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work and RA

I had a meeting with my boss yesterday, as I am first aider and mentioned that when I start my TNF treatment that I might need to be 'excused' from my duties when dealing with vomiting children.

My job consists of 3 parts, first aid being one of them - I have not had any time off due to my condition, although I am sure I should have, I try to have my appointments out of working hours, and although a little slower on bad days, I have managed to keep up with my work load almost the whole time.

The trouble is I love my job - it has been the one thing that has kept me going throughout the last 18 months, my friends have supported me and am glad I am working there - but now I feel like a bit of a nuisance.

I cried buckets yesterday, as I am suddenly feeling scared at the thought of not having a job, but not being 'ill' enough to warrant any support.

I am part of a union and will seek their guidance, but I just wondered if anyone else had experienced anything like this.

Thanks guys


6 Replies

Hi Pen,

I used to be a First Aider at school but when it came to renewing mine i asked if i could be excused from it due to the suffering i suffered at my first aid training, as you know there is a lot of up and down off the floor. My body was just not up to it at that time.

Like you i have had very little time off with RA and i try to keep my appointments to school hols, blood tests i tend to do in my half hour lunch, luckily my doctors are just around the corner from school and i can be in and out in 10 mins.

Anyway my boss was very reluctant to let me step down from my FA duties but in the end she realised that she could not make me do it due to my condition and there are plenty of other staff in school to cover FA duties.

The boss didn't like it but we do have rights you know, there is a lack of understanding about the disease and of course we have good days and bad days.

They cannot sack you for having RA, you must have other skills that can be put to use in school, They are very busy places aren't they?? I've been run ragged today!! LOL - and yes i love my job also

Don't get upset i feel sure it will work out for you.

take care

Lyn x


Hi Pen

I am in the same boat as you, i have days when i think i just cant cope and stuggle so bad some days, but i am scared stiff if i gave up work, i would go down hill as my work does keep me going, i do love my job,

I went in the other day to see my boss and asked her if i can i start earlier and finish earlier as i find i am struggling toward the end of the day, they said what ever makes your job easier for you, we will help you out , they are so good to me,

I was also told by a friend of my who has RA in the work they cant sack you from having RA,

I hope this helps in some way,



Hi Pen

I think that this would be classed as a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act but do check -maybe the helpline could help with this.

I am also desperate to keep working as i think it's the only reason i get up on some mornings so i completely understand your worries but i have just reduced my hours -i now have Weds off and it has made a difference having the midweek break and like you i try to book appts etc then.Nras do a range of booklets for people who work and also their employers and you can order them on line.

Let us know how you get on

Take care

Julie xx


Thank you!

I will keep you posted with how I get on!

Pen x


Hi Pen, you are entitled to support and adjustments at work to enable you to continue doing your job. But is working within a school not a bit risky due to a low immune system and risk of picking up infections?

My employer NHS was pretty good at supplying aids/equipment but sadly they decided to move our community project base into the city centre, which didn't even have an accessible loo on our floor.

I told them straight away I wouldn't be able to manage in the new large offices due to mobility problems and other issues, but it didn't make any difference.

Then my boss decided to change my job description while I was on the sick after a car crash, I was so upset they'd done this I refused to go back and requested to be moved to another job.

This went on for some time and I was eventually advised (by Occ Health) to leave as the stress was affecting my physical health which in turn affected my mental wellbeing......

Best thing I ever did.

I've now got my health back on track, my meds are sorted, I have the energy to do gentle exercise and no where near as worn out, miserable or bad tempered as I used to be.

So whilst working is better if your able, if it's to much the option of retiring from work is an option worth thinking about, when up to it there's plenty volunteer work to keep the mind engaged.

Good luck and I do hope your employer looks at alternative work within your current workplace.



I found that due to bad hands and wrists it causes me a lot of pain to do over 2 min of chest compressions on the old ressusie doll !


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