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Other Can my wrists handle being an engineer?

  1. Jul 27, 2016 #1
    Due to an accident that tore up both my TFCCs and other damage, both my wrists are shot. They got cleaned up, but are just all frayed now and not much to do about it.

    Extended computer time causes me pain, especially when it includes a lot of shift/alt/ctrl with other key combos, such as for command short cuts or camel case, or mouse wheel+movement at the same time.

    I had been planning to go into engineering, with the idea being I would decide which specific major during freshman physics. I've always enjoyed my math and science classes, so much so that they felt like little triumphs to figure out problems rather than a chore.

    I have played with an old autocad, and while I can do things with it, I have to go really slow and do it carefully to avoid strain - so probably not fast enough for an employer to like. I also know there are speech to text programs, but I'm not sure how well they work with technical writing, coding, or formulas, or whether you would drive nearby folks in your cubicle farm crazy talking to the computer all the time.

    Just typing this post took me five times longer than it would have before...

    What do you guys think, with these limitations is engineering something I can still find a place in?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 27, 2016 #2


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    Gold Member

    Gosh, that's a tough break. I'd like to encourage you but I'm having a hard time seeing how you could keep up in today's world. I hope I'm overlooking some area of engineering that others will be able to point out but what with damn near EVERYTHING being computerized these days it's hard to see how. Even if you don't need to do any computer programming, there will be report writing and if you're not using a computer for programming, you're likely to need it for some sort of design software. If you are as slow with computers as you indicate, it's going to be tough.

    Again, I hope I'm overlooking something. Good luck.
  4. Jul 27, 2016 #3


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    Homework Helper

    Talk to an occupational health expert. There may be specially designed keyboards or mice which will help.
  5. Jul 27, 2016 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Have you looked into Dragon Voice Recognition software? I had a friend who struggled with carpal tunnel syndrome, and was able to use it to help him in his EE design and CAD work...


  6. Jul 28, 2016 #5
    Thank you,

    That is great to hear that is is up to such tasks.

    Do you know if it bothers his coworkers? I'd love to have an office where I could close the door some day, but I'm realistic that a lot of engineering happens in cubicles.
  7. Jul 28, 2016 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    This was a while back, but using a headset with microphone keeps your speaking fairly quiet.
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