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WHY I LEFT HOSPITAL FLOOR NURSING

I worked on the hospital floor for quite a while. But I had to make a change. There were quite a few reasons. The money situation in hospitals is so bad, that staffing ratios are changing. Things that really are not bad to do with four people, were being done by three when I started out. So, what was done easily by four people is now being done dangerously by TWO people.

So - the specific reasons I left floor nursing:

I was "arguing" with a chair that has an attached table-top, and was crouched over dealing with it. When I stood, the muscles in my lower back wrenched.

I stayed home because of the muscle strain for two days. But the day I went back to work, I had what's known as a foot drop. I was standing at a man's bedside, and when I tried to turn to leave, I stepped off with my right leg, turning away, but the left leg wouldn't cooperate. My friend and I describe it as a "sciatic a** lock" which is more descriptive.

Anyway, I crashed up against the wall and fell to the floor. My face actually hit the floor! I remember just been dazed, and thinking how COLD that floor is. It was kind of amusing at the time. The person whose room in which I fell had been very, very sick. I'd been thinking I was going to "code" him all day long. I'd given him a unit of blood, and was turning away to get the second unit when I fell. The other nurses heard the fall (I'm sure it was loud, I'm a big girl). One of them said "What happened?!?!" and the patient pointed to me: "She fell on her face. I think she hurt herself pretty badly, too. She fell really hard." Just as lucid as you please.

I didn't realize it at the time, but I broke my arm in the fall. My friends took me to employee health, who gave me a cursory (if that) look over and I assured everybody I was just fine. After being told I could go back to the floor, I was on my way back, when I stopped at the restroom. When I couldn't make my right hand work well enough to get my trowsers back on, I knew I wasn't really just fine!

Do you think that workers comp paid for me to take a day or two off? Nope! I'm sure that if I'd had a day or two more to rest after I wrenched my back, the fall never would have happened. The workers' comp nurse insisted on reporting the fall as if I'd tripped over a phone cord, but that's not what happened.

I was put on light duty until my arm healed. I was assigned a workers' comp ortho doctor to take care of my broken arm. I understand that he's a good enough doctor in real life, but the workers' comp people (at least the in house workers' comp people) are treated quite shabbily. Now I understand why every person I've taken care of who was a workers' comp patient was angry and resentful!!

The bone healed up in a month and a half, like it's supposed to, but my hand writing didn't come back. I had very little use of my thumb, and I had NO grip strength. For instance, I could never open my bottle of diet Dr. Pepper for myself any more.

The doctor looked at it and said that the tendon that runs up the arm from the thumb was inflamed and irritated. There's a name for the condition, but I don't remember it. He said he couldn't verify that the tendon problem was due to the fall. Well, the whole time I'd been having the broken arm treated, I'd been asking them to look at my wrists, too. The right one especially, took a LONG time to get rid of the swelling.

And the doctor wasn't going to treat it on workers' compensation! So I pointed out that I'd never had any wrist problems until I fell. He didn't seem very persuaded, but he went ahead and injected the tendon with steroids, and reported it to workers' comp as related to the fall "by report." So if they didn't want to pay for the injection, they had an out there. But they did pay for it. I wouldn't have just quietly paid for it and gone away.

I fell down, landing on my hands hard enough to break my arm at the elbow. Are we *Surprised* that my wrists are injured?

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