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Are you a nurse?

turbo313tturbo313 Posts: 122
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Water Cooler
The reason I am asking is because I am wanting to become a nurse and am taking classes this semester to get prepared. I am currently taking 50 mg Lyrica 3x daily and have a 3 level ACDF C3-C6. I just want to make sure that having a spiney issue will not interfere with me being a nurse.

So, any nurses who are spiney's that can offer any advice?



  • I'm an LPN but am now on SSDI. I also have rheumatoid arthritis in addition to the fusions. I am also 53. Being a nurse is a physically demanding job. Do you have any restrictions? I would make sure you have a thorough physical exam/assessment to make sure you are going to be able to do this line of work.

    I hope you will be able to pursue nursing and wish you the very best.

  • What job is good for a cervical spiney? I do not want to go through this again nor do I want to aggravate it. Every doctor's office I have been to the nurses never seem to do much of anything strenuous.

    I just don't want to invest a lot of time and money for something that may do more damage to my neck.
  • I've had cervical issues since I graduated as a RN over 20 years ago and did well until I injured my lower back almost 3 years ago which has me now out on disability. I have never had any surgery yet. I injured my shoulder lifting someone and had surgery for that though so I would use caustion in your career choice. I'm sure if you got a job in a Drs office or clinic it seems like it's not as bad on your neck as doing floor nursing where you do a lot of lifting and bending and such. But I know when you work in a clinic or Drs office it doesn't have the same pay that Hospital Nursing has.

    Also Nurses who do home evaluations for Physio and home needs don't have the same job as floor nursing but you still need to go through the clinical practice working on the floor. It is a physically demanding job at the hospital. If you have a vocation counselor you could see to help you decide where they give you quizzes to see what type of job may be well suited for you. You need to follow your passion though it may be doable. It also may depend on your age also. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I will be 37 in a couple of months :( This really has shed some light on this. I did not realize how much physical work being a nurse truly is.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    I think nurses are a special kind.. Who else would be willing to devote themselves into helping others?
    I've always believe it takes a special person with a lot of strength to become a nurse.

    Now, becoming nurse with spinal problems does present additional concerns. The lifting of patients, equipment, etc can be very taxing on your spine.

    But, if becoming a nurse is something you really want and ave a passion for, you will find a way to become productive in that profession and still take care of your spine
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Your comments have helped a lot. Plus I had a dream I was lifting a patient and cracked a vertebrae and ended up in a wheelchair. so, no nursing for me :( I just don't want to take that risk. I already walked away from a tumor that could have paralyzed me, I don't need a job to place me back in that spot.

    I like my job now, nursing is something that I had been talking about for years and finally had the opportunity to pursue it. that was, of course, before my latest spinal fiasco!

    Oh well, life goes on and you deal with the cards that have been dealt to you. I will just pour my heart and soul into my current job and let that take me wherever it goes :)

  • It takes a very special person to be a nurse. When I was in the hospital after my TLIF (same hospital as after my ACDF), the nurses were the most wonderful people - I adored and admired each and every one of them as they all did their very best to be careful with me, and they were patient, caring, understanding and helpful.

    It is a demanding job, but I believe it is also a calling. You must be a caring person to be a nurse and I admire your wish to be one.

    Good luck to you and I hope you find just what you're looking for and are capable of doing.

  • sacrifice their health in many ways caring for sick patients. 29 years of nursing definitely took its toll on my back the last couple of years, but I had a wonderful and rewarding career...no regrets!

    You are wise to consider your options, especially if you already have spinal disease. I worked with a young woman that has had lumbar surgery, and it has been a struggle for her. Also, as you know, many non spineys do not understand our plight, complicating your work.

    Good luck, Connie. As I told my son when he was considering a profession; find something that you are passionate about and can be successful doing, and you will be fine!

  • injured my back transfering a patient. I really don't know what I am going to do after my surgery. Just the thought of not being able to do my job that I love is so disheartening. But I am begining to come to the realization that my job will be too physically demanding. I wish you all the luck in world Turbo313 deciding what it is that you would like to do, either in your current field or another.
    All the best!
    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I was a RN, but hurt my back several years ago trying to keep a patient from falling.
    There are jobs in nursing that are not physically demananding, if you are able to get one. However, for new nurses, that can be difficult.
    I loved my nursing position, and hope that I made a difference in my patients lives. I hate reading posts about rude and uncaring nurses. There certainly seem to be plenty of them out there. I worked with patients with kidney failure for 20 years, and always tried to do something to make them smile or to make their day just a lttle better for them.
    I hope you are able to find a job that fullfills you. It would be wonderful to have someone like you working for a PM or NS so that you understand what we are going through.
  • My body has decided to take a turn for the worse. I am constantly jerking even with medication. Pain in my arm. leg and foot on right side. MRI on Monday to see what isw going on. I wish I could have been a nurse because I have had soem really good nurses and some really awful nurses, and the good ones really inspired me.

    Oh well, praying God will show me the path I need to take.
  • there,yes was an RN, had to stop working due to my spinal probs, i was worse than most of the patients
  • I dont want to hijack your thread, but

    Over my lifetime, just like most people i have had my fair share of visits to the doctor's office.
    I have also had several surgeries, that required staying in the hospital.

    Since i joined Spine Health, and reading this forum, i have noticed people from all walks of life, with all different profession's.

    The one thing i have noticed most is the number of nurse's on this forum.
    Personnally i never realized that profession was as diffucult as i now realize it is.
    There are many reason's for being here, and i'm not attempting to take anything away from anyone here.

