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I have just been diagnosed with central serous retinopathy.

I'm a registered nurse working...
I have just been diagnosed with central serous retinopathy. I'm a registered nurse working in the hospital setting and my employer doesn't want me to return to work until my vision returns. Even though I can see fine out of my other eye and am able to read medication labels, chart, etc., but my depth perception is compromised right now and my eye doctor wrote a restriction barring me from performing invasive procedures such as starting IV's for 3 months. My employer feels this creates an issue rearding patient safety. Would you agree with this? Or should I argue harder to try and be allowed to work?
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/3/2013
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,644
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Verified
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

I am a retina specialist and deal with CSR all the time. W

Dr. Rick :

Do you know what your vision is in the affected eye?

Customer:

20/70

Dr. Rick :

Ok. Well, there are many other clues to depth perception as evidenced by people who play tennis who have poor or no vision in one eye.

Customer:

the thing is it makes flat surfaces appear uneven to me

Dr. Rick :

Yes. That is very common with macular swelling.

Dr. Rick :

Have you tried to put in an IV since your vision was decreased by your condition?

Customer:

so I really can only see clearly if I close one eye and that affects my "aim" I havent tried it on a patient, but i tried to simulate it at home

Dr. Rick :

I'd give it a try....maybe on a young pregnant woman (who have huge veins :) and see how it goes. You might surprise yourself.

Dr. Rick :

I really don't see why, even if you had to have someone else help you with putting in IV's, why you couldn't safely continue to work as a RN......

Customer:

I work on a cardiac telemetry floor, I rarely get a very healthy pt, and they wont let me come to work with this restriction

Dr. Rick :

But, with the doctors note, this is not a battle you are going to win with your supervisor.

Customer:

right, I was just wondering if you agreed that it wouldnt be a good idea for me to be performing invasive procedures with my vision distorted like this

Customer:

Its a liability issue for the hospital, I understand that

Dr. Rick :

I'd ask your MD to remove that restriction...there are many things you can do, even in a CCU setting. Seems extreme to me, from what you have posted, that you are barred from working. CSR can take 3 to 6 months to resolve. And going ahead with laser surgery without even being given a chance to try and do your job seems unfair to me....and unwarranted.

Dr. Rick :

They like to wave the "it's a liability issue" flag around a lot. I don't buy it.

Dr. Rick :

I've been Chief of Staff in our 100 bed hospital and I would feel comfortable giving you a chance to see what you could do before banning you from working.

Customer:

ok, well thank you. I agree, and I know my coworkers would be willing to do anything for me that I could not safely do. I think part of the problem may be that my doctor works for the same hospital and may feel some responsibility if I did hurt someone

Dr. Rick :

If you can put in an iv I do not see why you shouldn't. You are mature enough to ask for help if you need it. I'm sure you don't put in central lines etc.......

Customer:

I appreciate your input, thanks again. I will talk to my doc and my boss again tomorrow and maybe I can convince them because as you pointed out it is a long recovery time and thats a long time to survive on short term disability

Dr. Rick :

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. One thing you might consider is asking for a chance to have someone observe you and show what you can do...that would remove their "liability" fears about you at least giving it a try.

Dr. Rick :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Dr. Rick :

Best of luck to you. Have a good day.

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11,644
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Verified
Dr. Rick and 87 other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
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Hi Brenda,
I just walked examined a patient with CSR and my thoughts turned to you.
Were you able to get your boss and MD to reconsider their position and allow you to return to work?
I hope you are doing better. Have a good day.
Dr. Rick
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Actually, the doctor added a ten pound lifting restriction, so there is no way they will allow me to do patient care now. She never told me I had a lifting restriction, and I can't imagine why that would be necessary from what I've been reading, but she included that in the report she sent to my employer. They are trying to find an alternate work assignment for me so I don't have to stay home, but I haven't heard anything yet. Thanks for checking in.

I do not agree with a 10 lb lifting restriction. That makes no sense to me at all.
I think you should try to consult with a different retina specialist and see if he could lift these silly restrictions....maybe this way you could get back to work.
In over two decades of clinical practice as a retina surgeon I have never recommended a lifting restriction for a patient with CSR.... I'm sorry you are being put through this issue by your doctor.
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

That's what I thought, too. I told them, "she's an opthamologist, I have a problem with my vision. I'm not on a lifting restriction." Before I go to another doctor I'm going to try to get her on the phone. It's possible there was just a mistake made while filling out the form. Maybe someone in her office filled it out and she just signed it without reading it. I know when doctors ask me to prepare prescriptions or other paperwork for them they usually assume I did it right and just sign it, they don't proofread it.

That is possible. I must admit I'm guilty of doing the same thing with my staff and forms :(
If, however, the general ophthalmologist did mean to give you these (silly) restrictions, if you think your boss would listen to another "more expert" opinion, I'd consult with a retina surgeon for another opinion. I really can't imagine any reason for you to have a lifting restriction nor to be kept from working as a RN....I bet with some practice you could "hit" 90% of the veins you were able to do when you had both eyes working.
To tell you the truth I'm kinda shocked that any ophthalmologist would sign off on these unnecessary work restrictions. It makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
Take care and good luck :)
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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
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Satisfied Customers: 11,644
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Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest

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