Nursing School Situation, Does this Sound Right?

  1. HI, I'm a pre-nursing student. Recently a friend (also pre-nursing), told me that one of the fellow nursing students she knows was just accepted into clinicals, after a year and a half of waiting. The accepted girl was, no doubt, excited about being accepted, until she went to her doctor for the required physical. The doctor determined that this soon to be nursing student has some type of back problem, which, in his opinion, prevents her from lifting more that 50 pounds. When the nursing school found out about this, they told the girl that they could no longer accept her into clinicals. What I'm asking is I realize that they'd have to make some allowances for her in the clinical setting, but surely she can still be a nurse in neonatal, management, or any other type of position where she would not have lifting as one of her responsibilities. Does the school's actions sound ligit to ya'll?

    P.S., this is especially of interest to me as I know my father has some sort of back problem which he was born with. I would hate to find out I had the same problem and be barred from clinicals.
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  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   Jessy_RN
    Oh my that is so terrible. I personally don't think they took the proper action, but that is just me of course.

    Anyhow, I wonder if she should have got a second or third opinion? Besides, I am sure she sould still be a nurse with her disability.

    Bless her


    About you, why don't you go get a physical now.......instead of waiting til you are done with pre-req's?

    Good luck
  4. by   august_snow
    my school was the same way. they were so strict when it came to getting into the program. not only with the physical but with having children at home, a job, anything outside of the program.

    if that had been my school, i am sure they would of done the same thing. they would of not even thought ahead to the person's career-all they would of thought of was the fact that they were not physically fit enough to get through the program. with my school, those thoughts would of for sure been along with thoughts of liability if they got hurt and retention rates if they had to leave.

    that is sad for her. i agree with the above poster-maybe they should get a second opinion. i truly hope it all works out for them!
  5. by   Stephanie in FL
    That sounds like discrimination to me. I think this woman should contact an attorney. Anyone with a disability is protected under the Americans with Disability Act.

    Stephanie RN
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from august_snow
    my school was the same way. they were so strict when it came to getting into the program. not only with the physical but with having children at home, a job, anything outside of the program.

    if that had been my school, i am sure they would of done the same thing. they would of not even thought ahead to the person's career-all they would of thought of was the fact that they were not physically fit enough to get through the program. with my school, those thoughts would of for sure been along with thoughts of liability if they got hurt and retention rates if they had to leave.

    that is sad for her. i agree with the above poster-maybe they should get a second opinion. i truly hope it all works out for them!
    this is exactly the terms my school worked under. you had to be able to physically complete the program. one woman showed up the first day with a walking cast - she had fallen off her back porch and broken something (i can't remember what it was). she was called out of class and told she would have to wait until she was physically able to finish school. she was dropped from the program and had to reapply. another student took her place.

    steph
  7. by   nurse4theplanet
    here is the situation that I dealt with when I was getting my physical for NS...

    Hubby & I were both due to be deployed together, and during our pre-deployment train up somebody we were being jacked around...not being able to get family leave time on the same weekends, when everybody else was being able to go home & see their spouses...he was either in the feild or I was...horrible situation and my hubby finally raised enough h*** that they let us decide which one of us would stay home (not get deployed at all).

    I wanted to go due to the fact that we were newlywed's (had dated six yrs and got deployed a month after our wedding) and that my job was a lot SAFER than his. I just couldn't picture sitting at home watching the news and worrying about him. I would rather be busy and he had a better support group at home than I did. Well, hubby wasn't going to have it that way and thus, I was shipped home the next day with tears streaming down my face.

    I returned to NOTHING. Keep in mind that we thought we would be spending two years together during deployment so we got rid of our apt lease, sold most of our furniture, and sold his car...i had NO job to come home to, no money, nothing. It was quite upsetting.

    After returning home, I swear I did not get out of bed for two weeks to eat or take a shower or anything, unless it was to answer an occassional phone call from hubby. I was deeply depressed.

    My saving grace was the letter from my nursing program that said I had been accepted and included a list of things that I needed to complete (including the physical) within the next two weeks before school started.
    So I began busting my hump to find a MD that would accept the military's tricare ins. (we live NO WHERE near a base in our civilian life---we are national guard)

    I finally find an NP and I schedule my appt. She does the physical and starts asking me about mental health. I am completely honest with her b/c besides dh she is the only person who had asked how I was doing since I had been back...like I said I have NO support group. So I am expecting words of comfort and understanding, especially since she is in the medical feild and is not SUPPOSED to be judgemental.

    This woman completely flies off the handle. Let me just say that I was depressed but by no means was I SUICIDAL...and I know the difference...It is a big difference! She told me that I have NO business wanting to be a nurse, tells me that I need to check myself into a mental hospital, and asks for my permission to call someone to come and pick me up! This came out of nowhere. She totally blindsided to me and was staring at me like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead.

    So she says she is going to be right back...30 minutes later she comes walking in the room with MY FATHER who is going to take me immediately to a mental health facility to force me to check in! I was livid! I lost my religion on that woman and left without saying a word to my father, who I was staying with at the time and he should know better...I don't know WHAT she told him and I never asked!

    Needless to say, I paid out of my pocket to find another Provider who not only gave me a clean bill of health on my physical, but wrote me a script for Effexor, Wellbutrin, Amitryptilan(sp?) for sleeping, gave me his home number (he was a military doc and had gone thru sev. deployments...as did his wife as she was left at home to take care of the kids), and recommended me to a fantastic therapist.

