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A deaf lady wins lawsuit against a college

Disabilities   (2,615 Views 11 Comments)
by Lizzly Lizzly (New Member) New Member

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I read an interesting article about a deaf LPN nursing student who was dismissed from a nursing program at a community college because she was deaf. Supposedly, the college violated a rule of the disabilities act when they dismissed her from the LPN-RN program. She won her lawsuit against them. What do you think about a deaf nurses working in the medical field? Could her lack of hearing put a life in danger? If she can't do her job and puts someone's life in danger, the hospital will be sued by family members. Yes, people can't be discriminate against because of a disability but where should the line be drawn. I want your input on this.

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7 Likes; 1 Follower; 32,046 Visitors; 6,945 Posts

need a link

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

241 Likes; 5 Followers; 57,542 Visitors; 12,974 Posts

Can't comment on the case because I don't have the details. But certainly, deafness alone is not cause to say someone can't be a nurse. There might be some jobs in nursing that would not be a good fit ... but there are other jobs in nursing that would be quite possible. A deaf person should have the right to pursue those jobs. The ADA was passed to protect those rights from people who would discriminate against a whole class of people without considering the circumstances and the individual's abilities.

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1,719 Likes; 4 Followers; 17,022 Visitors; 2,527 Posts

Can't comment on the case because I don't have the details. But certainly, deafness alone is not cause to say someone can't be a nurse. There might be some jobs in nursing that would not be a good fit ... but there are other jobs in nursing that would be quite possible. A deaf person should have the right to pursue those jobs. The ADA was passed to protect those rights from people who would discriminate against a whole class of people without considering the circumstances and the individual's abilities.

I would agree with this if it's someone who is already a nurse but how could somebody who is deaf pass clinicals? How far should this be taken? It would require us to accept people who don't meet the minimum standards that everyone else has to meet.

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llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

241 Likes; 5 Followers; 57,542 Visitors; 12,974 Posts

Deaf people and blind people have graduated from medical school and become doctors. The same can be done for nurses. They are called "accommodations" and they can be made.

We are given a license to be nurses because of what we know and the judgments we are able to make -- not because of the acuteness of our hearing (or vision) or whether or not we can physically lift patients, etc. People with a wide variety of disabilities can do become nurses. There is no audio portion on the NCLEX and I have never seen such a requirement written into any Nurse Practice Act.

I recommend you explore the website "Exceptional Nurse" to learn more about nursing possibilities for people with disabilities.

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1,719 Likes; 4 Followers; 17,022 Visitors; 2,527 Posts

Deaf people and blind people have graduated from medical school and become doctors. The same can be done for nurses. They are called "accommodations" and they can be made.

We are given a license to be nurses because of what we know and the judgments we are able to make -- not because of the acuteness of our hearing (or vision) or whether or not we can physically lift patients, etc. People with a wide variety of disabilities can do become nurses. There is no audio portion on the NCLEX and I have never seen such a requirement written into any Nurse Practice Act.

I recommend you explore the website "Exceptional Nurse" to learn more about nursing possibilities for people with disabilities.

Oh for pity's sake I was just asking.

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I worded my paragraph in an awkward way so appreciate no one took offense to what I wrote here. In saying that, I admit that I have some problems myself. I've never beendiagnose with a disability; however, I have several disabilities,which are hearing lost in one ear and inability to write clearly whenforming a sentence. I tend to write words in the wrong order.Although I lost some of my hearing from earaches while growing up, Ican still hear well enough to hear the sounds through a stethoscope.This article is an inspiring story for people like me. She inspiresme to fight for what I want in life that is to attend nursing school.

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2,838 Visitors; 63 Posts

Sorry, the space bar got stuck and words got pushed together.

Edited by Lizzly
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Not_A_Hat_Person has 10 years experience as a RN.

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One of my nursing instructors in school (clinical and classroom) was deaf. She was a longtime L&D nurse who lost her hearing as an adult.

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The October 2016 issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics deals with the topic of Health Professionals with Disabilities.

One article written by a lawyer discusses lawsuits involving accommodations for health professions students.

Another article written by 2 PhD RNs discusses Just and Realistic Expectations for Persons with Disabilities Practicing Nursing.

You might want to look at this if you are interested in disabilities and health professions.

Table of Contents, October 2016 - AMA Journal of Ethics

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HouTx has 35 years experience and works as a Manager, eLearning & Clinical Development.

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There is a 'thing' in US employment law called Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ). These are characteristics that can be used as hiring criteria because they are absolutely necessary to do a job. For instance, if you are an interior designer, you need to have sufficient visual acuity to see what you're doing, select colors & patterns, etc.... so it would not be discrimination to refuse to consider blind people for the job.

There are some nursing jobs in which hearing is a BFOQ, but there are undoubtedly jobs in which it would not be. The actual job duties would need to be analyzed to determine BFOQs.

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