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JennyRN
03-05-2010, 12:29 PM
I am a nurse and am concerned about returning to work after my surgery in June (due to the weight lifting restrictions and constantly being on my feet.) I also will not be able to return to work taking pain medications other than Motrin. It appears that a lot of people here have "desk jobs" or jobs that don't require you to constantly be on your feet.
Is there anyone who can give me an idea of when I might be able to return to work with my type of job?

mgs
03-05-2010, 12:36 PM
I bet you'll be able to go back to it. . .but give yourself a year. The work of a nurse is just too physical to push it.

I'm an RN, too, who's stayed home to raise our kids. . .I had intended to go back to work when our last offspring was old enough to drive, which was when I had my fusion. I am 6 mos post-op, and am just now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to return to the workforce as an RN, but I don't see it happening for several months.

Good luck.

LindaRacine
03-05-2010, 09:58 PM
Hi Jenny...

I suspect you'll hear from a lot of people. It seems that nursing is a pretty common profession for people with scoliosis, and I've always thought it might be due to the fact that kids with scoliosis are exposed to the medical profession more than the norm.

I know several nurses who have had scoliosis surgery. The only one I've really followed is someone who went from being a floor nurse to being a research nurse. It seems to me that it could be really difficult to do a lot of tasks (e.g., supporting patient's weight), so I think that mgs' estimate of a year is probably right on, unless you can avoid the lifting issue.

Good luck!

Regards,
Linda

HappyDeanna
03-06-2010, 11:52 AM
Hi Jenny,
I'm also an RN. I had my surgery 7/09. (You can look at my first couple of posts to see what I had done if you want.) Anyway...When I saw my MD in Jan., he said probably 7 more months before my fusion is solid. If I try going back to work, it'll have to be in a totally different area of nursing. I just can't see jepordizing my back in any way or the patient, & as you know, nursing is so unpredictable. You never know what might come up with a patient. Could you get down to the floor quickly to respond to a patient having a seizure, or do CPR, or deal with a combative patient for that matter?
I'm not sure that I would be able to do those things. So.....I think case management, research, telephone triage, & there must be many other areas that we could try if we feel able.
Hope this helps or gives you food for thought.
Good luck with your choices.
HappyDeanna

jenparker
03-06-2010, 04:19 PM
Hi

I am a nurse too. I just had T3-L3 fused 1/29/10. I have been a homemaker since my first child was born 15 years ago but I still have an active license.

I, too, will need to enter the nursing profession again (expecting a divorce later this year) so this is all very pertinent to me. I know that it will take a while to find the perfect fit, but I believe nursing has enough variety that I will be able to find something that works for me with my back.

Jennifer

naptown78
03-06-2010, 08:01 PM
I am an RN also. I dealt with terrible back pain during my career. Presently I am a nurse liaison for a home health care company. I don't believe I could go back to bedside nursing at a hospital due to all the lifting, pulling and bending I remember doing. So hard on the back. There are so many avenues for a nurse though that it will be possible to keep on working. My job requires alot of walking, and driving but I do get alot of rest periods so have been able to manage .

JennyRN
03-06-2010, 09:00 PM
Thank you all. As a neonatal nurse, I don't usually have to deal with heavy lifting. This has always been my dream job (when I was little, I set up my room like a hospital nursery.) :) After only 7 years working at this job, I'm not ready to leave. I'd actually love to stay here until I retire!

I know that there are tons of options for nurses, but I love my job and hope that I will still be able to manage working my two 12 hour shifts a week in the nursery.

How long did you wait before returning for work? And what did you do for income during that time? Did anyone look into any of the work from home nursing job that are advertised?

loves to skate
03-07-2010, 03:04 PM
Thank you all. As a neonatal nurse, I don't usually have to deal with heavy lifting. This has always been my dream job (when I was little, I set up my room like a hospital nursery.) :) After only 7 years working at this job, I'm not ready to leave. I'd actually love to stay here until I retire!