    I made an A my first semester (I was the only one out of 60 who pulled it off), I have a high B this semester going into our final, I have been perfectly fine mentally/emotionally since i started school, and dh is due home next week!

    Had I listened to this lady I would be very regretful right now! Your friend should have gotten a second oppinion. And they must make exceptions for students with disabilities. I would definitely contact a lawyer.
  8. by   truern
    She wouldn't be allowed to enter my program either

    I'm not sure how that's illegal, though, if it's stated up front and it's part of the requirements for clinical. Heck, we *do* have to be able to lift patients, and even with help it's probably 50 pounds we're lifting.

    Yeah, she could specialize in peds or NICU, but first she'd have to get thru clinicals with all the big people.
  9. by   hbncns35
    In reply to the military wife with transient depression -

    I have been in nursing school 3.5 years along with my buddy bipolar disorder and I have a 3.5 gpa. Many people do not seem to realize that people with mental disabilities can and do control their emotions and exacerbations of illness. We are exceptional human beings who are talented in moving in and out of moods and what not. We do not respond to criticism and know our opinions matter more than most. We have very large egos because we have to deal with the rest of society who continues to berate us and superiorize over us claiming that we really don't know what we are doing. Well guess what? We know more about our patients than most because we have suffered with the best of them and can identify stages of illness because we were once there ourselves. Our courage is irreplaceable and we bring a new dimension to nursing. We know what we are capable of and do not let our illnesses limit our vision of dedication and responsibility. We are leaders in our field because we know persistence and perserverance. We've seen dark days but know how to find the sunlight. By no means are we crazy, incompetent or violent. We understand fear because we have squashed it and risen above it. We are integrative, advanced and emotionally intelligent. We know our weaknesses contain seeds of strength and understand the hysterics of others who have runaway emotions when they think of working with the mentally ill. Our disabilities do not define us rather we make our own definitions and succeed where others dare not to go. Never be ashamed to bring light into the darkness - HB
  10. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from truesn
    She wouldn't be allowed to enter my program either

    I'm not sure how that's illegal, though, if it's stated up front and it's part of the requirements for clinical. Heck, we *do* have to be able to lift patients, and even with help it's probably 50 pounds we're lifting.

    Yeah, she could specialize in peds or NICU, but first she'd have to get thru clinicals with all the big people.
    that is why they make mechanical lifts, hire pt attendents for transfer, etc.

    There are several laws about student disabilities and what a school can/can't turn a student down for...I am certainly no law guru.

    But if a legally blind, deaf in one ear, dyslexic student with ADD can be admitted to our program, then I dont see why someone with a back problem could not. (true story...she ended up failing even with all the extra help)

    They may require her to sign some type of waiver...let's say she tried to state that she messed up her back during school or something due to clinical instructor error/facility error...seems to me they would take on a sort of work at your own risk type stance other than a flat no.

    We have tons of nurses that have had back surgery, work with back braces on, etc. That is why the new equipment has been developed...to prevent the problem and allow those with the problem to be able to care for their pts.
  11. by   FNimuaeMae
    That whole thing sounds like BS to me. I've had scoliosis since I was 11 years old, enough so that one side of my back is physically higher than the other if you were to feel them like on a surface.... double curvature and all, and I've never had a lifting restriction in my life. I've put 150 lb end stage MS patients to bed by my self without a mechanical lift (In the past, yeah, not so smart, but don't do that anymore) I'd definately seek a 2nd opinion. Ridiculous.

    Missy
  12. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from hbncns35
    In reply to the military wife with transient depression -

    I have been in nursing school 3.5 years along with my buddy bipolar disorder and I have a 3.5 gpa. Many people do not seem to realize that people with mental disabilities can and do control their emotions and exacerbations of illness. We are exceptional human beings who are talented in moving in and out of moods and what not. We do not respond to criticism and know our opinions matter more than most. We have very large egos because we have to deal with the rest of society who continues to berate us and superiorize over us claiming that we really don't know what we are doing. Well guess what? We know more about our patients than most because we have suffered with the best of them and can identify stages of illness because we were once there ourselves. Our courage is irreplaceable and we bring a new dimension to nursing. We know what we are capable of and do not let our illnesses limit our vision of dedication and responsibility. We are leaders in our field because we know persistence and perserverance. We've seen dark days but know how to find the sunlight. By no means are we crazy, incompetent or violent. We understand fear because we have squashed it and risen above it. We are integrative, advanced and emotionally intelligent. We know our weaknesses contain seeds of strength and understand the hysterics of others who have runaway emotions when they think of working with the mentally ill. Our disabilities do not define us rather we make our own definitions and succeed where others dare not to go. Never be ashamed to bring light into the darkness - HB
    what a brilliant post! I am in awe. Thank you for this....and i TOTALLY agree with you.
  13. by   smk1
    what if you have no idea you have some underlying issue and it comes up in the physical like diabetes or HTN or are anemic etc... will the schools take away your spot for that?
  14. by   ChristineN
    It's my understanding that this is how was in this situation--the student had no idea she had a back problem.

    Quote from SMK1
    what if you have no idea you have some underlying issue and it comes up in the physical like diabetes or HTN or are anemic etc... will the schools take away your spot for that?

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