Nursing and epilepsy

  1. I have epilepsy, and am currently a student. I anticipate finishing my last clinical practice in 3 weeks, and then, if I pass, will be eligible for registration.

    I was wondering if any of you experienced nurses can tell me if you believe I will be at a disadvantage as far as employment and "how I am perceived", if I mention to the hiring hospital that I will not be able to do night shift. I can do AM and PM rotations, however due to epilepsy I require sleep or I am at a higher chance of having a seizure. That is the only risk factor.

    Any tips from experienced nurses? I am under the perception that they kind of "have to" accommodate me once hired, due to disability laws. But we all know the laws don't cover covert discrimination or simply "looking bad" which can occur!
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  2. Visit canned_bread profile page

    About canned_bread, RN

    Joined: Mar '12; Posts: 354; Likes: 139
    Registered Nurse; from AU
    Specialty: 11 year(s) of experience in Cath lab, acute, community

    4 Comments

  3. by   XB9S
    Hi there, I see your from Australia so bear in mind some employment laws will be different depending on where your replies are from.

    In the UK it would be illegal to not employ you on the basis of your disability and reasonable adjustments would have to be made, without discrimination.

    I have worked with colleagues who have seizures, and depending on the stability of their seizures will dictate the level of adjustment. It may be as simple as hours adjustment or it could be working as a lone worker would be difficult.

    It may be worth asking the question in the Australian forum for specific employment law advice. At interview we are made aware of a disability but unless it impacts on the interview location not the nature of the disability. If disability is indicated and the applicant meets essential criteria then interview is guaranteed.

    My colleagues are excellent nurses and their seizures have not impacted on their ability to do their jobs due to risk assessments and awareness of other staff of what to do.
  4. by   canned_bread
    Thank you very much for your reply.
  5. by   LovebugLPN
    I left my job as a LPN 3 years ago due to the increase of my seizures. I have spent the last 6 months looking for a job now that I have them under control. When asked why I have not worked in the last 2 1/2 years I told them I was dealing with an illness and took the time to get better but assured them I was better. When pushed further I confessed that I had epilepsy but that it would not get in the way of my job. They went from telling me they were desperate to hire people to not wanting to hire me. I have not had a successful interview since. All I am saying is good luck and I really hope everything works out for you.
  6. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from lovebuglpn
    i left my job as a lpn 3 years ago due to the increase of my seizures. i have spent the last 6 months looking for a job now that i have them under control. when asked why i have not worked in the last 2 1/2 years i told them i was dealing with an illness and took the time to get better but assured them i was better. when pushed further i confessed that i had epilepsy but that it would not get in the way of my job. they went from telling me they were desperate to hire people to not wanting to hire me. i have not had a successful interview since. all i am saying is good luck and i really hope everything works out for you.
    tell them you needed to take time off for a "family illness." it's not a lie; you just happen to be the family member with the illness. it's doubtful anyone interviewing you will press for further details if you word it that way.

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