Donna Smith: Disability Services Counselor Making a Difference

Donna_Smith
Donna Glass Smith is a Disability Services Counselor at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). She is assigned to the Medical Education Campus in Springfield, Virginia. With the continued growth in enrollment of students with disabilities in postsecondary institutions, Ms. Smith believe that it is important for educators to champion efforts that will enhance learning environments for nursing students with disabilities.

In her job, she assists students, faculty, and administration in examining and addressing barriers to student success. Donna Smith is a 2008 graduate of The University of Alabama, with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Prior to earning her master’s degree, she worked in retail operations management for ten years for Walgreens and Staples. As a store manager, she often hired and made accommodations for employees with disabilities. Having grown up with an older brother who is deaf, she understood the role of vocational rehabilitation and the struggles of adults with disabilities seeking employment. After graduating with her master’s degree, she’s worked at the Office of Disability Services at The University of Alabama and is currently a Disability Services Counselor for Northern Virginia Community College, Medical Education Campus in Springfield, Virginia. She’s currently working on the completion of her Ed.S. Degree in Counselor Education and she enjoys hiking and reading and writing fiction. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia with 2 dogs, 3 birds, and one hamster.

EEOC Settles with Hospital that Refused Job Accommodation for Nurse with Cancer

Angel Medical Center to Pay $85,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has settled a disability discrimination lawsuit with Angel Medical Center, Inc. of Franklin, NC. The hospital was charged with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying an employee an accommodation that would have allowed her to get cancer treatments while working full time. The hospital allegedly refused the accommodation request and then fired the nurse.

To learn more about the ADA and other laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities read “Disability.gov’s Guide to Disability Rights Laws.”

Disability Rights and Accommodations: Setting A Standard of Care

APHA 2014 Poster Presentation

Tanya Friese, DNP(c), RN, CNL, Department of Community, Systems, and Mental Health Nursing, Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, IL
Shelia Dugan, MD , Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Sarah Ailey, PhD, RN, CDDN, APHN-BC , College of Nursing, Community, Systems and Mental Health Nursing, Rush University, Chicago, IL
Paula Brown, MBA , Office for Equal Opportunity, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Background: 
In 1991, Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) chartered the ADA Task Force with a charge to implement policies for individuals with disabilities, champion inclusion, and educate people on how working with and hiring persons with disabilities enriches our global village.
Methods: 
The Task Force meets monthly with members including administrators, staff, faculty, and inter professional students.  Purposefully the task force includes decision makers in human resources, patient services, transportation, building and maintenance, and curriculum, among others, in order to facilitate implementation of solutions to issues with access, discrimination, and accommodation.

Standardized Patients with Disabilities' Perceptions of Working with Undergraduate Nursing Students

APHA 2014 Poster Presentation

Suzanne C. Smeltzer, RN, EdD, FAAN, College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Bette Mariani, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Elizabeth Petit de Mange, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Colleen Meakim, RN, MSN , College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova
Jennifer Ross, RN, PhD , College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova
Elizabeth Bruderle, RN, PhD , College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Serah Nthenge, RN, MSN , College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

The use of standardized patients (SPs) with disabilities is largely unknown in nursing education. Anecdotal reports have suggested that use of SPs with disabilities is coercive and takes advantage of this “vulnerable population.” After two years of having SPs with disabilities interacting with undergraduate nursing students, we assessed the perceptions of SPs with disabilities and strategies to improve the experience through a qualitative study. A focus group and one phone interview were conducted with nine SPs with disabilities including post polio syndrome, spina bifida, stroke and amputation; their ages ranged from 32 to 82. Following IRB approval, SPs were asked about their motivation to participate, positive and negative experiences as SPs, and what could be improved about the experience.

Content analysis revealed themes:

For people with disabilities, doctors are not always healers

Washington Post

It was midnight in the emergency department of my hospital, and the chief resident was on a roll. Clad in green scrubs — two sizes too small for his body, they emphasized his muscular physique — he dashed between the ambulance bay and the critical care rooms.
“Wen!” he barked at me, the medical intern. “Come over here to do the ‘rule-out-heart-attack’ in 3.” Two medical students grabbed their notepads and followed the chief resident and me into the room.
The patient did not look as if he were having a heart attack. Dressed in a tailored suit, a young man with a neat ponytail sat in bed, texting on his BlackBerry. The nurse’s note said the 31-year- old was having chest pain. His vital signs and electrocardiogram were normal.
“Good evening!” boomed the chief. We formed an imposing circle around the stretcher. “How are you doing?”

LearnHowToBecome.org

LearnHowToBecome.org, recently published a new guide to nursing careers and degree programs. The guide begins with a comprehensive view of the larger nursing landscape, and then dives deeper into the field’s many specializations, including registered nurses, licensed practical and vocational nurses, nurse practitioners, neonatal nurses and more. For each specialization, the guide examines the following elements:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Essential skills
  • Common and recommended educational paths
  • Career advancement
  • Salary by state and level
  • Related careers


The new guide was researched and written by Marijke Durning, a nurse educator, administrator, and former clinical nurse with years of medical education and experience. To read through the guide and learn more about Marijke, please visit the following page: 
 
Nursing degrees and careers:
 
Registered Nurse degrees and careers:

Think College

ThinkCollege.net

Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability. With a commitment to equity and excellence, Think College supports evidence-based and student centered research and practice by generating and sharing knowledge, guiding institutional change, informing public policy, and engaging with students, professionals and families. Click to learn more about our various grant projects.

Meeting the Demands of an Expanding Health Care Workforce

Meeting the Demands of an Expanding Health Care Workforce

If you’ve ever seen the “Because” public service announcement from the Office of Disability Employment Policy, you’ve seen Kayla Woolridge swim. While filming the PSA, Kayla, who has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, got to chatting with my staff about her career goals. Although still a few years out from college, Kayla has been thinking about becoming a neonatal intensive care unit nurse. When I heard this, I thought how great it would be if she does indeed pursue that path — because the nursing industry is going to need her.

Major law change: Section 503 to Hire People with Disabilities to take Effect on Monday, March 24


OFCCP Final Rule to Improve Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
OFCCP 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Final Rule Fact Sheet

Beginning Monday, March 24th, 2014, businesses that work with the Federal Government will be required to set goals to employ people with disabilities at a rate of 7 percent and in doing so, keep track of their progress. The new law permits companies to invite employees to self-disclose a disability, allowing the company to conduct an internal census. With this data, companies can ensure their recruiting and hiring practices do not inadvertently exclude qualified candidates with disabilities. Employee are not required to disclose a disability.

This rule change stems from an effort to combat chronic unemployment of people with disabilities. Most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2012:

1) The unemployment rate for non-disabled Americans stood at 8 percent, but almost doubled to 15 percent for people with disabilities;
2) The workforce participation rate for non-disabled Americans was 31.6 percent, while 76.5 percent of people with disabilities in the same age group were out of the work force entirely;
3) Median household income for a person reporting a disability was $25,420, compared to $59,411 for someone without a disability“ These numbers remain unchanged over the past 40 years despite dramatic improvements in access to physical workplaces, technology, and policy,” says attorney David Newburger, co-director of Starkloff Disability Institute. “Many people with disabilities want to work but face barriers.”