No longer able to do the job I love because of medical reasons

  1. I really wasn't sure what to name this note maybe I will think of something before I am done. I have been a nurse for 5 yrs I began working on a skiiled nursing unit, then transfered to a oncology unit where I have been until now. I hurt my back while I was working in skilled nursing, well actually I was hurt by a noncompliant pt while I worked in skilled nursing 4 yrs ago. (While assisting this particular stoke pt back to bed from a chair who was perfectly able to get back to bed with one assist, she decieded half way to the bed to sit down, the bed was not close enough so she wrapped her arms around my neck as she began to fall pulling several muscles in my back & neck.) It was at this time I found out along with all the strained muscles in my neck & back I also have arthrittis in my neck. I did all rehabiltation my work wanted me to do. Since then I have had problems with my back and neck off and on. Sometimes my neck bothers me enough so even a stethoscope is to heavy to hang around my neck. I have to admit I have tried to pamper my back and neck as much as I could since then.
    Well just recently I hurt my neck again at work while transfering a large deceased pt with 4 people assist. I actually do not know exactly what I did. All I know is afterwards my neck began to hurt badly. As any nurse I figured I could nurse myself so I medicated myself with flexeril; I had a vacation planning to leave the next day. So I thought I would be fine when I got back. I worked 3 12hr nights when I got back from vacation and could not turn my head by the last morning. Needless to say I did seek medical attention.
    After my 2 weeks of light duty my neck still feels like crap. I was told today by the medical health nurse and the dr that I have to find another job. I can no longer work as a hospital floor nurse. I have a 10lb weight restriction. I knew this would be coming but somehow today when I got the news it was like a slap in the face. I LOVE my job. I like the pt interaction, I love oncology. I know there are lots of things to do in this field but all I want to do now is have a pity party for me.
    I am wondering what I can do next. I do not want a paper job, I need to be ative or I will go crazy (I found that out after 2 weeks of light duty doing chart audits for a risk management project at my hospital) If anyone out there has any idea how I can stay in the field I love and still keep with in my restrictions please feel free to email me or if you have any other ideas. Thank you for letting me get all this off my chest.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    Dear Beckymom, how are you doing this week? Did anyone ever email you about this problem. We just see so many post over and over again about back injuries and other type of orth injuries and the problems they cause. Some people say they got into telephone triage.
  4. by   Janet Barclay
    I'm so sorry about your troubles. A friend of mine is going through something similar. Have you though about the OPD in your oncology area? Should be minimal or no lifting but still lots of contact with patients. Now, before I get in trouble with all of you OPD nurses, I'm talking about the clinic visit type of onc out pts
  5. by   Jenny P
    Beckymom, I've been having problems with this new BBS and can't get on here very often so just saw this today. I had a partially herniated cerival disk (C5-C6) 16 years ago and saw a neurologist who referred me to a P.T. program which included Nautillus weight machines, supine cervical traction, a TENS unit, etc. I've fallen off the exercise program and have gained too much weight, do not use the traction any more, and the TENS unit was a temporary thing. I am still working at the bedside, have never had surgery, and do have arthritis in my spine but have learned how to manage it. I was afraid to try a surgeon at the time of my injury, and I am glad that I didn't see one back then.
    Don't give up hope. Never wear your stethescope around your neck; don't wear a shoulder bag; use a clutch purse instead. Always protect your neck. Maintain good posture; even if it hurts to stand up straight, back up to a wall and force yourself to put your shoulders back and your head upright. If you start compromising your posture because of pain, the situation just gets worse. Look for a neurologist with this type of a program in place. Maybe there is hope for you yet.
  6. by   beckymcrn
    Thank you all who have posted. I am looking into local oncology clinics, and if I ever get to see the docs who work on our floor I plan to ask them if they need nurses in the office. I go back to the dr on the 23 of May to get the final word. Tomorrow I have to have an mri.
    At the moment I am surviving (bearly) through light duty!
    Thank you everyone!
    beckymcrn
  7. by   duckie
    I am so sorry for your pain and for the changes which have occurred in your life because of them. I am a nurse in a LTC facility and I was hired under the limitations of no lifting due to a fused spine which I got from an injury received on duty. Not everyone wants to work with the elderly but maybe you would enjoy it. Our facilty tries to keep lifting at a minimum and we use mechanical lifts for anyone needing more than minimal assist to transfer or stand. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
  8. by   Stacey Tortorice
    Beckymcrn well i know just how you feel I am
    very allergic to latex gloves and a lot of other medical supplies.my dermotoligets told me to get the hell out of nursing.have been doing nursing for 19 years from hospital back into nursing home work again.he told me to either do desk work anything that would not required me to use gloves.I also suffer with back and knee problem and just getting over knee surgery have to take P.T monday back is a mess and the dr really dose not want me to lift suggest that i do a desk job the lifting and what not is not doing me any good for my medical problems.I am having a problem deciding what I should do or what line of work that i should try love working with my patients but it is hard when you have
    medical problems of your own.
  9. by   Stacey Tortorice
    Beckymcrn well i know just how you feel I am
    very allergic to latex gloves and a lot of other medical supplies.my dermotoligets told me to get the hell out of nursing.have been doing nursing for 19 years from hospital back into nursing home work again.he told me to either do desk work anything that would not required me to use gloves.I also suffer with back and knee problem and just getting over knee surgery have to take P.T monday back is a mess and the dr really dose not want me to lift suggest that i do a desk job the lifting and what not is not doing me any good for my medical problems.I am having a problem deciding what I should do or what line of work that i should try love working with my patients but it is hard when you have
    medical problems of your own.
  10. by   Stacey Tortorice
    Sorry reply twice did not think that the other went thru.stortorice@hotmail.com
  11. by   beckymcrn
    Thank you all for letter of encouragement.
    I have decieded to send reseme's to everywhere around here. I am sending them to all the local hospice companies, to the cancer clinics in the area and to the docs I have been working with for the past three years. Hopefully something will come up soon. I have until the 23 for light duty and I dread every day of work because my hosp's idea of light duty is hire me out to every dept for evry form of paper work imaginable. I have been from maintance to medical records. Thank you all I will keep you posted.

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