Learning Disabled Students - page 3

I'm in nursing school and recently found out that 2 students in my class are "Learning Disabled", meaning, they are allowed extra time to complete the tests, they receive extra help from instructors,... Read More

  1. by   Sheri257
    Quote from dmarie (GA)
    This particular student also has serious trouble grasping basic drug calculations. She comes to me for help all the time. I'm always very nice and help her as much as I can, but I really, really, really worry about it. I don't care what setting she ends up working in ---- drug calculations are important!
    I see your point here. Even if someone is learning disabled, they still have to function.

    As I previously mentioned, all of the LD students in my class and others still have to pass the math tests without calculators. And the math tests only get tougher each semester and you have to pass those tests without calculators also. There are students, LD or otherwise, who have failed out of the program just because of the math tests alone.

    If this person really isn't functional and can't do basic calculations then, the school isn't doing them any favors. I also think it was inappropriate for the instructor to assign the student to you. That's really the instructor's job.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 7, '06
  2. by   Multicollinearity
    I do know that there is one LD that requires the use of calculators. I think it is called dyscalculia? I don't know more about it though.
  3. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from Jabramac
    This is why it is called a learning disability. Our traditional school systems have been around for so long, and it is not always the best way for all people to learn. Being able to fit into the college system has nothing to do with whether or not you will make a good nurse. Taking extra time to test in college does not mean a person will need extra time to think about what to do in a code situation. After the "learning process" of college many people with LD are great at finding ways to make accomadations for themselves at work, and in life. I totally agree that there needs to be some checks to make sure these LD nurses will be safe nurse, just like with all nurses. But getting extra time on a test, or having a book on tape is not a clear judgement of that.
    The thing is, there is a difference between the MD making a compensation and the TEACHER making a compensation.

    Dyslexia is a learning disability, however, it is a learning disability that can be overcome with therapy and acquiring additional skills to where you will be eventually indistinguishable from other students.

    However, if you have anything that requires extra time, or you can't process thoughts quickly....the law may require schools to make reasonable accomodations for you, but the vast majority of healthcare professions are EXEMPT from making accomodations, depending on the setting.

    In a hospital, or a doctor's office, an emergency can occur with any patient at any time. However, if you worked, let's say for an insurance company and worked mostly by phone, I would support a company having to make FURTHER accomodations than a hospital, because you are not responsible for direct care of a patient.
  4. by   mercyteapot
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    The thing is, there is a difference between the MD making a compensation and the TEACHER making a compensation.

    Dyslexia is a learning disability, however, it is a learning disability that can be overcome with therapy and acquiring additional skills to where you will be eventually indistinguishable from other students.

    However, if you have anything that requires extra time, or you can't process thoughts quickly....the law may require schools to make reasonable accomodations for you, but the vast majority of healthcare professions are EXEMPT from making accomodations, depending on the setting.

    In a hospital, or a doctor's office, an emergency can occur with any patient at any time. However, if you worked, let's say for an insurance company and worked mostly by phone, I would support a company having to make FURTHER accomodations than a hospital, because you are not responsible for direct care of a patient.
    Actually, all employers are required to make reasonable accommodations. However, depending on the requirements of the job, what is reasonable will vary considerably. Obviously what is reasonable in an office won't fly within a hospital. Basically, the person has to be able to perform the essential functions of the job. Med calculations are an essential job function, so an employer wouldn't be required to make an accommodation for that, because to do so would be a modification, not an accommodation.
  5. by   Multicollinearity
    I guess my take-home message for this thread is: unless you have a PhD in clinical psychology and you have done qualititative and quantitative testing on the student with the LD, you really don't know what the student can or cannot do. Everything else is irresponsible speculation. If the student cannot perform the job of a nurse - then he or she will fail out. Students do fail out of nursing school for many reasons. Also, as the previous thread I linked here shows, there are many nurses will learning disabilities who function well in the hospital setting. I don't need to understand how they do it (compensate) to know that those with more education and knowledge of such disabilities say they can do the job - and they do it!

