort of psych nursing? It isn't quite as active with pushing, pulling bathing and positioning people although you do need to be nimble in the event of a behavior code inpatient. Outpatient is more mellow in that regard. Please keep us posted and best of luck to you.
  5. by   awytrn
    I'm sorry to hear that I'm not the only one with this problem. I am a 26 year old RN recently diagnosed with MS. I only have three years of nursing experience, which has made my search for a case management or agency job nearly impossible. I have my BSN and would like to go back and complete a master's program, but simply cannot afford it. I left my wonderful job in a level I trauma center after being a nurse for only a year because I was physically assaulted by a patient and being a state-owned hospital, they were not subject to worker's compensation laws. So, as soon as my MLA ran out, I had to quit my job because even though their MD signed off for me to go back to work, he told me "off the record" not to lift more than 5 pounds. On a trauma unit? Yeah, right! Needless to say, I was physically unable to meet the demands of our busy unit. I was heart broken, and felt as though I was throwing my career away. Pain persisted after the injury, and I assumed it was due to the assault. About a year ago, I began having alarming neurological symptoms. A battery of tests revealed that my injuries were not the cause of all my was MS. So, now I am working as a dispensing nurse at a methadone clinic. The early morning hours are rough, and the pay is even worse...we're talking less than $15/hour. Every morning when I get up to get ready for work I look in the mirror and think, "this is NOT why I went to nursing school". I live in a very rural area where nursing jobs are extremely scarce and our state has been hard hit by the economic turmoil. I devote time every day to looking for a better job because I know that it is only a matter of time before the owners of the clinic where I work will find out about my MS and I'll be fired. I know this because they have done it to other employees with health problems. I live in an "at-will" state where employers do not have to give the employee a reason for their termination. They can fire you because they don't like the color of your shirt or because you have cancer...just as long as they don't TELL you that's why they did it. So, I have to try very hard at work to hide my symptoms and control my temperature. It's like walking on egg shells! I feel for anyone with MS. It is a terrible disease and a lot of work goes into trying to appear "normal".
  6. by   strikert15
    nurse telephonic and wellness programs are becomming a big industry these days. Look at these companies called Alere and Wellpoint they have these job all of the country and alot of them let you owrk at home.
  7. by   Pfiesty
    Strikert, That is a great idea!

    I was diagnosed this year with Multiple Sclerosis. I got a new job working with out-patient pre-cardiac cath patients explaining the process, taking pre-admit labs, ECGs, patient teaching, etc. I am super nice (warm and fuzzy)to my patients and now that hospitals are being paid by Medicare based their satisfaction surveys, my warm&fuzzies are assuring me a stable position.

    But I am concerned that when I transition to thei new employer's insurance, and they are a self-insured entity, that my job may be in danger due to the $60,000/year multiple sclerosis treatments.

    I also work in at at will state. I can be fired at any time for any reason. I too, try to hide my symptoms. When asked if I am limping, I say, "I always walk weird."

    I took this job because it had no complex problem solving and routine tasks. Although not challenging, it is safe when I loose focus (MS brain). When my eyesight gets bad, nobody notices except me. When my bladder doesn't work.....well, you get the idea.

    It is so nice speaking to other nurses with MS, especially those in the closet about it.

    I am on Copaxone (itchy lumpy Copaxone) and am very hopeful about BG12 available later this year.

    I would love to hear more from other nurses with MS.
  8. by   hollylt1981
    Hi, at the age of 31 I have recently been diagnosed with MS as well. I only have 2 years of experience as a nurse, with the last year being my dream job on Labor and Delivery. Though I am still very active, I do notice a huge toll on my body by the end of a 12 hour shift....legs and feet are numb and tingling, total exhaustion, etc. (doesn't help that I'm pregnant with my 4th child as well...concieved before the diagnoses) Plus I rotate between nights and days which really throws my body off. I've really been debating on looking for a M-F day job but I love only working 3 days a week! What do I do? Any suggestions? Do you guys work 12's?
  9. by   hollylt1981
    By the way, do any of you have experience with pregnancy/postpartum timeframe and MS? Just wondering what in the world I have to look forward to? I've heard there are pretty bad relapses right after delivery. My dillema is that I would like to breastfeed but MD is urging me to start meds ASAP after birth.
  10. by   afjgnp
    I was dx with MS in 1998... my employer told me at that time "You can quit or we can let you go". Went back to school b/c I was told by faculty "with more experience and education less physical work" Right. I had teacher telling me I use the MS as an excuse(poor writting cognitive problems, being so tired) graduated,,, I have a minor in nursing education. Taught nursing, but then was diagnosed with Crohns....Thought I could go back on SSD I can BUT I am married to someone who is on SSD for Degeneratve Disk Disease of the whole spine. Oh i can get SSD but between the two of us we would make 1700 dollars... too much for medicaid or even a spend down,medicare won't pay for everything. So I am working at a busy wound clinic, and hating it.... I would like to retire but I can't afford it(the college I taught at won't take me back...said I have to get better) the place I work at now has no benefits , If Iam out I don't get paid, I am paying 600 a month for COBRA from my last job.
  11. by   afjgnp
    by the way, when I limp, I tell people it is because I am pigeon toed. It is the truth for me, the MS makes it worse....
  12. by   Raviepoo
  13. by   Raviepoo
    The really fun thing about MS is that it's different for everyone. You might have the mother of all relapses after giving birth, or you might do just fine.

    Quote from hollylt1981
    By the way, do any of you have experience with pregnancy/postpartum timeframe and MS? Just wondering what in the world I have to look forward to? I've heard there are pretty bad relapses right after delivery. My dillema is that I would like to breastfeed but MD is urging me to start meds ASAP after birth.
  14. by   Ellie G
    Sorry about your husband OP. I have MS and had to leave 12 hour night ICU because it was so physically and mentally demanding. I am now a "helper" nurse. I assist with IV starts, I place PICC lines at the bedside and I am on the code and RRT and code STEMI and code stroke teams. I also do some chart auditing for core measures. I usually do fairly well on medications except for neuropathy, some inability to empty my bladder, and dragging my right foot. This last weekend was awful. I had no time to self cath and had an overflow incontinence episode and I limped around all night. I have four years to full retirement and this last week has me seriously questioning whether or not I can do it. As a single person, there is no one to help pay the bills and I am frightened when I think of the future if I am not able to stay at work. I dont know what I would do.