lpn school disciminatory applications

  1. lpn school discriminatory applications!
    hi, f.y.i.
    if you are applying to lpn school that is part of a public school system (like a tech center ) ..did you know they can only have you take a physical to see if your physically capable. they can not ask you about your mental or physical health history.
    the americans with disabilities act title 2 forbids it - they are a "public "entity ...( i don't know about private schools)
    (for more specific info. go to -
    www.doer.state.mn.us/odeo-ada/adat2/ad-t2a02.htm )
    i'm applying at a school which is clearly in violation of this law & i reported it to the superintendant of the school system & he was shocked that the application had this question -

    "have you ever been treated for a mental, nervous , or major physical disorder ? if so attach explanation "

    he said he would look into it immediately , & that he didn't want to be in violation of the a.d.a. !
    hope this helps someone
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Ortho_RN
    Well I do know that it is a violation of the act.. But I completely understand why they are doing it..... Would you really want someone who is mentally unstable being a nurse and taking care of people.. No, you wouldn't.... Some physical problems would interfere with their ability to be a good nurse, and I guess that is what they are looking at....
  4. by   Katnip
    What do you mean by mentally unstable? If I had to fill in that application, I'd have to say I'd been treated successfully for depression in the past. That does not make me unstable or an unsafe practicioner.

    Yes, there are folks out there who are not competent to take care of patients and not only because of mental illnesses. Most will get weeded out during interviews or during school.
  5. by   colleen10
    Hi Dij,

    I just went to my doctor this morning to do the physical for my ASN program.

    My doctor kept most of the forms for the physical but I looked over everything last night and I did see one or two questions about "mental health/capability".

    I don't remember it exactly but I think there was one question that asked if the physician thought there were any physical ailments/reasons that the student could not perform and would not make them fit for the nursing program and then right below that there was a question similarly worded regarding mental capacity. It was something like "does the doctor believe that the student has any mental/emotional problems that would not allow the student to perform in the nursing program."

    I did not think of it in terms of "discrimination" because I don't have a history of major mental problems (although I see exactly where you are coming from) but I did think it was an odd question and amongst all of the "physical" assessments that are required, the mental health question stuck out like a sore thumb. When I first read it though, I thought to myself, who is my family doctor, whom I see once every two years or so, to say that I am not mentally fit to be a nurse? and was a little offended.

    Kudos to you for taking this to your superintendent. While I can understand the school wanting to know if a student has a history of serious mental illness I certainly hope they don't descriminate against every student who has ever been treated for or admitted to depression, addiction, etc.

    I think perhaps they should word the question better or list specific mental disabilities that would interfere with becoming a nurse.
    Last edit by colleen10 on Mar 19, '03
  6. by   Ortho_RN
    Originally posted by cyberkat
    What do you mean by mentally unstable? If I had to fill in that application, I'd have to say I'd been treated successfully for depression in the past. That does not make me unstable or an unsafe practicioner.

    Yes, there are folks out there who are not competent to take care of patients and not only because of mental illnesses. Most will get weeded out during interviews or during school.
    That isn't what I mean.. However some people are good at playing the games and can make their way through the process..

    I guess if being depressed makes you unstable then maybe they should know it... I don't think depression is like that... We had a lady who was BiPolar and one minute she was fine the next she went off cussing everyone out... THOSE are the kind of people I am talking about..
  7. by   RN1263
    hi,
    thanks for your comments so far. maybe i should be more specific w/ my health problem . i've had multiple sclerosis for 12 yrs. & am now doing fine & can do" nursing duties " but there was a time when do to my disease i was depressed.
    i think that all of it should be "my" business as long as i am capable of doing nursing duties now.
    i agree w/ the person who posted & said that if someone has a mental or physical problem to the point of not being able to perform, then they will be weeded out !
    i don't feel like i should be punished for having m.s. , just like you wouldn't want to be punished for having blue eyes
    thanks for listening
  8. by   Sleepyeyes
    Originally posted by nurs2b
    That isn't what I mean.. However some people are good at playing the games and can make their way through the process..

    I guess if being depressed makes you unstable then maybe they should know it... I don't think depression is like that... We had a lady who was BiPolar and one minute she was fine the next she went off cussing everyone out... THOSE are the kind of people I am talking about..
    I need to interject here that I went to school with a student who was bipolar, but it was very much under control and we didn't have any outbursts such as you describe. The student just talked a lot and had some difficulty keeping on track.

    I thought it might cause a problem with pts, but no!! they LOVED this student--and it taught me a good lesson about bipolar disorder too. The student is now a very successful nurse, passed Boards on the first try! :kiss
  9. by   Ortho_RN
    Well if this student had her situation under control then it wouldn't be a problem.. So I guess they just need to let everyone in and when they snap then they can force them out...
  10. by   RN1263
    nurs2b,
    i can tell your probably as healthy as a horse....& that's great for you but if the day ever comes when your not...then you'll be greatful for the laws like "americans w/ disabilities act"
  11. by   colleen10
    Hi Dij,

    I wanted to apologize for my first repsonse because (and this is due to my past history of depression) when I read your post I took it to mean you were on the track of "mental history" and not the "physical" one. I see your point and if I recall correctly my physical form didn't list anything about physical or mental history, just about whether the doctor thought if there were any physical or mental issues that they school needed to be aware of, which, by just asking the doctor is rather subjective, I think.

    I agree that if you have a condition or had a condition, either mental or physical, and it has been treated and/or managed successfully there is no need to descriminate against the person.

    It makes me wonder though, if school's have and/or do discriminate a little against some students based on the info. they get from the physical application.
  12. by   Katnip
    DJ I just want to let you know, I'm in my last semester of a BSN program and we, too have a student with MS. She's doing great and she really knows her stuff. She'll be a great nurse, and you can be too.

    As far as asking about disabilities, I do know employers can only state that a job requires specific physical abilities, like lifting or standing for hours at a time, and then they can ask the applicant if they feel they can handle it. They cannot ask about specific disabilities. I don't know that schools are supposed to either.

    Asking about general mental or physical illnesses that don't pertain to job performance opens a crack to find some way to discriminate.
  13. by   Ortho_RN
    Originally posted by dijmart
    nurs2b,
    i can tell your probably as healthy as a horse....& that's great for you but if the day ever comes when your not...then you'll be greatful for the laws like "americans w/ disabilities act"
    Nah.. I'm not healthy as a horse.. I have high BP, migraines and arthritis in my knee.. It doesn't keep me from doing what I need to do either.... I'm sure you will do great... We had a student in class who had lupus and she was one of the best in our class... As stated before I wasn't talking about them screening for physical probs, which I have seen them push someone out b/c they had seizures and called them a liability... Did I agree, no.. But they did let her back in b/c she sued them... So don't misunderstand me.. I am talking about these people who are fine one minute (mentally) and go all psycho/postal the next... So if you still don't understand my post, feel free to pm me ...

  14. by   CountrifiedRN
    Originally posted by dijmart

    i'm applying at a school which is clearly in violation of this law & i reported it to the superintendant of the school system & he was shocked that the application had this question -

    Good for you for taking action to correct the situation. Having dealt with the public school system regarding one of my children, I have experienced other violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Either (in my case) the school didn't think anyone would catch the violation because most people don't know their rights under the law, or they were just ignorant of the law themselves. Whatever the case, a well written letter stating that they are in violation of Federal Law usually brings fast results.

    Good luck to you in getting into the program. I agree that your capabilities at present should be what is taken into consideration for admission.

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