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Worried About My Back

Nurse Beth   (198 Views 2 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and works as a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.

14 Followers; 88 Articles; 226,968 Visitors; 1,782 Posts


Dear Nurse Beth,

 I'm an RN that graduated 2 years ago, but haven't worked because of back injury. My plan originally was to get med/surg experience before continuing school to become an NP. Because of back problems, I won't be fit to work on a med/surg floor. What type of work should I consider for gaining patient care and nursing experience instead? I was contemplating ambulatory /clinics. Thanks.

Dear  Back Problems,

I'm sorry to hear about your back and glad you're recovered enough to return to work.

The key question is, do you have work restrictions? If you are cleared to work from your doctor with no restrictions, then you can work MedSurg, although you must protect your back through core strength training and practice good ergonomics.

 Lifting requirements vary from facility to facility, but are typically 30-50 lbs in patient care settings.

MedSurg is a great setting for gaining exposure and experience, but if MedSurg is not an option, ambulatory and clinics also provide useful experience for a future NP. However, any employer is going to have lifting requirements as a nursing job requirement. 

In a clinic, you may have to assist someone to a wheelchair, lift a leg for examination, or help someone who falls. Just be sure you understand the job requirements before you start a patient care position.

Best of luck pursuing your NP.

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!



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