    I also think that there is a misconception that because a student requires more exam time that he or she might freeze in a clinical emergency - as if to say "stop, I need 1.5 more seconds to act!" Those with learning disabilities will tell you it doesn't work that way. The academic setting of written recall with newly aquired material is entirely different than the actual real work world. This is what the experts say. This is what students with LD's say. They know more than I do about it - so I won't pontificate on the internet about who should be a nurse or not despite what real experts say.
  6. by   slou!
    Wow, I have a learning disability and I am shocked at peoples attitude's of those with learning disabilities!
    Especially because the term "learning disability" is SO broad. There are so many different kinds of learning disabilities.
    I have dyslexia. I have gotten extra time on tests. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but it takes me longer to process words and I have trouble reading. If the test was orally, then I would be fine. I agree with the person who said you either know the material or you don't. I don't think the extra 10-15 minutes I get would really make a difference if I didn't know the material. If I know the material it comes to me. I don't spend the extra time trying to remember the material, I do that before the test when I'm studying. I spend the extra 10-15 minutes because it takes me longer to read!
    I am not a nurse or a nursing student (I am a pre-nursing student), but I know that I have no problems with critical thinking. It's not that it takes longer for me to THINK, but it takes longer for me to READ. Yes I know there is reading involved with nursing, but I have been challenging this my whole life and I will continue to do so. I maintained A's and B's in high school, and after 1 semester in college so far, all A's. It is challenging but I am so determined to do this and not be defined by a learning disability.
    I have struggled with this for ever, and people's attitudes never seem to change. I have been told I was a "slacker and perhaps I should flip burgers if I do not want to read or write"
  7. by   Sheri257
    Quote from mercyteapot
    Actually, all employers are required to make reasonable accommodations. However, depending on the requirements of the job, what is reasonable will vary considerably. Obviously what is reasonable in an office won't fly within a hospital. Basically, the person has to be able to perform the essential functions of the job. Med calculations are an essential job function, so an employer wouldn't be required to make an accommodation for that, because to do so would be a modification, not an accommodation.
    This is exactly what we were taught about the Americans with Disabilities Act during the legal module of our program. You do still have to be able perform the essential functions of the job. If you're blind, for example, and can't do the job because of that then, no employer is obligated to hire you or provide accomodations.

    And, those accomodations have to be reasonable. If, for example, a hearing impaired nurse wants the hospital to buy specialized auditory enhanced stethoscopes, the government doesn't expect a rural hospital to do that as much as a big city hospital that has more financial resources ... because those accomodations aren't necessarily reasonable for a rural hospital with limited resources.

    :typing
  8. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from slou!
    Wow, I have a learning disability and I am shocked at peoples attitude's of those with learning disabilities!
    Especially because the term "learning disability" is SO broad. There are so many different kinds of learning disabilities.
    I have dyslexia. I have gotten extra time on tests. I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but it takes me longer to process words and I have trouble reading. If the test was orally, then I would be fine. I agree with the person who said you either know the material or you don't. I don't think the extra 10-15 minutes I get would really make a difference if I didn't know the material. If I know the material it comes to me. I don't spend the extra time trying to remember the material, I do that before the test when I'm studying. I spend the extra 10-15 minutes because it takes me longer to read!
    I am not a nurse or a nursing student (I am a pre-nursing student), but I know that I have no problems with critical thinking. It's not that it takes longer for me to THINK, but it takes longer for me to READ. Yes I know there is reading involved with nursing, but I have been challenging this my whole life and I will continue to do so. I maintained A's and B's in high school, and after 1 semester in college so far, all A's. It is challenging but I am so determined to do this and not be defined by a learning disability.
    I have struggled with this for ever, and people's attitudes never seem to change. I have been told I was a "slacker and perhaps I should flip burgers if I do not want to read or write"
    Now, that is where I would readily defend anyone with a learning disability....they are not slackers and it would greatly anger me to hear someone describe them as such.

    However, let me present you with a scenerio.

    In an emergency setting, products may have to be grabbed quickly. I have read many, many times where those WITHOUT learning disabilities have miscalculated meds, took the wrong med that was the wrong dosage or something completely different, but the name was very similar.

    If someone has dyslexia and it takes longer for them to read, in a life or death emergency, where it is hard enough to do not slip and make a mistake...how would you feel if you made a grave medication error because your learning disability caused you to misread a medication or give the wrong dosage? Is the patient supposed to understand the disaiblity regardless of the damage it caused? Is the BON supposed to say, "Oh well, we can't suspend her license due to a med error because she has dyslexia, and she is doing the best she can?"

