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- by nicuintern Aug 30, '07In order to understand my dilemma, I'm going to explain my disability. I was a sophomore nursing student. Last September, I came down with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which was basically respiratory failure. I spent 149 days in the hospital...many of which most people did not think I would make it through. Then I came home to spend 5 months in therapy trying to cut down on oxygen and increase my endurance and strength. I am now back at nursing school trying it again, but I still do not know if I will be physically able to do nursing. I get out of breath walking across campus (which is not very big) because I have 55% lung function and pulmonary hypertension. My biggest question is if you guys think I would be able to get through the clinicals. Another thing is that with being poked and prodded for so long, I am really apprehensive about poking anybody with a needle. It is so hard to decide and think things through because my family and friends are so supportive that they tell me I can do anything, but I want to be realistic and not waste time and money. Please let me know your thoughts!!!
- Aug 30, '07 by VivaLasViejasIt depends on how badly you want this.
Nurses with all kinds of disabilities are employed everywhere. I'm an asthmatic with a bad knee and back; a nurse I went to school with was a type I diabetic on an insulin pump; and I know nurses who are deaf, partially blind, missing a limb, recovering from addiction, suffering from multiple sclerosis......you name it.
While I wouldn't recommend a physically stressful job like Med/Surg or orthopedics to someone with your health issues, I'd hate to see you give up on nursing if it's your dream. You may need some accomodations made for you while you're in school; if so, ask for them. Don't allow anyone else to dictate to you what you can and cannot handle; it's your body, and only you know how you feel.
Frankly, I think nurses with health problems are some of the best, as we can empathize with our patients........after all, we know what pain and suffering are.
I wish you the best.
- Aug 30, '07 by walk6milesYou have the right to use a scooter or wheelchair, etc. to help you move around campus.
You have the right to pursue your nursing degree....there are many ways to do nursing while sitting...
If this is your dream, GO FOR IT!!!!
We will all support you!!
- Sep 2, '07 by herecomestroubleThere are resources out there for nurses and nursing students with disabilities,two that I have found very helpful and understanding are exceptionalnurse.com and NOND.org.You are covered by the ADA and the school is legally responsible for providing the accomodations you need.
As mjlrn said we nurses who have been there ourselves can be more empathetic to what our pt's are going through.It is an advantage,but one I wouldn't wish on anybody else.
I had a trach for 6 months was vent dependant for 4 of them,and still have breathing problems,cough and SOB,sats in the low 90's is now my norm,it stinks but what can you do?Follow your dream,and let us know how things work out.
- Sep 3, '07 by 70sCatDefinitely get the accomodations you need for school, etc., Heather. If you do decide to finish school, know that there are many things you can do as a nurse without having to be a floor nurse. Whether you stay with nursing or not, either way it's your choice. Only you can decide what's best for you and what you will be able to handle. Either way, best of luck to ya.
- Sep 3, '07 by sharona97Hi Heather,
I agree with all of this advise. I went to the dept in my school that handles disabled students. I could even take tests in his office if needed. I rev'd a parking pass close to the school doors. ( i know you walk the campus). I too have the worry will I be able to make it endurance wise and if I do what will I be able to do. I beleive when a door shuts another opens. Good Luck.
Hang in there,
- Sep 4, '07 by nicuinternThank you everyone for all the advice! I am sticking with nursing. I met with a career counselor today and she directed me to the disabilities coordinator so I will have special accomodations for clinicals. Thanks for all the support!