I know that there are tons of options for nurses, but I love my job and hope that I will still be able to manage working my two 12 hour shifts a week in the nursery.

How long did you wait before returning for work? And what did you do for income during that time? Did anyone look into any of the work from home nursing job that are advertised?

Jenny,

Doesn't your hospital offer short or long term disability, or do you need to be full time in order to get that? I'm not a nurse, but a retired Medical Technologist. 12 hour shifts might be pushing it, but I don't see why you wouldn't be able to return to taking care of babies. Sounds like a dream job to me too. I hope you can get back to it after surgery.

Sally

JennyRN
03-08-2010, 11:27 AM
Sally,
I have short and long term disablility, but it's not just about the money. I really and truely love my job.

Jimbo
03-09-2010, 06:34 AM
I am in college doing nursing. I spoke at length with my surgeon about whether this would be a practical profession for me after fusion. He said probably not, but if I decided to do it, choose a less physically demanding area.

Psychiatric, OR, pediatrics. I am now getting outta my nursing degree and trying for radiography or medicine.

loves to skate
03-09-2010, 04:32 PM
I am in college doing nursing. I spoke at length with my surgeon about whether this would be a practical profession for me after fusion. He said probably not, but if I decided to do it, choose a less physically demanding area.

Psychiatric, OR, pediatrics. I am now getting outta my nursing degree and trying for radiography or medicine.

Jimbo, I would stay away from Psychiatric if I were you. I used to go to the Psych ward to draw blood sometimes, and you really never know what some of those people might decide to do. We always went with another tech if one was available. Another reason is that electric beds are not used in Psych wards here is the states, because of the possibility of suicide with the cord, so you either have to lean over the bed or crank it up each time if you have to administer a shot or something. Check it out, but I wouldn't recommend it for you. Sally

jsully
03-16-2010, 05:20 PM
I'm a nurse and my DR said I can go back in 12 weeks, with a little help from my co-workers with lifting ect. Hopefully, it works out that way. I too love my job and don't want to leave. Twelve hours is a long time but I've already been doing it for 10 years with pain, right?

huskymom
03-17-2010, 09:50 AM
Hi there, I was just fused from T2 to L2 on February 17, 2010. I am on Short Term Disability right now. I work in Critical Cardiac Nursing. I will be off work for atleast 12 weeks and then return to work on light duty for a while and then also continue to be on weight-restriction for 8 months. My boss is really wonderful and does not have a problem with that. I am anxious to return to nursing but alsoenjoying my time at home right now with my 3 Siberian Huskies and also planning my wedding for later 2010. :)
Do you already have your surgery scheduled?
I am so glad I did my surgery. I have had so much pre-op pain during my 3-4 work days each week and it is amazing how all the pre-op pain is GONE! The pain I have now is completely just muscle spasms. No incisional pain or anything.
If you have any other questions, let me know.

Melissa, 29 year old
Pre-Op = 64 degree thoracic curve & 56 degree lumbar curve
Post-Op = 19 degree thoracic curve & 10 degree lumbar curve
Grew 3 inches after surgery

jsully
03-17-2010, 11:06 AM
Thanks for responding,husky mom, your curve sounds similar to mine too!:) Let me know how you feel when you go back to work!

jsully
03-24-2010, 05:08 PM
The DR said today I can go back to nursing in 6-12 weeks!:D

rich1752
03-24-2010, 09:06 PM
Jsully,

I'm glad to hear that. You have a pretty demanding job. I work in law enforcement and after 16 years as a cop, didn't know I had scoliosis until last year. I love my job, but still don't have a definite answer about coming back. good luck

rich

JennyRN
03-25-2010, 09:12 PM
Thanks...You are all making me feel a lot better. My biggest concern is the "Fit to Work" program that my hospital has implemented before you can return to work after surgery. Even if your doctor says you're good to return to work, the PT department can declare that you are or are not "Fit to Work" based on being able to do a variety of ROM type exercises and lifting certain weight limits which for our job classification is around 25 pounds!