Transitioning
to Work

Scroll

3 tips when you have a feeding tube at work

1. Be upfront with your boss

No law says you have to tell anyone about having a feeding tube. But if it begins to affect your job, consider easing the situation by letting your boss know you’ll need to adjust where or how you work. Bringing in your human resources partner can also help. That way, it’s clear you’re not trying to avoid, or disrupt, work. How much detail you give your employer is entirely up to you.

 

2. Ask for help

Even minor changes can help you stay healthier and less stressed on the job. That’s something everyone deserves. Here are some things you may want to do:

  • If it makes sense for you and your job, consider asking your manager if you can adjust your schedule to support the times you use your feeding tube or whether working from home might be an option.
  • Ask your employer to identify a place to use or clean your tube. If a community area is used by everyone and you don’t want to use the sink, keep a small basin or bowl at work to clean your syringes or extension set.
  • If you have doctor visits on a regular basis, see if you can adapt your work hours to fit in your appointments.

The point is, if you don’t ask, you won’t know how flexible your company is willing to be for you.

 

3. Keep your support circle close

Sometimes it can be challenging to manage a feeding tube in a work setting, especially while you’re also trying to do the best job you can. The key is to make sure you have as much support as possible. A trusted group of friends, family, healthcare professionals and others can help you balance the ups and downs of work and your well-being. Keeping them in the loop and sharing your feelings with them is a healthy thing to do.

Don’t put off asking for help and getting care and support if you need it — this may help you be more efficient, and limit missed time away from your job.

The most important thing? Take good care of yourself. Follow your health team’s orders. Try to get plenty of rest and find ways to relax. Don’t put off asking for help and getting care and support if you need it — this may help you be more efficient, and limit missed time away from your job.

Keep the lines of communication open at work and with your circle of support. It’s the best way to help you face each workday with confidence, feeding tube or not.

**It is recommended you consult your company’s Human Resources policies and resources or consult with legal counsel to determine what your legal rights are in the workplace.

More Resources

Enteral Feeding

Learn More

Troubleshooting

Learn More

Newsletter

Learn More

Tales from Fellow Tubies

Learn More