Is this prejudicial

  1. Good morning!
    I am an RN working in a nursing home. I am scheduled for 32 hours a week on days. I am hearing impaired, and do very well with amplification. My employer now want to initiate a mandatory call for rotating shifts. I don't mind day or evening, but I cannot do nights. I live alone, and cannot sleep with my hearing aids. My employer was informed of my hearing loss at the time I was hired which was three and a half years ago. I have always received excellent reviews and have a wonderful rapport with my patients and their families. I am worried that I can be fired because I cannot do night call, all my coworkers have to do it. Can I get fired for this?
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  2. 50 Comments

  3. by   bigsyis
    I believe that you would be well covered by the ADA.
  4. by   SuesquatchRN
    Why can't you do night call? I'm sure hearing people sleep through the phone, too.

    Talk to your DON and see what you can work out. I think you might be reacting before there's an issue.

  5. by   jprn05
    I chose this job because I was told there would be no call. I hear nothing without my aids, and night call is mandatory when I spoke to my manager. It is a guarantee that I will not hear the phone. My ENT wrote a letter stating that fact and that wearing the aids to bed could cause them to break, or cause injury to me. I am not in a position to buy all kinds special aids, such as blinking lights, vibration devices, or a hearing dog to alert me to the phone while I am sleeping. If that is required, then I think it is time to move on.
  6. by   TazziRN
    I don't think the ADA will help you with this. ADA makes sure that the disabled are not discriminated against, but they have to be able to do the job they were hired for, even if with modifications. I don't think you should be let go over this, I think they should be able to come up with something.
  7. by   walk6miles
    Perhaps the employer would be willing to help you with the cost of a device to alert you to the phone.
    How much are we talking here?
    I would recommend if you don't have the financial means for a device that you contact www.Modestneeds.com - I belong to this worthwhile group; they help you with one-time financial needs - send me a pm - if there is any problem.....dont give up a job you are good at and love.
    Last edit by sirI on May 11, '07 : Reason: Please protect yourself from spammers - do not place email address in public view
  8. by   NurseRotten
    The ADA requires employers to make "reasonable accommodations." Almost every cellular phone/pager on the market has a vibration option. Could you use a cell phone or pager for night-call situations? Many cellular phone companies give phones away, and you can prepay for minutes so that you do not have a monthly commitment. Ask your employer if the company would supply a pager for your call nights given your situation.

    If you just DO NOT want to take call at night, look for another job.

    Another solution might be to switch the call schedule with someone who does not mind night-call. Some nurse prefer to take call at night or need to be free certain evenings because of school, family situations, kiddos schedules, etc.

    Try to provide some solutions when you approach your manager.
  9. by   clee1
    Go to www.maxiaids.com

    They have a bed-shaker/flashing light system for your phone for less than $50
  10. by   pegbord
    I think "reasonable accommodations" includes the expense of vibrating phone as employer expense. Also, if this means you could lose your job, go to DVR (voc rehab) through DSHS, their goal is to find/prepare for/maintain employment for those with disabilities. If you are bilaterally deaf, I think you would qualify to be at the top of their list. They will assist with cost of various devices deemed necessary in order for you to fulfil expections necessary to keep your job. BTW, did you know that the ADA was established by the deaf community? Just a point of interest.
  11. by   shuuu1968
    Uhm, is it just me? You have cell phones with vibrate, why can't you just sleep with that in a pocket or something?
  12. by   mauxtav8r
    As walk6 said, I believe the ADA states that the employer must make accomodation for you (i.e. they should pay for the devices needed for you to adequately do the job). I worked many years ago with two persons in your situation. One of them was quite knowledgeable (ADA was new then). If they hired you as a qualified candidate, they are responsible for properly equipping you. The lady I worked with was under 4.5' tall and needed various stepup devices to manage.
  13. by   rn/writer
    Quote from shuuu1968
    Uhm, is it just me? You have cell phones with vibrate, why can't you just sleep with that in a pocket or something?
    I wouldn't want to have to sleep with a cell phone in my pocket (when are you supposed to charge the durn thing?). And I wouldn't want to sleep in fear that I might miss a call if the minimal vibration of a cell phone didn't wake me. That kind of pressure doesn't allow you to wake rested.

    If the issue is that you have to pick up an occasional night shift, maybe you could be given one where it is known ahead of time that someone would be needed and remove the suspense from the equation. You'd still be doing your part, but you wouldn't have the tension of being on call and wondering if you will hear the phone.
  14. by   RNOTODAY
    Is it a call list for people to come in mid shift for admissions or something, or is it for call ins? If its the latter, you probably wouldnt be called in the middle of the night *for* a night shift... know what I mean?

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