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Work Dilemma

I feel like I am drowning at work! As a nursing student, my week is packed full of class and clinicals. In addition, I am working as a nurse assistant two 12 hour shifts a week (at the hospital I was diagnosed with MS at 2 weeks ago). My work was understanding the first week of my diagnosis because I was hospitalized. In addition to my MS diagosis, I am having heart palpitations, tachycardia, and have a appointment set up  at the end of the week with a cardiologist to discuss the results of my Holter test. However now that I am able to walk, I am expected to work my normal schedule. I have tried getting people to cover my shifts, but the managers say that I need to work them and I am not allowed to take a leave of absence until I have worked a full 6 months. I keep telling myself that this is only 2 weeks away and I can make it, yet everyday I have been waking up extremely sore and my stress level is through the roof! I have been pulling late-nights to catch up with my schoolwork because I do not want to lose my school scholoarship. I feel trapped by the system, and even if I wanted to leave my job I would have to put in my two-week notice and work my shifts until then. My managers are aware of my condition, so I am not sure if they personally do not want to make exceptions or if it is a hospital policy. Does anybody have any advice on how to deal with this? I am worried that working and stressing out is doing way more bad than good for my health
6 Responses
1831849 tn?1383228392
Hi again GOF :-)

Perhaps the hardest part of learning we have MS is recognizing that life as we knew it has changed, fundamentally for some. There are things we could do yesterday that we cant do today. This is a cold hard fact.

Stress can be a big MS trigger and we are schooled to avoid it where possible. Your schedule seems to be a stress carrier. It may be that you can suck it up for 2 weeks, or maybe you just can't. While it would be nice if your job would show a little understanding, there is no rule that says they have to.

In the final analysis only you can know what you're capable of. You need to make decisions based on your health and well being.

Keep us posted.

Kyle
1251333 tn?1445218215
Hi there.

:-/  I think this is something that all of us MSers who are working have gone through.  

I don't know what jurisdiction you're in but you are probably going to want to consult with your local MS society chapter sooner rather than later as a starting point.  You can get resources and advice that will be a big help.

Just reading your post, I can think of a dozen concerns.  It sounds like you're in a precarious situation and you'll need to tread very carefully.  

Take a deep breath, try to relax and make a list of your priorities.  Do one thing at a time so you don't get overwhelmed.  Educate yourself and know your rights.

And know - you are not alone.

Jen
4943237 tn?1428991095
Firstly, I'm really sorry to hear you've joined the MS 'club'.  You sound like you have one heck of a schedule.  What's your home life like?  Is there someone around to 'look after' you so that you only have to concentrate on your work/study?  Sometimes having to do these things as well become the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back.  If you live alone, is there a friend perhaps who can help with some nutritious meals in the interim so that you are looking after the 'inside' as well as possible?

Instead of focussing on how long two weeks is, tell yourself how well you are doing to even carry on with your schedule.  Lots of people who get diagnoses like MS completely fall over, so to even be carrying on where you left off before you diagnosis makes you one amazing woman.  

Sometimes, and I emphasise the word 'sometimes' it's just a matter of working on the mindset to get through really difficult periods in our lives.  Not long now and you'll have a few more options.

Best wishes

Poppy
Avatar universal
when I complained, along with a note from my doctor, that I was having trouble working my shift, they told me if I couldn't handle the work in my dept, I had to find another department in the hospital that fit what "I could do" and transfer there or I was "out the door" so to speak……..
It is a hospital policy that if you can't do the work that your department requires, just like if you can't life 50#, they won't hire you.

I agree with Kyle, you have to accept your condition.  Stress is just adding fuel to the fire and can trigger relapses.  That said, as an RN Emergency Room Nurse, I will tell you that right now you are OVERLOADED with school/work and school is only going to get harder as you progress.  I taught Adult Education Biology at night while I was going thru nursing school and thought I was going to die before I graduated.  At the time, I had MS but was not aware of it.  

You may not like what I am about to say, but my forum family knows I tell it like it is.

You need to read all you can about MS and make some hard decisions about your new condition.  It will be your BFF for the rest of your life and you may have to rearrange your life to accommodate it and its changing (without giving you warning often) trends.

If you continue, and MS flares when you are working on a patient (such as falling, cognitive fog (not understanding a verbal order from a doctor), etc., is stressing yourself out to finish nursing school worth putting future patients in jeopardy?  

I left my job because I did not want to drop a patient on the way to the bathroom (I fell a lot and hid it a lot with lovely ballerina moves) or misunderstand what they said or I interpreted it wrong when doing assessments or not understanding or remembering a verbal order from a doctor on the way to the med room and the PIXIS machine.

After I left work, and had made my self comfortable with my new friend, MS, I was called to do a deposition on one of my pts in the ER  I had cared for 5 yrs before I had quit.  That took over 3 hours and scared me beyond belief.  I had done nothing wrong and my notes were clear and accurate, but what if MS had reared its ugly head and messed with me cognitively on that patient?  I then had to "wait" and hope I did not have to go to the trial and repeat what I had said (it was video and taped) and hope I didn't get any of the repeat wrong.  2 days before trial, the judge decided to accept my video deposition instead of flying me into town for the trial………..I thanked everyone I could think of in heaven and knew I had made a right decision in walking away from the ER. The hospital and nurses and doctors were cleared of any wrong doing.  I still tudor students and stay current on changes but don't actively work.

I don't tell you this to scare you but only to make you stop and think long and hard before you stress yourself beyond belief.  Yeah, I think you could handle 2 weeks for giving a notice for "medical reasons".  

Welcome to our corner of the web, sorry that you had to join us but we are always here to "try" and answer questions.  As Jen says, you are not alone, many of us have been in your shoes, so to speak but do keep us posted!
Sarah
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your encouraging response. You are right... positivity will make these two weeks a whole lot easier
382218 tn?1341181487
Hopefully you can push through this period at work, and in the meantime, it's probably a good idea to thoroughly familiarize yourself with your employer's disability & personal leave policies, as well as your state/province human rights statutes re: duty to accommodate, etc. It was my experience working in the HR field that employees are often unaware of their rights and responsibilities in this regard. This is true of many managers as well, who sometimes do not follow company policy and/or the law, though usually inadvertently. Give HR a call and request written copies of all workplace policies applicable to your situation, or if unionized, consult your collective agreement.
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