Background Checks and Protecting Your Privacy - page 2

Hi everyone, I am getting ready to begin prerequisites for an ADN program and was a bit concerned about the background checks. No I have never committed a felony so it's not the criminal... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    I agree with what has been said. You have a tremendous amount of courage.

    You've been through a lot, now hold on to your dream to be a nurse because something tells me nothing can stand in your way.

    The background checks our hospital does is mainly criminal. If you have no criminal background. Relax.

    Good luck.

    Welcome to the group!!!

    (I was a bullied kid for being different too. A living hell for the same number of years. It makes us stronger doesn't it. But it never leaves you either does it? Ever now and then I still have dreams of high school. And I'm 44 years old.)
  2. by   happy03
    One question about your name, do you have a completely new name now or is it a variation of your birth name?
    OMG picking a name was so difficult! I tried name after name after name. I spent countless hours at the Baby Name sites and totally understand what parents go through naming a new baby! A few of the names I liked best have only been popular the last ten years ago, so I passed on them. Nor did I want anything to exotic. Well the day was drawing near and I was still undecided on a name so I drafted a few friends and allowed them to pick my new first name. Ironically it was the same name my Mother had planned on using for me. Its a classic name, very popular to this day. Last name was another dilemma entirely. I knew many family members on both sides did not approve of what I was doing, plus my original last name was rather uncommon so I figured it would be easier to be linked if I kept it. Well my original boy first name is also a common last name so I decided to use it as my new last name. I picked a middle name that flowed well with both names.

    (I was a bullied kid for being different too. A living hell for the same number of years. It makes us stronger doesn't it. But it never leaves you either does it? Ever now and then I still have dreams of high school. And I'm 44 years old.)
    Stronger? I don't know about that, but I do think it makes you a more compassionate human being when you grow up. The irony is some of those bullie types who liked to tease and beat the crap out of me in school are now asking me out on dates! I still think about my school days a lot (I'm thirtysomething now) but not always out of bitterness. There were a lot of things I wanted to experience that I couldn't. Oh well! Perhaps I will show up at my next Reunion!!!!
  3. by   canoehead
    My hat's off to you.

    I would also go to a lawyer first so it would all be confidential and you would "know" rather than have someone's opinion. I hope you eventually find a friend that supports you now and as you were once. The changes you've gone through take courage. You may not be a guy any more, but baby you got balls- big iron ones.
  4. by   geekgolightly
    Definitely go to a lawyer who is familiar with the nursing board or other state board licensing agency and see what they have to say. I know in Texas, you would be subjected to a forensic psychiatric exam, and if found competent by the examiner (which should be a cake walk for you as you have already submitted to many such examinations to get the green light for a sex change) you are ok'd for taking the NCLEX.

    There is a lot of prejudice, but I think you would be an asset to nursing judging from your thoughtful posts and the rigorous trials you have undergone.

    Have you ever read The Politics of Transgenderism by Pat Califia? I found that book to be facinating.

    What sort of nursing would you like to do?
  5. by   happy03
    Definitely go to a lawyer who is familiar with the nursing board or other state board licensing agency and see what they have to say. I know in Texas, you would be subjected to a forensic psychiatric exam, and if found competent by the examiner (which should be a cake walk for you as you have already submitted to many such examinations to get the green light for a sex change) you are ok'd for taking the NCLEX.
    I will get a lawyer familar with the nursing board. I wish I knew someone with my background who has gone into Nursing so I could get an idea of what obstacles, if any, they faced. I have read about doctors, lawyers, airline pilots, etc who were liscensed BEFORE undergoing transition that did continue to practice; however I don't know if they had to be retested or reevaluated after the change.

    Forensic psychiatric exams? Do these vary from state to state? I did undergo several examinations/evaluations before my surgery letters were granted (you have to be approved by two Psychiatrists) and passed with flying colors. I did have a long history of depression, but it was directly related to gender issues. Every step I took up to, and including, my final surgery was a treatment to correct this problem. I certainly hope I am not forever judged for this! I'll just have to discuss this with a lawyer.

    There is a lot of prejudice, but I think you would be an asset to nursing judging from your thoughtful posts and the rigorous trials you have undergone.
    Thank you. Yes a lot of prejudice and/or ignorance does indeed exist in this world and people from all walks of life face additional obstacles because of it. I really think my life experiences will benefit me in my nursing career. For some nursing may just be a job, but for others I really think it's a calling.

    Have you ever read The Politics of Transgenderism by Pat Califia? I found that book to be facinating.
    I have read a ton of related books; some excelent, some so-so, and some dreadful, but I have not read this one. As I mentioned in an earlier post the "TG Umbrella" is so large and so varied that it's often difficult for the average person to understand the differences. Politics and basic human rights are even more confusing, and much depends where you fall along the spectrum.

    For instance since I have completed the "big" surgery I have basically the same rights and legal protections any other woman has. My birth certificate, social security card, driver's license, etc all verify this. I can marry a man, am protected from gender discrimination in the workplace, etc. Of course it gets murky if anyone discovers my past regardless of what legal changes have been made. Literally it varies from state to state. If my status is known I can be denied housing in many states, fired without recourse in many states, or have a marriage invalidated in many states. A woman in Texas had a legal marriage invalidated because she filed a wrongful death suit against a hospital when her husband died. Had the hospital's insurance company not dug this up, no one would have known. A tragedy. I have the legal documentation to marry in Texas (or the other 4 states) but if anyone questioned, it could be invalidated. I could go on, but one reason I am so protective of my privacy is because I can be discriminated against without recourse in so many ways.