    Would you agree that the PROBABILITY of someone with dyslexia is greater for a med or order error than someone who doesn't?

    I'm not saying that people with dyslexia shouldn't be allowed to be nurses, I am just using it as an example of how in the healthcare field, sometimes making accomodations isn't enough to protect the patient.
  9. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    If someone has dyslexia and it takes longer for them to read, in a life or death emergency, where it is hard enough to do not slip and make a mistake...how would you feel if you made a grave medication error because your learning disability caused you to misread a medication or give the wrong dosage? Is the patient supposed to understand the disaiblity regardless of the damage it caused? Is the BON supposed to say, "Oh well, we can't suspend her license due to a med error because she has dyslexia, and she is doing the best she can?"

    Would you agree that the PROBABILITY of someone with dyslexia is greater for a med or order error than someone who doesn't?
    I just asked my best friend about this scenerio. She has dyslexia, and she works in hospice. She said that she would take about 3 seconds to block off the name of the drug with her finger, in chunks, to double check the drug name and dose. She said she does this sort of thing all the time and nobody knows she is dyslexic. I asked her if a patient could die in those three seconds. She said "well...new grads are slow...we don't keep them on orientation until they are as fast as a veteran nurse." Then she snorted that she walks really fast so maybe those seconds could be made up. These variables are just too hard to quantify in reality. Some nurses without any kind of LD are just slower than others, some think more slowly, etc.

    Obviously it depends upon the severity of the dyslexia. I bet that there are some cases of dyslexia that are so severe that the person couldn't work in any field requiring reading, let alone critical care. But that's not the average dyslexic. Shades of gray.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Dec 7, '06
  10. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    Would you agree that the PROBABILITY of someone with dyslexia is greater for a med or order error than someone who doesn't?
    Actually, no I would not agree. If the nurse understands his or her LD and understands which strategies she needs to do, double checking for example, or something called chunking...then no. Thing is, nurses without LD's may not double check as much because they have no reason to. LD nurses (and employees in any field for that matter) tend to want to never make mistakes and do something that could be blamed on the LD. They tend to be extra careful -. especially knowing the attitudes evidenced in this very thread.

    On the other hand, if a nurse has an undiagnosed LD, or one that she or he ignores and doesn't understand or compensate properly for...yes dangerous.
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    Hey, they still have to pass the boards. If they can, mazel tov. Otherwise, ain't my business.
  12. by   Study
    Same in my class, the person has extra time for everything. But while were in class the person talk's and ask's irrelevant question's. This tick's me, because it's like the person is spreading their L.D. through everyone because noone can learn. Does this person pass their test's? I personally know (he/she) does not, is (he/she) being passed onto other classes they should not be? yes, why? I have no idea, and I am right there with you when you say that you would not want someone like this taking care of you in the field. What is there that you can do about it? I have no idea, and I have tryed alot of thing's.
  13. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from multicollinarity
    I just asked my best friend about this scenerio. She has dyslexia, and she works in hospice. She said that she would take about 3 seconds to block off the name of the drug with her finger, in chunks, to double check the drug name and dose. She said she does this sort of thing all the time and nobody knows she is dyslexic. I asked her if a patient could die in those three seconds. She said "well...new grads are slow...we don't keep them on orientation until they are as fast as a veteran nurse." Then she snorted that she walks really fast so maybe those seconds could be made up. These variables are just too hard to quantify in reality. Some nurses without any kind of LD are just slower than others, some think more slowly, etc.

    Obviously it depends upon the severity of the dyslexia. I bet that there are some cases of dyslexia that are so severe that the person couldn't work in any field requiring reading, let alone critical care. But that's not the average dyslexic. Shades of gray.
    I completely agree with you that the severeity of a disability would be hard to assess. I'm sure there is a way to do it, but I'm not an expert nor have studied methods to do so in any class.

    I guess what I'm saying, and I believe that if those that have a LD say that they can function the same when they are working....then on the same token...why do they need special accomodations in school?

    I don't want anyone to misread this post at all. I am not against anyone with a LD having a career and even worked under a professor when I received my undergrad that was very creative in helping a severely sight impaired student take her tests, etc. Thank god for computers, is all I can say.

    I am merely showing that I can see why some nursing students would be upset at those that are receiving additional time, etc.

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