Working with a chronic condition or illness

Your condition or illness might be something that's easily managed on the job, or it may be something for which you have to take time off to recover. Whatever your condition or illness, we know it affects your life, at home and at work. Below are just a few of the ways you can get the help and support you need to take care of yourself on the job.

Get help. Our registered nurse care coordinators are here to help you learn how to best manage your chronic condition or illness. Learn more about how Providence Care Management can help you. Call 800-662-1121 or email caremanagement@providence.org.

Find the right health care provider. Partnering with a health care provider you trust is important when you're dealing with a chronic condition or illness. Whether your struggle is physical or mental, we encourage you to find the right fit for what you're going through. Let us help you find the right provider.

Take your medication. If your condition requires medication, make sure you have what you need at work to manage symptoms and feel your best. If your condition requires you to take medication throughout the work day, make sure to bring some of it with you each day, or keep a separate supply on hand at your workplace.

Find support. What you share with your employer or colleagues about your condition or illness is up to you — and may be based on your particular work environment. Whether your workplace is loose or more buttoned-up, it may be beneficial to seek an outlet for sharing more openly about what's going on. A support group can provide a safe place to share your experiences and find empathy with others who are in your same, or a similar, situation. Here are a few links to help you on your way. If you don't find what you're looking for, an online search for a national foundation or organization related to your condition may point you in the right direction.
  • Providence cancer support groups
  • Providence diabetes support groups
  • Additional support 
Get physical. Depending on your condition, you may benefit from getting up more often, walking a little extra and stretching while at work. Adding more physical activity to your work day — however minimal — can help your health. Moving more is good for strengthening your heart, lowering your blood pressure, increasing good cholesterol and lowering bad cholesterol. Physical activity also lessens your risk for stroke and type 2 diabetes. The more you move, the more you burn, so getting physical can help maintain a healthy weight. It can reduce back pain and can strengthen bones — keeping osteoporosis at bay. Finally, for those who suffer from depression and anxiety, moving more can help improve your mood.

What are your rights in the workplace?

As a current employee or a prospective employee, you may have certain rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you have a medical condition that requires frequent medical appointments or taking time off of work for medical treatment or recovery time, work with your employer to ensure your job is protected. Read more about your rights in the Family and Medical Leave Act.