    BTW an interesting resource on my condition (and related conditions) can be found here:

    NOTE: I decided to edit out this link because I'm worried someone may be offended.

    I don't agree with everything she writes, but it is a pretty thorough site written by a woman who spent 30 successful years "undiscovered" until being outted in her sixties.

    What sort of nursing would you like to do?
    Right now I'm leaning towards Psychiatric Nursing, but that could change after clinicals. I have done some volunteer work over the years with cancer patients, the elderly and the homeless. The past few years I have also offered emotional support/advice to young women (18-30) who are in the midst of transition.
    Last edit by happy03 on Jul 27, '03
  6. by   Shiva_Las_Vegas
    Hello Happy03.......

    I don't really have any other advice than what's already been posted here. I wish you good luck and I hope everything turns out okay for you.

    I wish you hadn't edited out that link.....I'm sure it would be educational for alot of people. So far it seems that most here are supportive and understanding.

    I would like to see the link, but if you don't feel comfortable having it posted, would you pm me with the info? I would really like to read it.......
  7. by   happy03
    I put it back up, but decided I will PM the link instead.
    Last edit by happy03 on Jul 28, '03
  8. by   purplemania
    The only transsexual I have known personally changed his name from Kim to Ken when he had surgery. When his SS# came up in HR with old information under Kim he just said he had had a name change. No other details were necessary. You do not owe explanations to anyone and if you are still adapting to the change I hope you have proper counseling. Good luck!
  9. by   ainz
    I would also advise contacting an attorney to see what questions must be answered in what way. The health screening questions are there to determine if there is anything that needs to be done to protect patients and you from communicating disease etc. Gender reassignment certainly does not have anything to do with the reasons the questions are being asked.

    I would see no reason to bring up your previous surgery and gender in any of this background check. None of it is applicable to the job you are being hired to do. Obviously if you have gone through all of the screenings required to undergo gender reassignment therapy then everything has already been checked out, cleared, it is done, and does not apply to your new job. Your attorney should be able to give guidance.

    Knowing human nature, I would do whatever it took to keep this quiet. Your employer and coworkers really have no reason to need to know this information. It would only cause you harm in my opinion. If we had an open, tolerant society, it would be different, but we all know we do not have such. People discriminate against each other for so many stupid reasons. I personally cannot relate to your issues but if you are qualified and competent to perform the work of a nurse, that is all that should matter.

    Good luck with it!!!!
  10. by   happy03
    Knowing human nature, I would do whatever it took to keep this quiet. Your employer and coworkers really have no reason to need to know this information. It would only cause you harm in my opinion. If we had an open, tolerant society, it would be different, but we all know we do not have such. People discriminate against each other for so many stupid reasons. I personally cannot relate to your issues but if you are qualified and competent to perform the work of a nurse, that is all that should matter.
    Yes this is my preference. I've been in work situations where people knew and work situtations where they did not know. The difference in the way I was treated was profound. Yes many people were very supportive and friendly, others didn't care one way or another as long as I did my job; yet there were always some who were intolerant or even very cruel to me. My performance was never questioned, but a few co-workers, after finding out, did go to administration because they had "moral" issues with this and said my presence violated their rights. One even had a problem with me using the bathroom! She requested I use one on another floor!! Silly, stupid things that are avoided if others don't know.

    I do wish we lived in a more tolerant society, yet I know we have a long way to go in many areas. If this is to be my profession I deserve the same opportunites any other nurse has. By being "out" this opens me up to possible discrimination in countless ways. I doubt that someone who experimented with drugs as a teen discloses this information. Nor a woman who had an abortion. I am mentally competent and have committed no crimes. Just very sensitive about protecting my past If everyone was as kind as the people who have responded I wouldn't be so worried!

    If anyone here would have a problem working with someone like me I would love to hear your thoughts as well.
  11. by   debralynn
    I rate the people I work with by the way they treat their patients. I have worked with people I like, but they aren't very good nurses. I have worked with people I am not fond of, but they treat their patients great! I have worked with gay, straight, kind, *****es, to name a few. I don't care what you do in your spare time(unless ur a drug dealer or rapist, or child molester). Like I said in an earlier post, I hope you find an excellent crew to work with. You will always have someone who needs to be hung up by their (whatevers). Good luck. And NO, I wouldn't have any problem working with you!
  12. by   Tweety
    Nurses are great people. We've had transgendered persons as patients before and I was so proud of the open-mindedness and nonjudgemental way they treated the patients.

    We recently had a female to male patient who had a horrible accident. She still had female genatialia, but had a double mastectomy, took hormones and had a beard. The respect and dignity my coworkers treated him with was amazing. I was so proud.

    But, of course you may have heard how we treat each other. That's a completely different story. I would recommend keeping your past to yourself. I myself have secrets that is nobody's business.

    Just the woman that you are. The fact you were born with male genitalia at birth is competely irrelivant (sp?) in my opinion. Don't tell your employers, coworkers, or the nursing school. You are legally female. End of discussion.
  13. by   nursebucky
    Happy, I am a student nurse and my background is in human resources.

    The background check does pull up all names used if associated with the ssn. I have never asked anyone to explain this, as I attirbute it to being married, divorced, etc.

    Try not to worry so....

    Good luck to you!

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