Should I tell my nursing school about my disorder? - page 3

Hi, I am currently in nursing school with two semesters left (not counting the one I am currently in). I have been diagnosed with Narcolepsy about 4 years ago (before I even started nursing school). I have noticed that due to... Read More

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    I think you should find out whether you are required to disclose this information or if it is just a personal choice. Because if it is personal preference, then I would keep it to yourself. Once your teachers know you will always carry that label and possibly their doubt that you are a capable student or will be a capable nurse, despite how well you've done in school.
    I have some serious health problems and am TPN dependent. Because I am frequently in the hospital and I carry a backpack with my TPN in it most of the time, I had to tell my professors what was up. And I KNOW they doubt me (several have asked why I'm bothering to go through nursing school if I won't be able to work as a nurse, which isn't true at all). But their doubt in my abilities is obvious and it is hurtful, despite the fact that I have had very good grades and have always done well in clinical. Anyway, if you have the choice not to tell, I wouldn't stigmatize myself if I were you. But like I said in the beginning, I think you need to find out whether you are required to disclose this info.
    Good luck to you!!!
    Faith213 and MaritesaRN like this.

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    Quote from Harmony4All
    Hi, I am currently in nursing school with two semesters left (not counting the one I am currently in). I have been diagnosed with Narcolepsy about 4 years ago (before I even started nursing school). I have noticed that due to my disorder, I have been late to clinicals a couple of times (because it is so early and I have such a difficult time waking up). I set my alarm 2 hours before I even have to leave. Yes, I have medication to perk me back up when I am feeling really sleepy. This disorder is also covered by the ADA (American Disabilities Act). The other day, during the post-conference at clinical, I was resting my head against the headrest of the chair, still listening and rocking the chair back and forth, but closing my eyes because I was way sleepy. I noticed the clinical instructor making a point to watch me rest my eyes. I noticed it when I would open them up every couple of seconds. I wasn't falling asleep, but had a strong desire to just shut my eyes. So, after that, I am wondering if I should let my school know that I have this disorder. At first, I was worried that they may inhibit me from doing certain things, but since I have been at their school for almost 2 years, they would be able to look back at my track record and see that I've been doing extremely well, including my grades. So, should I tell my school about my disorder?

    Thank you all!


    All advices meant well from the above. I'm a bit surprised of some detected harshness from some of our fellow nurses. What is wrong w/ you people????
    I think you need to talk again to you neurologist regarding your medication and treatment and a letter from your Doc to the Dean of nursing. If you are on a manageable level of this diagnosis, then you should be able to finish school and practice nursing in a non clinical environ. ( there are so many opportunities for nurses in a non clinical environ and minus the stress of understaffing) .
    There are a lot of people working , including nurses who have an anxiety d/o , or a manic depressive or schizoid w/c makes them functioning people, if they are maintained in meds and therapy. You could have OSA in relation to your symptoms , but that is a physician issue ---- but this people (OSA) can and have managed their daytime sleepiness. You might need a CPAP so you can sleep uninterrupted or well enough to minimize the daytime sleepiness.
    It appears to me that you have worked w/ this already. This is a form of disability and I frankly do not believe that a school can turn you down for training or finishing the program just because you have narcolepsy. Obviously you have managed it and your grades are good, the school can not touch you. Just for preparation you might contact the disability people's rights ----- I guarantee you that training can not be refused, as long as you are doing the school requirements in grades and attendance ! I take my hat off for you for doing what you are doing considering ???? but do tell school , but not until neuro MD and some guidance from the disability group ---- just in case......okay ?
    I have to admire you for your accomplishment considering of your diagnosis. Lots of power to you !!!
    dbscandy likes this.
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    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    You should find out if you can practice as a nurse with this disorder. It is about patient safety. How did this not get attention during your entrance physical?

    There is now an entrance physical requirement for nursing school?????
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    Quote from armyicurn
    There is now an entrance physical requirement for nursing school?????
    My school also requires a drug test. I know other schools that require a background test....
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    Quote from armyicurn
    There is now an entrance physical requirement for nursing school?????
    Yup. Simple really. Want to see that you get your immunizations and that you can lift and move and use proper body mechanic; just like when I got hired for my first nursing job. If you have some medical issue that prevents you from lifting patients for example, then you could be denied. I think they only required to be able to lift and carry 20 lbs.
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    We only needed vaccinations, no physical exam or drug test.
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    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    Yup. Simple really. Want to see that you get your immunizations and that you can lift and move and use proper body mechanic; just like when I got hired for my first nursing job. If you have some medical issue that prevents you from lifting patients for example, then you could be denied. I think they only required to be able to lift and carry 20 lbs.

    So what happens if a student gets a stroke and ends up with a mild disability? I swear, nursing sure its their young even before they get their training. I can understand the immunizations but for me to show the school that I can bend over or pick up 20-50 lbs is beyond the words that I can't say in here or I would be banned. My physical exam for getting into the military was not even that nutz!
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    Quote from ruaalien2
    My school also requires a drug test. I know other schools that require a background test....

    This one can be eliminated by telling the applicant that if they have a record, go study some other field. I know of one case where a student graduated and when the application was denied by the state board, this student was upsept at the school for not advising them that if they had a record, to study something else.
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    OP: I would speak to someone in your school's disability office. They have to have someone who is in charge of arranging accommodations for students with a disability (ADA requirement). The disability office staff are not allowed to share what your disability is, they can only share what your accommodations are.

    In my opinion, not disclosing opens you up to being considered lazy. Which isn't unfair, if you're looking at the behaviors and don't know the medical reason why, it looks like laziness.
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    I am sorry to hear about your condition. But I think it's important for you to ask yourself if this condition of yours will compromise patient's safety?

    Because I personally think, the bigger issue here is not about accommodating to your situation. You can keep it to yourself as long as it don't affect you while you're administering medications and causing errors while on duty because you're sleepy in daytime. You need to be focus & alert at all times.


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