RSI - change of career needed. Ideas?

(6 Posts)
artylady14 Sat 29-Mar-14 16:47:01

Hi all, I wasn't really sure where to post this but am hoping a forum might give me some ideas. I have RSI from the temp work I do and just had a steroid injection yesterday. My hand (right) is in a splint and I really need to change my work. The difficult thing is that I am TTC too. Not working isn't an option right now and I was just wondering what jobs others do/can think of that would not involve straining my hand right now.Thanks

Polkadotpatty Sat 29-Mar-14 17:34:53

Sorry to hear about all the pain you're in. Could you say what kind of temp work you've been doing? I assume mainly typing based, but I was wondering whether you're looking for something full-time/part-time, and whether there are any types of business you would want to aim for/to avoid? Public sector/private sector?

Would something telephone-based be of interest? Or something with face to face contact such as working in a shop (as long as there wasn't heavy stock to be lifted or anything)? Or working somewhere you give advice, such as tourist information, or hotel reception, or libraries? I think your key might be to think about jobs that use your brain and/or your voice, and then think about whether any computer element to them might be manageable or could be adjusted to work for you.

In an ideal world, I would start by thinking about what you're interested in and passionate about (working with children? In museums? Music? IT? Law?) and then talk to any friends or colleagues who might have knowledge of those fields.

BrownSauceSandwich Sun 30-Mar-14 10:34:08

You necessarily need to write off career paths because of RSI. And keep in mind that whatever else you go to is likely to have its own set of physical detriments! Certainly some jobs are way more prone to particular injuries than others, but with proper control measures in place, you vastly reduce the risk of recurrence. I suggest you get yourself to a physiotherapist, ideally a specialist in the body parts you're getting the pain, and see if there are adjustments you can make to your working practice to keep your current choice of work open to you.

If it's typing/mousing related pain in your hands, wrists etc, there are arm exercises you can do to free up the impinged nerves and correct dodgy posture. And the physio will be able to advise on desk and chair set-up, and modified equipment that supports your hands and upper body in a neutral position. For example, I have colleagues who use upright computer mice, and others who use a kind of joystick mouse, both of which keep hands and forearms in the neutral "thumbs up, palms facing in" position. I use a trackball mouse, and have my keyboard blue tacked on the desk close to my body, to prevent me overextending my arms/shoulders.

I know it's harder for temp workers to ask for adjustments, but your employer(s) still has a responsibility to look after your H&S, and a lot of the "adjustments" are things they should be doing anyway: providing properly adjustable workstations AND training staff how to use them; Encouraging short, frequent breaks from repetitive tasks, etc... But if, for example, you find a mouse and keyboard that work well for you, buy them and take them with you to each job.

By the way, if it can be clearly demonstrated that your injury is caused by the work you do, you might have a claim against the employer. If you're a member of a union, talk to your H&S rep. It needn't become litigious, but sometimes it's not that obvious to employers that a few, often cheap, adjustments to working practice on their part will contribute to a healthier, and therefore more productive workforce.

BrownSauceSandwich Sun 30-Mar-14 10:35:02

Ugh. You DON'T necessarily need to write off career paths!

artylady14 Sun 30-Mar-14 18:37:32

Thanks for the advice. I was thinking about work using my voice but didn't think of advice-type work - great idea.

I have been temping in office admin and really am sick of it anyway. I was going to ask my temp agency to send me only to strictly reception based temp bookings once I finish some physio but want to think more about getting away from the office environment. I would love to work in a library -sadly they are staffed by volunteers these days.

Thanks for the tips!

crashbandicoot Tue 08-Apr-14 21:22:42

my dh got rsi and became a mental health support worker till he recovered

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