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A one-armed nurse and ADA?

Disabilities   (6,024 Views 9 Comments)
by 42pines 42pines (Member) Nurse

4 Likes; 9,804 Visitors; 253 Posts

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In this instance is refusal to hire a violation of ADA?

  1. 1. In this instance is refusal to hire a violation of ADA?

    • Not hiring in this instance is a violation of ADA
      1
    • Not hiring in this instance is NOT a violation of ADA
      6

7 members have participated

Ok, I have two arms but back in February the tendon of my shoulder's supraspinatus muscle was torn completely off my humerus.

So they stitched the torn tendon back on and now I'm going on 8 weeks post-op. I'm an Occ Health RN and am at the point of getting back to being able to do all the essential functions of my job except one.

I can't and shouldn't do two handed CPR for probably 6 months.

Before this happened my last contract position ended in January, so I'm without a job to return to. I've been looking for part-time positions and find them. But then...."Oh, you have restrictions on your non-dominant arm, thanks but no thanks, you can't do CPR".

I have been an Occ Health Nurse for 7 years. I've worked in many places, some with 200 employees, some with 700. I've never once been called upon to perform CPR though I've always been ready.

There have always been many others around and often there is a first-response team which include first responders and sometimes EMT's. I guess I'm a bit miffed at being rejected (my qualifications for everything required by a Occ Heath RN are excellent) because the one thing that I can't do is two handed CPR. I cannot think of another thing that I could not do that I normally do as a function of my job.

In a way, in this litigious world I can understand a contract agency or company being hesitant. I can hear someone saying: "The person had a heart attack and was not revived, now if the nurse had done it she might have lived," is what I imagine. Well, it is an argument, though not a good one, as we all know that very few will revive even with excellent CPR. And I cannot imagine a time when another employee would not have jumped in and of course I can attach pads and operate the AED.

I feel it's discriminatory. Based on my experience of 7 years, even one-armed, I can do 100% of what has been required of my job duties 100% of the past seven years. Further, there are always others around, often trained at various levels, who could do the CPR if necessary and I am quite happy at coaching such a person/pair as I teach CPR.

So, I'm curious--what do you think. Is my being rejected for jobs for the singular reason that I cannot perform two handed CPR a valid reason or might this be abusive in the eyes of ADA.

Note: Yes, of course I would do one-handed CPR, my good arm is very strong, and transport EMT's (some of them) do one-handed CPR holding onto the truck with the other arm--but please let's ignore that discussion for this question.

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19,637 Visitors; 2,227 Posts

Not everything is covered under the ADA.

Have you researched what is covered?

It doesn't sound to me like it would be.

I would suggest contacting an attorney or someone in an official capacity that would actually know the answer.

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Esme12 works as a emergency ,critical care,cath lab,open heart,traum.

16 Likes; 3 Followers; 3 Articles; 145,704 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

We cannot give legal advice as per the TOS. However I can share my experience.

Being disabled I am VERY familiar with the ADA.......you really do not get as much protection as you think under the ADA......you still must have a "qualified" disability that is protected and a temporary injury might not qualify. You may ask for "reasonable accommodation" to perform that job with the accommodation....as long as that accommodation it does NOT cause undue hardship to the employer. For example....a bilateral amputee applying to an Iron worker position can be refused employment for even with accommodations they do not meet the job safety performance regulations.

You are probably being "discriminated" against because of your injury, but they might not be "breaking the law"...... as a company looking to hire you isn't just worried about the liability of you not being able to perform CPR...they are concerned that you will injure your healing injury and disable out blaming them. You are a high risk to them with limitations.....partially recovered.

Many extremely qualified nurses who are disable are unable to find work regardless of accommodations under the ADA....for they simply say they have found a better candidate. I have 35 years, with every certification under the sun, at the bedside in critical care and emergency medicine. I am in a wheelchair from an auto-immune muscle disease......I was denied every phone triage job even home based ones.....because I "had no experience" and they "found a better candidate".

Go figure........:sarcastic: Frustrating yes.....illegal ...probably not.

You can apply for temporary SSDI benefits in the meantime but I recommend you get a lawyer.....the know the evaluators, it's a flat fee out of your initial benefits, and they fill out the 100 page application (actually it's like 48 pages) application dotting the I's and T's.

I am sorry you are experiencing this and I wish you a speedy recovery!!!!

Edited by Esme12

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CrunchRN has 21 years experience and works as a Clinical Research Coordinator.

15 Likes; 1 Follower; 29,938 Visitors; 4,168 Posts

This is awful of me, but i would probably just say I am 100% and get the job and know that i have a back up plan to handle things if needed.

This is if i HAD to work and had no other option.

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4 Likes; 9,804 Visitors; 253 Posts

Thank you all, and certainly I'm not looking for legal advice, I was more curious than anything of what people's thoughts might be.

I could give a hoot whether or not I get this job, in a month or two I'll be recovered to the point the issue is moot.

I just found it interesting to think about.

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tyvin works as a RN Hospice Consierge Services.

17,521 Visitors; 1,620 Posts

I actually know a female RN who had only 1 arm. I met her during a med-surg clinical where she was working at a local hospital in med-surg. She could do everything and was the best at IVs. I don't know the story behind the arm but she had not problem with it.

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nurse2033 works as a RN, paramedic.

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Unless you are working alone at a wilderness clinic their argument makes no sense.

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Esme12 works as a emergency ,critical care,cath lab,open heart,traum.

16 Likes; 3 Followers; 3 Articles; 145,704 Visitors; 20,896 Posts

I actually know a female RN who had only 1 arm. I met her during a med-surg clinical where she was working at a local hospital in med-surg. She could do everything and was the best at IVs. I don't know the story behind the arm but she had not problem with it.

I worked with a nurse that was born with one arm...she was amazing.

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loriangel14 works as a hospital floor nurse..

6 Likes; 1 Follower; 35,829 Visitors; 6,922 Posts

I work with a nurse that lost her arm to a shark attack while on vacation. She is now back at work ina non bedside role. It doesn't seem to have slowed her down.

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