Returning to work as an RN with long Covid

Posted by aroselu @aroselu, Jan 8 1:38pm

Hello all. I am experiencing long Covid symptoms. Mainly it’s palpitations, insomnia, and very little activity tolerance. I’m able to do things around the house but as far as exercise I overdo it easily and get chills and flushed and fatigue. I’m wondering if there are any floor nurses that have returned to work with these symptoms? I’m afraid I’m not able to perform at full capacity returning as a bedside nurse for three 12 hour shifts. Wondering if anyone else has experience with this and how they navigated it.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 Support Group.


I am 2+ years with long covid-after becoming infected working as an ER RN with covid patients, before vaccines were FDA approved. I am not able to return to nursing in any capacity. Simulating CPR caused profound shortness of breath and a heart rate in the 130's. I tried lifting 35 pounds with the same result. Cognitively, I am certain I would be unsafe with medications. In short, I would not want me for a nurse, let alone for my family. I tried to simulate what a shift would be like to test myself. Add up the time you need to get ready for work, leave the house, travel to work, bending, lifting walking at a brisk pace, complicated abstract thinking in a noisy environment with constant interruptions. After all of that, manage getting home, preparing a meal, managing your finances. I tried 4hr. vaccine clinic shifts, 3 times a week to start with-I lasted 5 spread out shits. I forgot to ask about allergies before giving an injection. I 'crashed' after the first day.
Best of luck to you-I hope you make it! Nursing was a huge piece of me that I have lost.

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Thanks for this input. I’m going to try out a shift today and see how it goes


My daughter developed POTS after a viral illness and had many similar symptoms – exhaustion, physical exertion intolerance, inability to sleep properly, palpitations, check flushing but had tachycardia upon standing. (She is on a beta blocker and midodrine in addition to compression garments and a lot of fluids for the POTS.) The addition of an H1/H2 blocker plus melatonin and sleep hygiene really helped with the fatigue & ability to sleep for her.


CBD/cannabis products (indica) help a great deal with insomnia if available in your state.


Long COVID or the symptoms of long COVID can dramatically affect sleep, which is necessary for healing. To continue the discussion about sleep and post COVID recovery, I recommend joining this active discussion:
– Anyone have insomnia as symptom of COVID-19?

And now to bring this discussion back to the topic of returning to work. 🙂
@aroselu, I wish you all the best with your first shift back to work. I'm going to assume that you will be too tired to report back at the end of your shift today. But, when you're able, please let us know how it went and what coping strategies you found helpful to pace yourself within the demands of the job. I hope you colleagues are understanding.

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