Need help or idea with a nurse with disabilities but all faculties

  1. Im somewhat in a situation that I would like some advice on
    And Im asking for the skill and knowledge of those that will possibly have some advice.....
    I have a great friend that was involved in an accident which has through a multiple of incidences has taken both of her legs below the knees. This has gone over a period of time of 3 yrs. She is a RN with a speciality of ICU, also a Union Vice President, shopstewart and negotiator,and a member of a PPC(professional preformance committee. For the past 3 yrs she has gone through the trauma of loosing her leg at the accident itself and then through a bout of multiple infections lost the other leg this past December. During the time after the accident she recovered and worked as a subsitute teacher and clinical skills lab instructor. However since the last amputation she has become somewhat dispondant with her options of how to contiue her career as a Nurse. What possiblities does she have to contiue in her dream as a nurse? I was thinking possibly being a recruiter and working from home? But Im not sure exactly how that process is done.... I am up for any ideas I hate the thought of such a mind that is so jammed with knowledge and compassion to sit and go to the wayside. Im beging for any help or information on this matter , this person is as dear to me and she is the inspiration of many in her area but is too proud to allow others to see that she is slipping into a depression from all that has occured to her. So Im asking for any help and any ideas that she could do to contiue her dream.
    Thank You
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    Joined: Dec '00; Posts: 830; Likes: 64


  3. by   Stargazer
    She is a RN with a speciality of ICU, also a Union Vice President, shopstewart and negotiator,and a member of a PPC(professional preformance committee.
    If she's got experience with unions and negotiating, she's worth her weight in gold. Any chance she would be interested in doing this permanently rather than nursing per se?
  4. by   llg
    It seems to me that you are already on the right track. Physical, bedside nursing is probably not going to work out. However, there are a variety of roles in education, management, case management, recruitment, research, etc. that she could still do.

    I think the main thing is that your friend may to properly grieve her losses before she can look to the future with much enthusiasm. It seems to me like you and she already know the types of jobs that she will be able to do. The real questions are: What will she enjoy doing? What type of re-training or additional education will she need? and Is she ready to make some decisions and start down that path?

    I'm certainly no expert in this field of nursing and disabilities, but I have a little more experience than most people. I've known a nurse who used a wheel chair and have a slight disability myself (hearing and balance). I've met several nurses over the years with hearing loss and it seems that many of their barriers are psychological rather than physical. Some that I have met would simply rather live on disabilitly payments than go back to school and get the training they need for another type of job within nursing. How does your friend feel about re-training or additional education?

  5. by   sunnygirl272
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    If she's got experience with unions and negotiating, she's worth her weight in gold. Any chance she would be interested in doing this permanently rather than nursing per se?
    grrrreat thought...
    also could look into case management(check with vegas about the feasibility of that, i know she did have to go to md appts at times)
    or QA....
  6. by   sunnygirl272
    where is she located? what country, i mean...
  7. by   NurseWeasel
    Counseling, like at a hospice or cancer treatment center? I remember my mom meeting with an RN when she first got diagnosed, this nurse was some kind of research person / counselor. She never left her desk so she might as well have been in a wheelchair (not putting her down at all, just saying it's an option). I'd think any job where she could be at a desk, or using the computer, or even in front of a class lecturing would be ideal. Accommodations could be made for the hands-on part of nursing, as needed.

    Send her here to All Nurses, we're good at support!
  8. by   NurseWeasel
    Tele-nurse? Insurance or attorney's office reviewing claims? Motivational speaker? Author (textbooks, novels, nonfiction)?
  9. by   Dr. Kate
    What concerns me most is that you describe your friend as despondent. It sounds like what she needs right now is counseling.
    After she starts to work through the mourning for what was, then she can move on to looking at the future. There are so many options within nursing.
    Got her a copy of the latest edition of Robert Bolles "What Color is your Parachute?" Offer to work through the activities with her, on both of your careers.
    After over a year, a close friend is just starting to accept the rapidly progressing disability of postpolio syndrome. It will take time, counseling can help.
  10. by   mattsmom81
    I agree with those opinions expressed regarding your friend's progression through the grief process. While it's important to encourage her that there will be other career options for her when she is ready, what she needs now is support to work through her losses and heal emotionally as well as physically. Depression is a common occurrence following losses like hers. I wish you and her the best...keep being a good friend and make yourself available to listen and care, and encourage her to find a good counselor/doc if you sense she needs it.
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jan 20, '03
  11. by   RED_ALERT37
    Thanks for all the ideas fello friends !!! I am not despondant in what has happen to me ... I am just needing to get back to work hahahaha.... I am going nuts and really missing nursing (some might be thinking right now I have really lost my mind !!! ) I realize that I probably will not be able to go back to floor nursing and therefore I am opening up my options ... this is the beauty of being a nurse... there are other options !!! I live in California and once I am up and able to walk again will be able to travel as needed... but this is a factor and limitation currently, since I just had the second leg removed 12/12... Again thanks for the ideas and info... all is appreciated !!!! Sincerely.... Red_Alert37 aka Kim
  12. by   RED_ALERT37
    hahahaha excuse all the typing errors.... just to excited to find this website ... giggles
  13. by   NurseWeasel
    (((((hugs))))) Red_Alert37 Glad you found us!

    Wow, what a lot to go through. Yes there are lots of options out there for you! I bet if you do a search for the terms 'disability' or 'wheelchair' you will find some more ideas. You will find this site is awesome, you'll make lots of friends and get lots of advice. Soon you'll be so addicted you'll never want to leave!

  14. by   semstr
    Hi Kim,
    What about teaching? In a nursingschool.
    I've got a collegue who was in a caraccident years ago and is a "quadro" (nobody needs to take offense here, she calls herself that too), she is in a special wheelchair of course with lots of electronic thingies, she can do with her mouth and 2 fingers of her left hand.
    Her voice is strong, and she doesn't need O2.
    The students love and admire her, as do we, but she is a great teacher anyway.