How to explain fibro and diabetes to future employers

  1. I am 24 years old and have had type 1 diabetes for 15 years now and been officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia for a year. My diabetes is finally under really good control because of my pump and CGMS and diet, but I don't want to take medications for my fibro anymore and am weaning myself off them. The thing is I still have flares every once in a while and i don't know how to help my future employers and teachers understand. The one thing I struggle the most with is fibro fog and being able to adequately document like everyone wants me to. I have worked as a CNA for years and have actually lost a job for this reason and because they didn't like that I couldn't handle more than about 5-7 patients and be able to give them the high quality standard of care that I have set for myself. Do you have any tips of how to overcome these challenges and to truly help everyone understand that I really am very good at what I do but unfortunately I do have limits?
  2. Visit Tacy Lynn profile page

    About Tacy Lynn

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 3
    CNA; from US
    Specialty: 8 year(s) of experience


  3. by   eatmysoxRN
    Everyone has limits. Most nurses aren't comfortable taking the patients we are expected to take. If the medication helps you, is there a reason you don't want to take it? If your symptoms and DM is under control continue what you're doing. I work with nurses with brain tumors and chronic cancers and very few people I work with are in fantastic health. They are still expected to take a full load.

    ~ No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent -Eleanor Roosevelt ~
  4. by   TheCommuter
    Hello, and welcome to!

    No matter how clearly or eloquently you explain your health problems to potential employers, please be cognizant that the very mention of type I diabetes or fibromyalgia during an interview may destroy your chances of getting hired at many companies.

    Many nurses with these afflictions do not disclose their health issues because it is none of the employer's business. Also, nurses and other healthcare workers are not legally obligated to divulge noncommunicable diseases.

    To be straightforward, healthcare facilities seek to hire nurses who appear to be the most 'profitable.' A nurse who has type I diabetes, fibromyalgia, or other health issues is seen as expensive because management fears you'll drive up their insurance costs.
  5. by   monkeybug
    It is none of their business, you don't disclose. Or, you don't disclose if you actually want the job. Not in this economy, anyway.
  6. by   Tacy Lynn
    Thanks everyone for your input!! Another question how do I answer when asked about the times when I am overextended and just can not handle everything they want me to, no matter how badly I want to and how much I push myself to do everything?
  7. by   llg
    Unfortunately, if you have to ask your employers for "accommodations" because of your illnesses, they may decide that they cannot provide those accommodations for you and you may lose your job. Here is where you have to face some really difficult questions about your choice of career. Can you really handle the job? If you can't do the work, then you will have to "declare yourself" as being "disabled" to your employer -- and you will need to face those consequences.

    My recommendation is for you to think seriously about the types of jobs that you can do on a consistently basis and limit your job search to just those types of jobs. If you choose to pursue jobs that you cannot do consistently, then you will have to deal with the consequences of that decision. That's an unpleasant truth you need to face -- and forgive me if I am sounding harsh -- but it would be better for you think it all through now while you are still young and can plan a career that is in within your capabilities than to invest a lot of money, time, effort, and emotion on options that just won't work for you in the long run because of your health problems.

    Also, I recommend talking with an attorney knowledgable about employment related to people with chronic health problems. Such a person can tell you what your legal rights and obligations are -- and give you advice on how to handle the disclosure of your condition and any requests you made for special accommodations.

    I wish you the best of luck with whatever career path you choose.
  8. by   Sadala
    I am not a spring chicken. I have a couple of chronic medical issues which I manage quite capably. They do not interfere with my ability to work the hours I am scheduled. Also, I am in nursing school and I don't ask for any special treatment and I didn't feel the need to formally make the school aware of any of my medical issues.

    I have never discussed my medical issues with employers, and I won't be starting now.
  9. by   wish_me_luck
    Do not disclose. Honestly, I would not have disclosed my mental illness to anyone; but I have a Board Order and they will see it when they do a license look up--so, I want them to hear it from me and I will eventually have to tell them about my HPMP contract. You do not have one (that I know of); therefore, there is no reason why you need to tell anyone.
  10. by   barbie76
    I personally would not disclose any critical medical information to a future employer ... as long as you pass your physical .... to them your in good health take care of yourself first ..... employers see nurses as super human as if we don't have problems or disabilities ....