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Prospective male nurse with a catch

Nurses   (2,056 Views 20 Comments)
by mowski1214 mowski1214 (Member) Member

1,538 Profile Views; 23 Posts

Hello all,

So here is the deal.. I am 25 y.o. male looking into getting into the nursing field. Right now I am looking at accelerated RN programs for people with post baccaluarate degrees. I have a BS in health science and from what I see from most of the accelerated programs, all of the prerequistes would be met. My GPA is superb and have no problem completing in that area. My work experience is in public health which is definatly in asset that I could use in my application. Also being a male, I also think that increases my chances of getting into a school.

My only reservation from seriously pursuing this occupation is my future health/ mobility. I have muscular dystrophy of the FSH (FascioScupularHumeral) variety. Which means that my cardiac (heart muscle) and smooth muscles are unaffected. This leaves me with my skeletal muscles which are affected and overtime progressively weakens at a quicker pace than a normal person. My future mobility is uncertain as to which muscles it affects and the rate of progression. Long story short at some point my physical strength may be extremely limiting and I probably have difficulty with regular movements such as getting out of chairs, reaching for things, and lifting heavy items. Right now however I am still quite strong, have great cardiovascular endurance and to the untrained eye wouldnt notice a problem. I would definatly be able to complete the school part but 5-10 years down the road I am not as confident.

I spoke to fellow nurse about my prospective interest and my condition and she told me that there are many nursing occupations out there which require little physical demand such as an infectious disease nurse, a forensic nurse, a nurse who works in pediatrics, psychiatric nurse, and a few others which I cant think of off the top of my head.

I defintaly want to work in healthcare and right now my two options that I am deciding between is nursing or physicians assistant.

I was wondering if anybody has any addtional insight into the physical demands of an RN, occupations that do have less physical demands, and the accomodations that employers would be able to provide within this occupation that would meet my needs and be ADA compliant. If anyone has insight into physicians assitant, that would be greatly appriciated.

Thanks

**Id also like to note how positive and helpfully everyone is in these forums***

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1,714 Posts; 12,232 Profile Views

Physician's assistant might be a better choice for you. And there's always pharmacy :D but you would be in school for 4 years, at the very least.

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casi has 3 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

2,063 Posts; 17,153 Profile Views

Once you get some experience with bedside nursing there are always desk job options.

When deciding which route to take, look at the job descriptions and find out what you think you would enjoy the most.

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tryingtohaveitall has 23 years experience and specializes in PICU.

495 Posts; 9,623 Profile Views

I am sorry you're having to deal with these challenges but I admire your positive spirit!

Unfortunately, you can't count on pediatrics being an area where physical strength isn't needed, unless perhaps you would go into a nursery/ NICU setting. Not only are kids bigger than ever and we still get many adult sized "kids", but even the little ones can be incredibly strong when you have to hold them down for an IV or procedure. Still, you could always go into whatever field you desire and hope for the best. You could get enough experience in before you are more limited with your strength, that would open up new fields, such as being a nurse practitioner, or as you mentioned, a PA.

Best of luck to you!

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ImMrBill3, RN has 2 years experience and specializes in ICU, Home Health Care, End of Life, LTC.

116 Posts; 3,230 Profile Views

I think your first criteria for a choice like that should be your interests. :) PA's do more diagnosing and prescribing treatments and drugs. Nurses provide more direct patient care or a wide diversity of functions. I think there are more options available in nursing if you find yourself less physically able in the future. Seems to me PA's have a pretty limited range of work options whereas nursing has sooo many possibilities. I also think in the coming years we will be finding more ways of utilizing the knowledge, skills and talents of nurses that may have some physical limits. I believe this because I think we will become accommodating for both the differently abled and the older nurses both groups whose valuable contributions will be increasingly needed. Follow your heart :redbeathe, do what you love and the rest will fall into place.

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stephenfnielsen specializes in ICU, Informatics.

186 Posts; 6,542 Profile Views

Nursing is definitely more broad than PA and you would be able to start working quicker almost guaranteed. The bit about being male I'm afraid is neither here nor there as far as getting into school. However, showing how you have been able to succeed in spite of physical challenges, that's as good as gold on applications.

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219 Posts; 3,075 Profile Views

I think this is definately do-able for you! It sounds like a obtainable goal.

Nursery/NICU would be a good option as you rarely have to lift more than 10# at a time.

Good luck to you.

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Jules A is a MSN and specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

2 Followers; 8,863 Posts; 46,773 Profile Views

I'm working toward becoming a Psych NP in part because of the physical limitations I'll likely face in the years ahead. If you are interested in being a nurse I'd say go for it. Wishing you the best.

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RochesterRN-BSN has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych, ER, Resp/Med, LTC, Education.

399 Posts; 5,404 Profile Views

Interesting....I too, like you, got my first BS in Health Science and went to an accelerated BSN a few years later....BS in 1998 and started my BSN in 2002.....

I will say that as a psych nurse currently there is a lot of physical stuff. Moving quickly to avoid getting struck by an angry patient, restraints.....a lot of physical. Now we have a psych NP in my area (psych ER) and he actually does jump in and help out often with violent patients.....would you have to? Well maybe in an outpatient setting you would be better. But honestly I personally would not feel safe if I could not get away from some of these patients quickly, They can decompensate out in the community and you see it in the outpatient setting.......that is how we get many of our patients. So I would be worried to see you in a setting like that down the road. Teaching is always an option but you would need to get your time in at the bedside while you are still able and get your masters too.......but that is always an option and we need nursing instructors badly. PA would be less physical but may not be what you are looking for. The work is very different.

I give you so much credit though for doing everything in your power to have the career that you want. Not letting this diagnosis stop you..........

You know, you might consider something like counseling too if that seems at all interesting to you. You mentioned psych so.....

Well good luck to you and I hope all turns out well for you.....

Curious...where and when did you get your BS in Health Science....??

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diane227 has 32 years experience as a LPN, RN and specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

1,941 Posts; 12,034 Profile Views

There are many areas of nursing that would be available to you once you get some experience. We have nursing case managers which require little patient contact except for interviewing then. Also, infection control, employee health, occupational health (this requires an additional certification), nursing education, patient advocate, clinics, etc. Get all the experience you can and try to stay within the hospital that you like for as long as you can. Make yourself visible so that when these speciality positions become open, you can apply. You might consider management as well. Best of luck to you. Keep going!!!

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hikernurse has 8 years experience and specializes in NICU.

1,302 Posts; 10,048 Profile Views

Choose nursing, of course :).

There are a lot of options that would not require strength. I work in a NICU and our babies are, for the most part, very small. You'd have to have some fine muscle ability, though. I don't know if that would be an issue or not. The most physically taxing thing we do is push a crib/isolette to transfer a baby and someone is always around to help if that were difficult.

I think being a case manager would be interesting.

I do have one piece of advice. I wouldn't necessarily disclose your diagnosis to your nursing school of choice. I know mine was very discouraging of anyone they felt might have physical difficulty (whether or not they did at the time). I have a friend with health problems that do not affect her ability to be a nurse; but she really had to go to war with the department to stay in school once they found out through a casual mention she once made.

I say go for it! You never know what the future will bring, so do something you will enjoy.

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