    But my point is, i a new-found respect for nurse's, who have a profession that most people just dont realize just how tough being a nurse is.
    So to all the nurse's out there, "job well done and thank you".
  • Jim,
    Thank you for your kind words for us nurses. No matter what your profession, it is always nice to be appreciated.
    Thank you for your comments.
  • nice acknowlegement for nurses there, appreciated

    take care
  • i really wanted to become a nurse for so long, and to not be able to has just killed me. i have spent more than my share of time in doctor's offices and hospitals. i have had some of the best nurses take care of me, and they were the ones who inspired me.

    my hat's off to all of those who chose this profession. like jim said, you never realize how much work a nurse really does. i only wish i had done it years ago befoer my spine gave out on me!

  • Thank you both so much for your kind words to the nursing profession. It has been the most fullfilling thing I have ever done. It has been such a blessing to work with such wonderful caring people as well as take care of some equally amazing special people. Unfortunately it is also extremely hard on the body, physically.
    Thank you again so much for your kind words.
    big >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Hey turbo 313, dont give up on nursing just yet, i am 37 (an RN)and had back issues from the age of twenty and found that most jobs r demanding at some level. i became a nurse 7 yrs ago and I absolutely love it! the difference u make in peoples lives is like no other feeling on earth, u can get a job in a doctors office or clinic and it wont be very physically demanding on u. I had a car accident 2 years ago and messed up my neck and had to have acdf c5-6 but i still work thru the pain and will as long as i can. There r also research nurses who only do mostly paper work n no lifting or physical labor u could check into. Good luck n dont ever give up on ur dream cuz there is always a way!!!
  • Thank you also for your kind words. It really means a lot to hear praise from patients. You and Jim are great.

    I was assigned a student nurse when I delivered my youngest child. I was the only patient she had that day, so we were able to spend a lot of time talking. (My son was delivered by a scheduled C-section.) She was a nervous wreck performing many nursing tasks for the very first time while her instructor observed the procedure. Pat (my student) was so sweet and helpful and had such high aspirations for her nursing career. O:) She told me that she had always wanted to be a nurse, and hoped to be the one who made a difference in someones life. She did. She inspired me to go to nursing school and become a nurse.
  • I've been an RN for 16 years and counting. Just so you know ahead of time, being a nurse can be a very demanding job. I've always worked with babies (well baby nursery and NICU) and the long 12 hour shifts do not help with back pain. Where I work, we do shift work. Thinking back on the 6 years of straight nights that I did in my younger years, we did a lot of sitting, but when it got busy, sometimes we were standing for most of those shifts. My advice to anybody wanting to be a nurse is to LEARN PROPER BODY MECHANICS. They try like hell to teach this to all nursing students. I remember learning this way back when, and honestly, this doesn't come into play until you hurt yourself. (I'm an excellent squatter. lol) If you work with adults, you can always request lifting help. Nobody should have to lift up on anybody without proper lifting help, and if you already have a back condition, you shouldn't even be assisting.

    There are so many different avenues to work in with a nursing degree. You just have to find the one that works for you :) Hope this helps!
  • Almost 30yrs of nursing for me, loved it! But before I get to old I want to try something new! What? I don't know yet.My back is old but I'm not. Nursing is hard on the body and mind but a very rewarding career. There are all kinds of areas of nursing that you can work in. If you don't like one area then you can try another. Thats one good thing about nursing, you have the freedom to move around in that field. I moved around alot before I found what I liked. Good luck to you!

    PS There are a lot spinies in nursing! People just don't know that because nursing is'nt about us it's about them. :)
  • I'm an RN, I've always worked night shift...which is not the best idea for a nurse with a bad back. I love being a nurse, I love my patients...I don't love the politics, not the new company that bought us out... If there is anyone here who thinks that patients sleep at night and it's "easier"...wrong, wrong, wrong. I had my fusion a year ago, after putting it off, and putting it off...until one day (night actually) and this may be TMI ...I had a horrible flare up and couldn't pee!! That was the last straw that convinced me that I did need surgery.

    Anyway, I was off for 8 weeks, wore an LSO brace for a year...and I'm still working nights as an RN. It is a very physically and mentally challenging job, sometimes it is what makes us a spiny ! I love nursing, I too was inspired by ...a nurse (or two or three). I have four kids, I went back to school (after 10 years in law enforcement) and became a nurse. Now I'm 45, and working on my BSN because I know that I can't keep up the pace I am now, I just worked 6 out of the last 8 nights...12hour shifts that turned into 14 hours. I know that there are many more opportunities out there for me. Management, teaching, clinics, research, CRNA...advance nurse practioner. The list is endless. One thing to bear in mind, watch your back, employers can be unscrupulous... My nurse manager went to my neurosurgeon's office (they are all in the same facility)...she handed him a list of my job duties and told him to call her before he sees me :O that was just wrong in so many ways HIPAA violation, unethical...just plain wrong. I am a great nurse, never been written up, my patients love me...my company sees me as a liability.
  • and the main reason for nurses to stop working is back issues ,you will find that most nursing jobs involve lifting and the nursing council wont insure you i know that the ukcc wont employ anyone with back issue due to the possible risk of litigation ,i do know one sure that has ADR and now is employed Ina clinical post in the uk ..how she go and kept the job i don know ?
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • There are a lot of nurse nowadays. It is very hard to find a job know because nurse are all over the world. But if you really like to be a nurse then go for it.
  • I'm finishing up pre reqs for nursing and applying this year to the program. Im worried though because when I was 18 I was working as a CNA I hurt my back and ended up with and L5 S1 disc protrusion. I am now 23 and still struggle with back pain and back in physical therapy. My spine doctor discharged me and told me to quit pt because it's not working and to focus on another health issue. I want to be a nurse but concerned that I won't be able to do it and don't know what else to do. I have been working as an MA for the last 3 years but want to move up. Advice???
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