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I have a 25-pound weight restriction on lifting, pushing or pulling. Since I can no longer do patient care, what areas of nursing would I be able to do?

Friday February 1, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I am a 55-year-old RN and have worked on a stroke/telemetry floor for the past six years. I injured my rotator cuff a year and a half ago, had surgery and have returned to light duty working temporarily in infection control and quality management. I have a 25-pound weight restriction on lifting, pushing or pulling. Since I can no longer do patient care, what areas of nursing would I be able to do? I am very discouraged and worried about the future of my career. I plan to attend your seminar in Los Angeles in April.

Discouraged RN

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Discouraged RN,

I'm happy to hear you will be attending Career Alternatives for Nurses in California because you will learn about so many more options than I could possibly tell you about in this forum (www.Nursing-ce-careeralt-april152013-ca.eventbrite.com/#).

There is a wide range of opportunities available for you in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Some of your options are electronic ICU monitoring, clinical documentation specialist (especially with your QA background), case management and life care planning. While some nurses assume some of these positions are boring or go against their role as patient advocate, you would be surprised at the depth and scope of some of these opportunities as well as the positive difference you can make while putting your nursing knowledge and skills to good use in a new setting.

Regarding your weight restriction, thousands of nurses are faced with the same problem. That will not in any way play a role in the alternatives I mention above nor in many others. You have more interesting and exciting options than you can even imagine. The great thing about nursing is that there is literally something for everyone.

It's normal to be scared and apprehensive when you're in transition. It also is a great time to get a fresh start and experience personal and professional growth and development — you will learn more about yourself, nursing, healthcare and the world around you.

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.