Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Job re-allocated

A couple of months ago, we had a group called the Delta Group come in to the ED and watch how the staff worked. Last week, we were informed that everyone would be re-allocated a new position. The way it was decided as to who got to choose what position is by number of years working, by performance appraisal and by if you were on corrective action...I am on corrective action because of missing work. I injured my back in September of 2007, then last fall I had several illnesses with me and my family that would have been covered by FMLA if I had not missed 3 months the year before. I was short to qualify for FMLA by 7 days. So, as a result, none of my illnesses or my family illnesses (my son had cancer) was covered by FMLA. "Corrective Action". That is what the incident is called. I cannot miss work for a full three months to get off of "corrective action", so I am at the bottom of the list for positions to select. No worries though. I work nights, there are night positions that are still opened, so I should not have a problem getting what I am working now. Though I am still not working right now because of my knee. Cannot work in the ED with a knee brace...how silly is that. I have to work without it, more at risk for injuring it worse then if it were protected. Gotta love my job.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Workers Comp frustrations

I am so frustrated with my job. I admit, I have had two injuries at work, but they were at work and were witnessed.
September of 2007 I walked into a patients room, found her out of bed, monitor leads off, IV pulled out, bed rails still up and foley bag connected to the bed with the tube coming out of her, stretched out straight as she was so far from the bed. She was hanging onto the curtian around her bed, so I assisted her back to bed, putting the side rails down as I am holding on to her, then turned her, lifted and pulled to get her on the stretcher completely. This woman had been unresponsive since arrival to the ED hours before. Was not a diabetic and not on diabetic meds but had continuous low blood sugars (40-60's) with each hourly check then orders for 1/2 amp D50. Finally, I recommended to the MD that we give a full amp.
My bad, that is when she got up.
Immediately after leaving the room, I had severe muscle spasms and pain to my lower back. Turns out I have a "bulging disc" that only causes me problems when I sit for long periods of time (like more than 30 minutes).
We finally figured out that this poor lady had been given her husbands diabetic meds by a mistake. She turned out ok.
I, on the other hand, have been battling the constant pain to my lower back and pain radiating down my left leg.
Have been seeing a physiatrist who obviously does not like his job. The last time I saw him, he said multiple times, "I can't do anything for you". The time prior, he yelled at my case manager about something completely unrelated to both of us. He did send me to PT (or mayby that was the surgeon who decided I was not surgical) and I am doing something different that has made a big difference in the pain. I no longer (or rather, very rarely) have pain radiating down my but to my toes. YEAH! I still take a lot of pain medications but am able to function without difficulty.
So my supervisor continued to let me work with a 25 lb weight lifting restriction.
Then, on the 3rd, I slipped on the only day in NC that there is ice, on the ice. Injured my left shoulder and right knee. Have no problems with the right knee as long as I am wearing a hinged knee brace. Had a note to go back to work after 5 days on crutches--can't work in the ED on crutches--then had a note to go back to work last week with the hinged knee brace.
Apparently, a knee brace is more dangerous than a 25lb weight lifting restriction. Makes no sense to me. I can walk and work without difficulty with the brace on.
So I started leaving it off yesterday (I really want to get back to work...I really love my job!). Today, spent much of the day house cleaning, had a couple of twinges to the knee but overall, very little pain. It does not feel as stable as when I have the brace on. I am supposed to follow up with the occupational health MD on Friday, but I think I am going to try and get in on Tuesday. I need to see how my knee does as I continue to work it hard (my house is a disaster area...kids rooms were done today and it was a most of the day job.) And I have PT on Tuesday and want an evaluation before I return to the MD.
Well, gotta go put some ice on the knee and get some sleep.