If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Complete a Student Rotation in the Operating Suite?
First of all, does the nursing program absolutely require this rotation or could you meet learning objectives in another setting that would be less difficult logistically? If they are unwilling to let you move to another setting, you and your instructor can talk with the OR manager about a couple of options. You can disinfect your chair before entering the suite each day or you can use a chair kept in the suite for other purposes. The chair may not fit you well and be somewhat uncomfortable, especially if you consider your chair an extension of your body, but it will get you through the few days most programs allocate to this specialty.
See how one nursing student using a wheelchair adapted to situations like this in the film entitled Open the Door, Get ‘Em a Locker. In addition, here are some specific suggestions on organizations and resources to increase your awareness about your rights and responsibilities:
- For protection, advocacy, and legal assistance, contact your state National Disability Rights Network. Be sure to click on your state so that you get relevant and timely information. Also check out your rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- Please explore our website for resources in regard to education, advocacy, and work. For assistance with the ADA, contact the Americans with Disabilities Act Technical Assistance Centers. Learning about the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 will help you to understand how the ADAAA broadens coverage for many individuals.
- Connections with people with disabilities in your community, contact your local Center for Independent Living.
- Information about how to get a job, contact State Vocational Rehabilitation Program or the Job Accommodation Network.
Disclaimer: The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) does not offer legal advice but NOND does offer resources to help you understand your rights, protections, and responsibilities within various Disability Rights Laws.