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nursing and lymphoedema

13 REPLIES 13
Moijan
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Yes, I did, but I went back into health visiting. One thing tho...everyone was working twice as hard with loads more pressure than when I left...I decided after a couple of years, it really wasn’t worth the stress....and in my case bc returned three years later, so decision was a good one

 

M

lexilou3
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Hi all,
Am sure somewhere within the forum a nurse posted about successfully returning to work wearing a disposable sleeve in clinical situations. I have been off the forum for months. Good luck, and with the right support am sure you will achieve your dream. X
whitelily
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Hi Helen your story sounds like it was from me. I am exactly the same I have lymphoedema after breast cancer 5 years ago. I too applied on a return to practice course and got accepted but then I was worried about my arm, when I went to be assessed by occupational health I was told that "you can't wear that on your arm" due to infection control issues. That was two years ago and I didn't follow it up I was very upset but just didn't see a way around working if I could not wear the sleeve as didn't want to make my lymphoedema worse. I had a lovely placement arranged as well so was very upset but just haven't got the fight in me anymore like I used to before all this, it just beats you down. Will be interested to see how you get on. I am also approaching the big 50 x

Runningfree
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Keep at it Helen!

Do let us know how you are getting on

Cath

x

helsfairy
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Thank you everyone for the words of encouragement. I've contacted the placement manager and will find out soon enough! I will let you know x

ann-m
Community Champion

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Hi Helen,

Well done for getting back on the course. I'm also in the NHS in a senior clinical role & can't really see why you cannot return. Under the Equalities Act, reasonable adjustments have to be made & you will probably have to see occupational health. 

God knows nurses are needed & fortunately it is one of those roles where you will find something to suit you. 

I know a number of colleagues now back at work following a cancer diagnosis & they are doing just fine. 

You go for it!

ann x

 

helsfairy
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Thank you that's really encouraging. X

Patriciamay
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Hi Helen

 

Without going into detail I have worked in very senior manager roles across the NHS for many years.  I was really dismayed to hear you think your application is a waste of time.  Obviously can't comment on your local area or you as a person, but the return to nursing course is designed to get you to a place where you can use your skills.  I don't know how much adjustment you will need but I honestly don't believe any local system is going to reject you without really careful consideration.  I really don't think you should worry and go forward.  Good luck, xxx

helsfairy
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Hi thank you for your post. I've been offered a placement in the hospice here. I really want to work in palliative care. I've contacted infection control. However I also think they will think I'm at risk of making the condition worse e.g. needlestick injury leading to infection, lifting etc. I will see what else I can find out before contacting the hospice. I just don't want to lose the opportunity but I suppose need to worry about my health also. Thing is I sit at a desk on a computer a lot now but I read about a lot of ladies who find the condition gets worse doing that too. 

I really appreciate the encouragement. Xx

Runningfree
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Ps 

Just read back my post, bit of a brief post, sorry!!

just such a big area to cover but you will have so much to offer if you can go ahead.

if there's anything I can help you with.....

x

Runningfree
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Helsfairy

i did my return to practice 2010 before my BC. I have an unreconstructed mx ( end 2015) no lymphoedema ( to date!) and have been back on my ( heavy) cardio respiratory ward a few months.

i am sure there are ways around the sleeve. Could you have a chat with infection control?

The clinical hours will fly by. You just need to bear in mind that most places are a little short handed these days; I get tired with the physicality of it all but that is probably age!!  Have you any ideas where you want to work?

Cath

x

helsfairy
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Thanks Optimissy thats a lovely response. I know what you mean but I'm also being practical. there are rules to safeguard patients which I understand. Also they might think I'm a risk as the role may exacerbate the condition. However I am looking into this further (including getting great advice here!) before I write it off. Thank you x

Optimissy64
Member

Re: nursing and lymphoedema

Whoa - don't get ahead of yourself! It is fantastic that you were offered the opportunity and you clearly have a lot of experience and committment to offer. I'm not a nurse so don't know the ins and outs of working in a clinical setting with lymphoedema, but I can't believe there is not some way round your concerns. God knows, we're desperate  for nurses these days, what a waste if you couldn't return due to this. You have already thought of the disposable sleeve thing which seems an excellent solution. Why not have a chat with them - no need to be embarassed - just say it had only just occured to you and what were their thoughts? I can't help thinking that there must be a way round this, so don't write this wonderful opportunity off without checking it out. I wonder if you might be having a bit of loss of confidence following the cancer treatment, and this is a way of manifesting itself? Sorry to go all phychoanalytical on you (!) but I think we are never quite the same person after we've had cancer - actually sometimes we are a better person, but the process of recovery isn't just physical. You are valuable - discuss solutions with those who offered you the course, and come back on here and tell us what the answer is. Good luck.xxx

helsfairy
Member

nursing and lymphoedema

Hi everyone,

this is a little embarassing. I used to be a qualified nurse. I had a breast cancer diagnosis in 2015, have had a mastectomy, ld flap, chemo and radio. I feel fine. I work full time in a hospital but not clinically. I really want to return to nursing and have been accepted on a return to nursing course. I was so excited but then realised I probably can't accept it. I have lymphoedema in my left arm and wear a sleeve. I'm devastated. I just didn't think about it (or was I in denial?). I desperately want to work with patients again. I'm 50 although I feel so much younger in so many ways. I need to contact the managers who offered me the placement and let them know about the lymphodema but I actually feel embarassed. They will probably wonder why I applied in the first place. I've wasted their time.  I keep thinking about how I could do it. My arm isn't too bad and maybe they will let me wear a disposable sleeve. I'm being delusional arent i?

 

I don't want to be rejected because of something that's not in my control but I presume that is what is going to happen. I know there's an infection control issue although I believe if you are a muslim you may now wear disposable sleeves but I don't think that's the only issue. Has anyone else had this problem?

 

I'm devastated to be honest. It's something I've wanted to do for so long. When you think you are better and can get on with your life and do something meaningful you are brought back to earth with a bump.

 

Thank you for letting me say this to some one. I don't think anybody else would really understand. I'm puttin off emailing them because it was so nice to be offered the position.

 

Any advice or words of wisdom greatly appreciated,

 

Helen x