The "Differently Abled" Nurse Speaks - page 2

I have long despised the word "disability". While it's certainly an improvement over the frightful "handicapped", it still smacks of patronization, as in "Oh, we can't expect too much from Mary,... Read More

  1. by   amygarside
    You article is both inspirational and an eye opener. Thank you so much for this and I hope that I can share them with other nurses too.
  2. by   LearningByMistakes
    No offense intended, but lets say you get it changed to "differently abled", at what point does that "name" become the same as handicapped or disability, and then that "word" NOW becomes a "problem"?

    I'm sorry, but someone who has a disability or handicap, has EXACTLY that. Changing a "word", does not change the situation.
    Last edit by LearningByMistakes on Nov 5, '12
  3. by   kcmylorn
    I think some have missed the point of Viva's post; but Me being the "crabby old" nurse that I am, and have seen too much of what she is posting about, and am not surprised.

    I have worked with many a nurse who were overweight, older than I, and lived in domestic violence situations. One nurse I vividly recall got a call one night from our Nursing supervisor and to go home. Hours later, the supervisor came up and explained to us that her boyfriend had shaken and killed their 3 month old daughter while she was at work and that is why she had to leave.I Never saw that nurse again.

    I vividly recall being an agency nurse sitting in the lobby with another agency nurse waiting for the supervisor to come down and give us our assignements. That nurse and her children were in a displaced situation from an abusive spouse.
    I have a obese daughter, I was shopping with her in a trendy teen clothing store that all the teen girls like to shop in, she was not in the size range of any of the clothing in the store. I was at another rack and saw the 2 sales girls laughing and making comments to each other about my daughter, My daughter heard them and I saw the tears rolling down her face- do you have any idea how heartbreaking that was. She said nothing to them but quietly walked out of the store. My daughter is a college graduate- a BA in foreign language, graduate with a 3.5 GPA, speaks 3 foreign languages, other than our own english language, (1 Asian and 2 European languanges) and is teaching in an Asian country. She is still obese. Believe me- her obesity is not by choice.

    This "stuff" Viva' is posting about is not funny nor are the " differently able" people going to go away and disappear into the woodwork so the more perfect in society don't have to look at them! Ridicule and the intimidation tatics of our current hiring trends and adverstising are not going to improve anything either. I just did a paper on obesity, did alot of readings from the WHO and the Institue of Medicine for a BSN completion class, It's funny but I missed those 2 tactics in their recommendations for solving this public health epidemic. Or perhaps it's the BSN program I am attending that has forgot to teach them. How many of those on this thread that critized Viva's post strut BSN after thier name?. It is disturbing that people who call themselves"NURSE" would behave in such a way and hold these prejudice attitudes.

    VIVA- Your post is very eloquently put. and appreciated. Long over due. Good job and Thank You!!
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    I appreciate your post as well Viva but have a few qualms with "nurses eat their young". Many other long threads here that address that so I won't go on.

    Society is unfortunately at times cruel - we can work on that. Changing the name was a good hook to get us to read your thoughts but I think it is awkward phrasing sort of like "murse" for male nurse and will not catch on.

    Isn't it funny that your phrasing was characterized as politically correct?

    We definitely need co-workers who have our back and that includes management. I've worked with nurses who would not tolerate gossip and I've worked with nurses who love it. One of the worst was a "murse".
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from Spidey's mom
    Isn't it funny that your phrasing was characterized as politically correct?
    I know....... dear God, the irony! LOL
  6. by   morte
    Quote from llg

    My challenges in the workplace are often compounded by people who don't "see" my handicaps and therefore, don't automatically make adjustments for them. That is often the case for people with hearing losses. We need people to speak up, speak clearly, face us when they talk, take their hands away from their mouths, etc. and struggle when people forget to do those things. I have even considered wearing a button that says "Please face me, I read lips," just to remind my co-workers of my handicap even though the button's message would be an exaggerated

    Yes, people with wheel chairs need ramps. People with learning disabilities need special educational accommodations. etc. etc. etc. These things are a lot easier to deal with when we acknowledge them openly without shame and acknowledge that they effect our work. Only then can the proper accommodations be made so that the individuals strengths can be fully utilized. Personally, it feels condescending to me when people without handicaps use awkward phrases like "differently abled" that sound artificial and overly "politically correct."

    I don't think the words are the real problem. The fact that people feel shame or "less than" because of the words is the problem -- and changing the words won't actually fix that. If the underlying issues are not solved, the new politically correct terms will evoke the same negative emotions. Having been a member of the hearing loss community for many years, and been friends with many people in the process of losing their hearing abilities ... I have found that a great weight is often lifted from our shoulders when we let go of that shame -- and proudly announce to the world that we are deaf and/or hard of hearing. Yes, I have a handicap. Yes, I have a disability -- AND THAT'S OK.
    lol, I have been known to reach over and push their hands away from their faces! Even with my hearing aids, it is better to see as well as hear, since no mech. substitute is perfect. Also, what nonhearing impaired persons need to understand is that hearing aids amplify sound, so those loud noises that "get" you are even worse for us.! LLG, sending you a message....
  7. by   dirtyhippiegirl
    I keep wanting to reply to this post but don't know how to put my feelings into words.

    As someone with a very, very long history of mental illness -- I only want to be considered normal. Not differently abled or green or whatever. I think some people who have struggled for a while and then finally received an answer in the form of a diagnosis -- have a slightly less...critical? outlook. At least with mental illness, I do think that there's a point where you just have to get over the novelty of "hey, my issues have a name!" and just move on.
  8. by   Rhi007
    Was good to read, I'm hopefully starting nursing in 2013 and have always had neuro deficits, not severe and brain surgery fixed most of them but its good to know others out there think similar to myself on this issue