Reasonable accommodation request

Nurses Disabilities


Specializes in Critical Care.

Nightshift is severely affecting my mental health. Before this job at a new hospital, I worked days and I had no issues. I was ranked highly valued and received exemplary evaluations at the hospital I worked at for years. I frequently oriented new nurses, worked as charge, was offered positions on other units by managers I had picked up for. I only switched back to nights since it was a requirement as part of my transition into a more acute setting, ICU. The need to be on days has been an ongoing discussion with my manager since my initial interview. I made it clear it was a mental health issue then. I was told 6-9 months minimum and it's been 8 months. After my meeting with my manger this morning, it's been made clear that my reasonable accommodation request to work days is not going to happen. There's a waiting list and she won't have a position available for months at a minimum. My mental health decline is well documented and has been discussed multiple times with my manager since my first few weeks on nights after orientation which needed in December. I asked then for further orientation to address the issues and was told it wasn't possible due to staffing. She finally agreed to put me back into orientation last month to try and fix some of the issues but my psychiatrist said it won't be possible to fix any of the issues until my circadian rhythm is no longer disrupted.  My manager has been increasingly critical of me since I have made it clear 3 weeks ago that I'll have to quit if I can't switch to days. In the last few weeks since I started working with HR, there's been a clear decline. Going through this process has added so much pressure and stress. I have so much anxiety at this point that I'm making disassociating which scares the crap out of me and I am no longer comfortable continuing my position for my own safety and the safety of my patients. When I'm off work, I can't function normally. I need advice on how to get out of this contract without paying thousands of dollars to reimburse my sign on bonus and without having to do a leave of absence or go on short term disability. The applicable exclusion to me paying back my sign on bonus is disability. There's a dayshift position waiting for me with my old manager. I could start tomorrow if I wanted to but I can't do that if I do a leave of absence or short term disability bc that prohibits me from working dayshift elsewhere. Please help me, I'm at the end of my rope. 

Specializes in Critical Care.

Just to clarify, I did do the reorientation and it was great but I'm still struggling and it's getting worse. Leave of absence or short term disability prohibits me from working anywhere else period, not just dayshift. 

In my lay opinion, if your contract includes a disability clause regarding signing bonus repayment, and considering your psychiatrist has stated that your issues are going to continue as long as you remain on night shift, you might be able claim shift work sleep disorder.  You definately need to discuss this with her or him.  And, depending on the initial consult fee, it might be worth discussing this with an attorney.

Specializes in Critical Care.

I have diagnoses of  C-PTSD, bipolar 2, and now, shift work sleep disorder. I haven't had a bipolar episode since a trauma over 20 years ago. Maybe a small exacerbation 3 years ago when my psychiatrist put me on medical marijuana, but I was fully functional and home and work. That was more of a PTSD issue though.  I got back on mood stabilizers after I started working nights again and it hasn't helped. I have an appt with my psychiatrist Monday morning. She said it's going to be a long messy process. She's familiar with my hospital and sees other nurses from there. She only works with postpartum and female healthcare professionals so she understands how hard it will be. I have talked to an attorney about it and he said if they give any pushback, to just file disability so I didn't end up in a legal battle since this hospital is known for not backing down with repayment. He told me some key words to use so hopefully that gets their attention. Even my manager said working with HR and the company they contract with for leave and disability can be a nightmare for routine issues like pregnancy leave. I don't want to file disability bc I can't work and I'm sure the state board of nursing is going to make me jump through a thousand hoops over it. I'm not disabled from working, I'm disabled from working nights. I just want to wake up from what's turning into a nightmare. The way she's making me feel as a nurse is not helping either. I'm doubting myself and overthinking everything. What really makes me mad is that I told her all this would happen. And when she brings something up it's always something related to exactly that. I just want to scream at her! WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?!? I've been telling you for months and it's only getting worse, what more proof do you need?!? 

Vitamin D deficiencies are extremely common for night shift workers. I've worked nightshift for over a decade and learned the hard way as I felt really sad for months and caught everything going around (it also affects the immune system). Now I take a supplement and I'm happier, my days are brighter, HUGE difference. Hope that helps.

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