New Job, Old Injury...What to Do?

  1. In a nutshell:

    I recently began a new full-time, 3 twelve hour shifts a week, job on a very busy Med/Surg unit. I have worked for this hospital for just over a year now, after having worked at a hospice job and a LTC job in the two year period before that (quit the hospice job because it was contingent and I needed more hours but LOVED it, and quit the LTC job because I was responsible for too many patients and feared for my license and my current employer offered me a job). Up until now, I was working at a day shift desk job part-time, but the job was eliminated, so not wanting to hop to yet another company, I took this current Med/Surg position.

    Here's the problem: I have a history of disc problems in my back stemming from and old injury (not work related) and have had two surgeries. I have not had much back pain since my last surgery, but since I started this job, I am in chronic back pain that I would rate a 6-7/10, even on the NSAID that my doctor ordered, and even on my days off. I am middle-aged now, and I have a feeling that with my history of back injury and advancing age, I am simply not able to do a full-time Med/Surg job anymore. Had I known this was going to happen, I would have never taken this job. I have a very nice supervisor who said she was very excited to hire me since I have several years of Med/Surg experience from earlier in my career, and I just got off of orientation, so if I quit at this point, they will have incurred the cost to train me for nothing, and I will feel terrible. OTOH, I simply cannot continue living in this kind of pain, and a little voice inside of me knows that I can't do this job. I would love to return to hospice because when I was a hospice on-call nurse I got a lot of breaks between visits and could rest and didn't have any pain. However, I will be letting my nice boss down and will look like a job hopper, which bothers me almost as much as the idea of staying at this painful job.

    Any suggestions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. What would you do in my situation? Would you do what is best for your body or stick it out and suffer but keep the boss happy and stay with the same company and not look like a job hopper?

    I am in a lot of pain even now, sitting here at the computer. Help!!!
    Last edit by westieluv on Aug 6, '12
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    About westieluv

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 951; Likes: 2,191
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in Med/Surg, Tele, Dialysis, Hospice


  3. by   HouTx
    Wow - this is a hard decision but I think you already know the answer. You have to take action to protect your own health and prevent yourself from becoming completely disabled. Talk to your boss - after treating you so nicely, he/she deserves to know what is going on. Maybe your boss can help you come up with some options you have not considered.
  4. by   westieluv
    Thanks for your reply.

    I already emailed my boss last week to let her know what was going on, and her reply was nice, but I know that she is still not going to be happy if I have to take time off or, worse case scenario, quit this job altogether. I just hate the thought of telling her either of those things.

    I am having an MRI this morning and I am supposed to work a twelve hour shift tonight. I am in a lot of pain right now, but I have already convinced myself that I have to go to work, no matter what. This may sound crazy, but I am hoping that the MRI shows a problem, just so I can justify to everyone that my pain is real and I really am suffering. After that, depending on the severity of it, I will decide what to do.

    Thanks again for your kind reply.