I have been reading posts on this board for a while and have appreciated all the great tips and information I have gleaned from it.
I have a problem that I was hoping someone who is a nurse already could help me with. I applied to nursing school with a bad ankle and have never walked as fast as everyone else. When I applied I didn't have many problems with it but nothing really severe; however right before I started school here on the west coast it got worse. The information I have read on here made me feel I could be a nurse even if I have a disability and gave me encouragement. However, in clinical yesterday there was a code and I didn't move as fast as the other nurses. I think I was only a few steps behind them but someone else might disagree. I am concerned I am going to be thrown out of the program. I have had other problems but this is the one problem my instructor is most concerned about. I have talked with another instructor and she also questioned how I could respond to a code fast enough. I think I may fail
the class because I didn't respond fast enough.
I have contacted my school's disability center and they were very discouraging. They said (the person I spoke with has taken a class on ADA) that they assumed that an essential function of being a nurse is to respond fast enough in an emergency. I know CNAs and LPNs who have mobility problems but the answer I was given is they don't have the responsibility a nurse has in giving meds or resuscitating a patient.
I have worked for 3 years to get into the program taking classes at night and am very excited to be taking the classes but wonder if it is all for naught. I would like to contact a lawyer who specializes in ADA law but I can't afford one and hate to have to drag one into it.
I realize there are many areas of nursing that don't involve high acuity patients/ICU but everyone says I will have to work med/surg the first few years to gain experience. I have given up my hope of working in the ED. I think people feel I might be a risk to my patients because of my response time so in that case the ADA wouldn't cover me.
Has anyone on here started working as a nurse/been a student with a physical impairment that limited their mobility? I know people can't give legal advice but I am just looking for other people's experiences. I have read inspiring articles about people who have back pain, are in wheel chairs, and are amputees with prosethetic arms.