Can I Be a Nurse if I Have a History of Chemical Dependency (Drugs or Alcohol)?

Can I Be a Nurse if I Have a History of Chemical Dependency (Drugs or Alcohol)?

If you no longer actively use drugs or alcohol, you may qualify as disabled.

Below are some specific suggestions on organizations and resources to increase your awareness about your rights and responsibilities:

 


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.

If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Care for Patients with Contact Precautions?

If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Care for Patients with Contact Precautions?

If you are a student, is the nursing program willing to accept your theoretical knowledge of the skill and a learning laboratory demonstration of your competence, in lieu of actually carrying out the skill in the clinical setting? For many students, not just those with disabilities, catheterizing a male patient or inserting a nasogastric tube are approached in that way because simulated, theoretical activities still allow the student to meet program objectives when few opportunities exist to complete the skill in the clinical setting.


A second approach is to disinfect the wheels of the chair and spread a bed sheet over the wheelchair (“gown” the chair as well as the nurse) before entering the room. Discard the sheet, along with the other protection, and repeat the disinfectant when leaving the room. Or you could leave a facility wheelchair in that room, transferring into it upon entry and out of it when you leave the room.

Although they can safely complete the task, most nurses using wheelchairs will choose to work at a job or in a setting where this activity is not necessary. 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:


If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Complete a Student Rotation in the Operating Suite?



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.

If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Complete a Student Rotation in the Operating Suite?

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:


If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Care for Patients with Contact Precautions?



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.

I Can No Longer Physically Complete the Clinical Portion of a Refresher Course?

I Can No Longer Physically Complete the Clinical Portion of a Refresher Course?

Work with your refresher program and the Disability Services Officer to look for clinical settings where you could display your skill proficiency, taking into account that you need accommodations.

In addition, here are some specific suggestions on organizations and resources to increase your awareness about your rights and responsibilities:




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.

How Can I Find a Nursing Job if I Stutter?

How Can I Find a Nursing Job if I Stutter?

Please explore our website for resources:

  • 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. Tell them what is happening and ask about interviewing resources that would support you and ask to practice responses with them that would follow discriminatory statements from employers.
  • 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. Find a nurse mentor with a disability in your area who will let you practice interviewing skills and give you suggestions; contact former faculty/instructors as advocates to open doors, and become a strong advocate for yourself by knowing your rights and responsibilities under the ADA. During future interviews, de-emphasize your speech impairment and focus on skills, knowledge, and motivation.
  • 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.

Can I Be a Nurse if I Have a Mental Health Condition?

Can I Be a Nurse if I Have a Mental Health Condition?

Yes, the ADA Amendments specify that mitigating measures such as medications cannot be considered in determining whether a person has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (the criterion for protection under the ADA). This means that your medications that help you function well do not disqualify you. You may also be protected under the Amendments which say that episodic conditions are covered if your condition would substantially limit a major life activity when it is in its active state.

In addition, here are some specific suggestions from our Board members about how you might adapt to the clinical setting:

If you decide you want to disclose your disability and request accommodations, use this opportunity to highlight the unique perspectives and experiences you bring to your work as a result of your condition. You know what it is like to live with a chronic “invisible” condition. You know what it’s like to interact with the medical community as person who has had to be “diagnosed”, and you know what it is like to have a chronic condition that you have to “manage”. All of this can positively affect how you work with patients as they negotiate their interactions with the healthcare community.


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.

Can I Be a Nurse if My Vision is Impaired?

Can I Be a Nurse if My Vision is Impaired?

Absolutely, you can be a nurse if you have a visual disability. You may have been told that you could not be a nurse, but NOND has Board members with visual impairments who are successful nurses. After you look at the resources on our website, one of these nurses would be happy to talk with you about their adaptations, if needed, but remember that you must learn to be your own advocate.

The ADA Amendments specify that mitigating measures or devices such as special eye wear cannot be considered in determining whether a person has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (the criterion for protection under the ADA). This means that your bioptics (described below) or other special adaptations that help you function well do not disqualify you for protection under the ADA.
In addition, here are some specific suggestions from our Board members about how you might adapt to the clinical setting:


Also see:
How Can I Master Clinical Skills if I Have Impaired Vision?


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.

Can I Be a Nurse if I Have a Hearing Loss?

Can I Be a Nurse if I Have a Hearing Loss?

Absolutely! The ADA Amendments specify that mitigating measures or devices such as hearing aids cannot be considered in determining whether a person has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (the criterion for protection under the ADA). This means that your hearing aids that help you function well do not disqualify you for protection under the ADA. The state vocational service or department of rehabilitation may be able to help with hearing aids. Each state varies as to what they will cover. We have nurses on our Board who have hearing loss who can consult with you, after you have explored the resources provided above.


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.

Can Employers Require Pre-Employment Physicals?

Can Employers Require Pre-Employment Physicals?

What do I do if I feel I have been discriminated against as a result of the physical?

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.

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.

For connections with people with disabilities in your community, contact your local Center for Independent Living.

For information about how to get a job, contact State Vocational Rehabilitation Program or the Job Accommodation Network.

Under the ADA, employers can require pre-employment physicals. The extent of the physicals and the reason for them must be consistent with business practice and job-related. Physicals should be looking at function, not diagnosis. i.e, does this candidate have the ability to perform the essential functions of the job for which they are applying? Such physicals must be the same for every applicant for the same position, or employers will have a difficult time showing they were not treating you differently, presumably because of a “perceived” disability.
 
Employers should not ask, “Do you have a condition that needs accommodation?” but they can ask, “Can you perform the essential functions of this job with or without a reasonable accommodation?” If you feel you have been treated unfairly, you can file an internal grievance with the agency’s Affirmative Action department, stating that you feel you received disparate treatment as a result of your “perceived” disability. That might result in additional training for the agency around ADA issues.
 
Another place to make formal complaints is the Bureau of Labor and Industry in your state. By filing a complaint with BOL, you are addressing both state and federal employment issues. You also can file a complaint with the EEOC (federal). If you file with EEOC or BOLI it is important to be clear about your goal. It may be to get a job, or to get punitive damages related to stress, or to require the agency to get additional training on ADA issues.



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.

Can I Be a Nurse if I Have Concerns with Manual Dexterity or Have only One Hand?

Can I Be a Nurse if I Have Concerns with Manual Dexterity or Have One Hand?

Absolutely! NOND has contact with nurses who have practiced as a nurse with one hand for over 25 years. Use the resources below and work with your college’s or university’s Disability Services Officer to request accommodations. Be creative when designing accommodations – as long as certain principles are followed, the ways in which tasks are done may become negotiable. With respect to technical tasks, there may be more than one way to do them. If you need specific suggestions, contact NOND to speak with one of our experts. See Danielle’s story, a successful nurse in practice.

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.

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.

For connections with people with disabilities in your community, contact your local Center for Independent Living.

Some nursing programs may be more receptive to you than others. If you have the opportunity, talk to current students or to nursing faculty about a selected program’s record of accommodating students with disabilities. Also, meet with the Disability Services Officer to discuss entrance requirements and your expected access to accommodations.


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.

1 5 6 7 8 9 11