Dream NICU JOB TAKEN FROM ME!

  1. hello im a new grad and have applyed to this great hospital in los angeles ...i was offered employment with a 4 months preceptorship i was so happy! a week later i was doing my physical exam everything went well ...until i got to the color blind test well i missed about three of the number color blotches..i have had NO problem with my vision before(as a child or during nursing school) and was even in the military and passed there very strict entrance exams....i got to see the dx. and he asked me a couple of questions and well he said "u can see ull be fine" and that was it. a week later i received a phone call from the employee health office removing my offer for the nicu dept. stating that it might be a risk for the pt's......first questions?
    is this an american disabilty act violation?
    im a great nurses! i even asked if i can c my own doctor and take the test again, or b assesed on my assesment skills on the floor before employment starts?... and they said "NO! theyres no point!""well let you contact HR and maybe place u in med-surg?"
    what!!! i was shocked!
    i was so angry, i made an appointment with optomology and had my eyes checked, i took the colorblind test over, and the DX stated that i have very mild color deficiency and it will NOT affect my everyday life or my job performance in AnYWAY! I HAVE THEN FORWARDED that paper TO HR......
    WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW? SEARCH FOR ANOTHER EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY? OR Wait?
    I LOVE THE NICU AND I COULD EASILY TELL BETWEEN AND ACYANOTIC CHILD AND A PINK BABY, FROM A DUCKY COLOR TO A PALE!
    IM so confused please i need advice,
    sincerely,
    i can c it all nurse!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   EmmaG
    No offense, but if my child were in NICU I would not want them to bend their rules (for whatever reason the color vision is necessary) to accommodate someone who failed their testing.
    Last edit by EmmaG on Dec 9, '07
  4. by   prmenrs
    Actually, it may have to do w/hemoccults and urine dipstick. We had a guy who knew he had a problem, and he would just bring his hemocults and dipsticks to another nurse, they'd read it and document it. No big deal.

    My current job, we don't have to do hemocults near as much, and they get sent to the lab anyway. (got to capture that revenue--lab charges, the nurse doesn't). Urine dipsticks go in a machine that reads the thing. No human eyeball involved.

    Try to talk to the nurse manager and see what the issue really is.

    Good luck, ok?
  5. by   llg
    Your question is really a legal matter, not a nursing one ... and we can't give legal advice. If I were in your position, I would consult a lawyer knowledgable about the ADA and find out where you stand legally.

    I have been a NICU nurse and I have a hearing impairment. I have also had friends in the NICU with a variety of "disabilities." I would think that your color blindness would require minimal accommodation and thus it would be reasonable for your employer to accommodate your special needs. But only a good lawyer can answer that question.
  6. by   NurseCard
    I agree that I would consider contacting a lawyer if you feel like you have been wronged. NICU jobs tend to be rather hard to come by, so it may not be a matter of "oh, just go somewhere else and try to get another NICU job". You know? This may well have been the chance of a lifetime that you had taken out from under you.

    I have to admit, my first instinct was to say that someone with good color vision is very necessary in a place like NICU. But, maybe your workplace SHOULD have legally been willing to make some accomadation for you, since color blindness is considered a disability.

    Good luck!
  7. by   acerila
    The pre employment exam that I had at the hospital health clinic was a joke. They told me I was losing hearing in one ear (it's always been fine) and that I have trouble seeing up close (never had that happen). I went and got my vision retested at a real eye doctor and it was totally fine.

    I wouldn't want to work for the kind of place you mentioned though. It doesn't sound like they treat their employees very good at all. It kind of almost sounds like they found someone else for the position and were trying to get rid of you since they wouldn't give you a chance to go to a doctor and get a second opinion.
  8. by   jackson145
    Can the ADA get the client the exact position they were denied, or simply employment? When my husband was a cop, he had a partner who had diabetes. When the administration found out, they wanted to let him go. For his type of work it was impossible to make the necessary accommodations. If you're working a bad wreck, you can't just stop for a scheduled meal or injection. It also affected his vision, somewhat. In the end, they couldn't fire him, but they didn't have to leave him "on the road". They parked him behind a desk and he eventually quit because that wasn't the job he liked doing. Of course, it probably wouldn't be as hard to accommodate for mild color blindness, right?
  9. by   Jokerhill
    In the NICU where I work we must pass this test yearly. And I hate to say it but it does matter and you base your continued intervention sometimes on the fact baby just doesn't look right, as well as watching IV's for blown veins, doing dip sticks, and hemoccult test. If one of the nurses comes to me and says their baby looks funny but i just cant figure it out I get to that bedside in a hurry, almost every time it has been a cardiac baby. The babies cant talk so you have to have great assessment skills and yes one of them is vision.
  10. by   GadgetRN71
    This may be a shot in the dark, but could the hospital be leery because of the whole thing that happened with Dennis Quaid's twins and other newborns(the overdose of heparin)? Those bottles are similar in appearance with only color and small print to distinguish them. Add the other factors such as assessment etc and they may be just too nervous right now to take any kind of chance. The OP is in LA which is where I think the whole heparin thing happened.

    At any rate, it stinks. I've never worked the NICU so I don't know really what the requirements are but in my area I've worked with nurses who were diabetic, had hearing loss, or had vision problems(one RN had one eye!) and they were able to accomodate. But if this comes down to patient safety, you may be out of luck, at least at that particular hospital.
  11. by   AtomicWoman
    I am really sorry for you. I'm sure this has you very stressed out!

    Having worked for lawyers for many years, I suspect the hospital is being extremely cautious in who it hires for NICU for legal liability reasons. If, for any reason, a baby you were caring for died or became even sicker, and the ability to discriminate between fine shades of color (of baby's skin, of dipstick, etc.) were even remotely an issue, a plaintiff's lawyer would be all over that. We are getting more and more litigious as a society, and hospitals are becoming more and more cautious as a result.

    I am so sorry this happened to you.
  12. by   Daytonite
    I understand your anger, but an employer has the right to establish rules about the people they hire. You have no case against them. It's a free country and they can deny to hire or hire anyone they want. They have to think of their patient's first. Can you honestly say you are doing the same?
  13. by   Diary/Dairy
    I am so sorry this happened to you, but I have to agree with the others.......It's the hospital's right. I just hope that you will be able to find something else that will make you happy too - Where God closes a door, he opens a window. :icon_hug:
  14. by   TazziRN
    [font=book antiqua]i have a disability that is covered under ada. the hospital would not be obligated to place you in the nicu if you truly had a disability, if they have to make accommodations for that disability. if you were already working there and developed a disability, same thing: they could not fire you because of it but they could move you to another department.
    [font=book antiqua]
    [font=book antiqua]that said, if you have any degree of color blindness, then i my humble opinion someplace like the nicu is not for you. you may be able to tell the difference between dusky and cyanotic, but what about the subtle color changes before baby turns dusky?

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