Can't Lift 50 lbs - Will I be discriminated against?

  1. Hi Nurse Beth,

    I am currently in nursing classes for my LPN. We have not yet started clinicals. My question is can medical restrictions such as not able to lift more than 50 poundsds ban me from continuing on in nursing? I don't want to work in a nursing home, I was wanting to be a nurse case manager and can't see why I should be discriminated against.

    Thanks




    Dear Can’t Lift 50 lbs,

    Many jobs have “Able to lift 50 lbs” as a job requirement for bedside nurses and even some non-bedside nurses (as you may have to help lift in an emergency). It’s not job discrimination, it’s liability for the organization.

    Your goal is to be a nurse case manager, but in my experience, case managers require some nursing experience before going into case management.
    Since most LPN roles are at the bedside, and you will be faced with this requirement, have you thought about getting your RN? This may be the best route to a job with no lifting requirements.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,573; Likes: 4,727
    Nursing Professional Development Specialist; from CA , US
    Specialty: Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho

    18 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    I am currently in nursing classes for my LPN. We have not yet started clinicals. My question is can medical restrictions such as not able to lift more than 50 poundsds ban me from continuing on in nursing? I don't want to work in a nursing home, I was wanting to be a nurse case manager and can't see why I should be discriminated against.

    Thanks


    First, get the idea of discrimination out of your head. Inability to lift 50 pounds is not a protected class. It's a job requirement. Even if you were able to claim discrimination somehow based on the ADA, the employer is only required to make reasonable accommodations. An inability to perform essential tasks related to the job would require more than just reasonable accommodations. Have you researched case management positions? The vast majority of job postings that I've seen in my area are for RNs with experience. Additionally, you will have to participate in patient care during clinicals. How will you do that with your restrictions? What are the school's requirements? Many require a physical with a sign off on the ability to meet the requirements of clinicals, and you will find the same requirements when looking for employment.
  4. by   iShaybie
    I had the same question! I do not work out at allll lol.
    Are they gonna toss a 50lb weight at you or something? They can't kick you out I don't think.
    I haven't started yet but it was mentioned during an information session at my school.
  5. by   elkpark
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    [/I]Additionally, you will have to participate in patient care during clinicals. How will you do that with your restrictions? What are the school's requirements? Many require a physical with a sign off on the ability to meet the requirements of clinicals, and you will find the same requirements when looking for employment.
    That was my thought, as well. What are the school's physical requirements? Students have to be able to meet the basic physical requirements of the nursing program and be able to participate in and complete the necessary clinicals.
  6. by   NurseGirl525
    Fifty pounds is not a lot to lift. You have to be able to turn a patient. If you can't turn a patient, you are in the wrong career. A nurse manager actually has to have nursing experience. How can you manage nurses if you have never been one?

    And lose the discrimination point of view. Not being able to lift has nothing to do with it. You have to be able to perform the job.
  7. by   ppfd
    Curious as to why you can't move 50 pounds?

    Look around you, people are getting bigger and bigger. 50 pounds isn't much anymore.
  8. by   feelix
    I have never had to lift 50lbs alone, except for when I was doing Rehab and helped patients with non weight bearing to and from chair. A lot of hospitals have a no lift policy now. Where you have to lift, you should ask for help and get it. For example, at the same Rehab, we never lifted a patient off the floor alone. We would get 4 people to lift 4 corners of a sheet/blanket the patient would be put on. I have had 400lb patients we had to turn. There is no way one person can turn them. You get at least 3, preferably 4 people to help. If they are not available, you wait. The hospital will cooperate. If not, they will pay for your disability claim. The requirement for 50lbs is just a caveat. Nobody will enforce it.
    Promotion and lateral movement in Nursing is very difficult. There are very few Case Management or any other kind of paper pushing jobs. Almost all require 3-5 years of nursing in the particular area you have worked. Most require at least RN, peferably BSN.

    Having said that, there is home health, clinic nursing, a lot of fields where you will not be required to lift but you can start right away as LPN. Just get enrolled in college ASAP to get your RN, possibly BSN. It is BSN that opens doors to non-bedside jobs.
  9. by   sharkbacon
    I'm a pretty new nurse, and have always worked in "no-lift" facilities. The weight limit on that has always been 30 pounds. If it's going to be over 30 pounds, we're supposed to use a mechanical lift.

    But, truth be told, it doesn't always happen that way. I mean, if it's a very heavy patient we're lifting, and it seems unreasonable or dangerous, sure, we'll grab the lift. But things like turning? We regularly have to turn and hold 300+ pound patients over. It definitely has to be more than 30 pounds we're pushing/pulling on.

    I wouldn't call it discrimination, just that you're not really capable of doing the job they're offering. Sorry
  10. by   kbrn2002
    Maybe a silly question, but how close to the 50 lb minimum are you able to lift? This may stop you before you even start if it isn't even close. Many schools require a physical before clearing you for clinicals and if you can't meet the minimum requirements there you won't be allowed to progress in school.
  11. by   MrsK62
    Maybe you should stop and think of some other health care related ffields you could go into. Coding comes to mind.
  12. by   martymoose
    my place wont even let you work if you have ANY restrictions. Id be concerned that no one would hire me with restrictions. And dont most case managers have to have prev acute care experience and a BSN?

    I'm sorry
  13. by   mtmt99
    Quote from feelix
    I have had 400lb patients we had to turn. There is no way one person can turn them. You get at least 3, preferably 4 people to help. If they are not available, you wait. The hospital will cooperate. If not, they will pay for your disability claim. The requirement for 50lbs is just a caveat. Nobody will enforce it.
    4 people turning a 400lb patient still works out to be more than 50lbs each. Hoyer lifts are helpful, but there are times when you will be the only one available and an inability to lift will be a problem. When I did home health it was even more common for me to have to move patients alone. Your work team may resent having to do things for you that you are unable to do because of a restriction. Every nursing job I have had has lifting 50lbs in the job description. It is not discrimination to avoid hiring someone who cannot meet the job description.
  14. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Even in pediatrics the lift requirement is 50lbs. Granted we have 40# kids already ordering hoyer & ceiling lifts for

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