Jump to content

Americans With Disabilities Act

I am currently in my leadership rotation at the med surg unit at one of the hospitals in Chicago. Today an hour before my shift was over we got a new admission: a 90+ y.o male who was pretty much unable to see or hear anything. He wanted to call his friend to tell her he got into the hospital. He could not remember the telephone number and said he can only remember the numbers when he dials them. He was not able to see the numbers on the telephone though. We barely figured out the number together but when he called her he could not hear much (he said that his hearing aids do not work well). The gentlemen was almost crying and saying that he should have taken his special telephone with him from the nursing home because it has big numbers and he can hear well.

When I went to ask about the telephone for him, the staff did not know where I can get it and said they probably do not even have it at the hospital. I was just shocked. Isn't this against ADA? It's just a violation of the federal act. The RN whom I gave report to promised me she'll try to get him the telephone.

If you have a blind or deaf patient at your hospital where do you go to get all the necessary equipment? Whom should I contact just in case she did not get the telephone? I just hate to think that any of us could be in thi situation one day as the patients. It's unfair...

Think about it.....do public phones have large numbers? No. Teletypes are available but not in all places. Hospitals are required to gaurantee translators and communication devices so that the pt can communicate with health care providers, not with the world outside the hospital.

Once the phone number was figured out you could have placed the call for him, which is what we as nurses do often.

May I ask why you bolded so many sentences?

nrsang97, BSN, RN

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg.

Our hospital does provide phones for patients who are HOH with a amplifier. Any other case we will dial for someone who is unable. I have done this many times.

We had to call communications to get one. Next time you are there call the house supervisor and ask where you can get one if needed. They may know.

Think about it.....do public phones have large numbers? No. Teletypes are available but not in all places. Hospitals are required to gaurantee translators and communication devices so that the pt can communicate with health care providers, not with the world outside the hospital.

Once the phone number was figured out you could have placed the call for him, which is what we as nurses do often.

May I ask why you bolded so many sentences?

I did place the call for him. I also wrote the number we finally figured out with big black marker. I believe though that the pt has the right to communicate with the outside world too, not just with the health care providers. ADA prohibits discrimination against person with disabilities by removing barriers that might prevent the same opportunities to a person without disabilities. So to say, when you as a patient place a call yourself and talk to your family, the other patient should not be crying that he can't figure out the numbers because he can't see and he can't hear a thing. Why did I bold so many sentences? To highlight main points. Perhaps, because I was also using a marker to bold the telephone numbers for my patient so he can see them on the piece of paper and mark the call light and just bunch of things like... Do you yourself often take care of the patients with disabilities: blind, deaf? Just wondering...

We have a large button phone available on every unit for people with visual problems. For people with poorly functioning hearing aids, we just talk very loud.

Do you yourself often take care of the patients with disabilities: blind, deaf? Just wondering...

Yes, I do. I have a blind diabetic who lives with a caregiver, but his caregiver is out of town so we see him to manage his daily insulin injections. He cannot see to draw it up himself, but he can use the phone because he knows the pattern of how the numbers are laid out.

I have had deaf pts in the past. We communicated by the pts reading my lips and writing their answers for me, if they didn't speak. When I worked in the hospital and had blind pts, I placed the calls for them. If they were hard of hearing and the volume couldn't be turned up, I relayed the conversation while standing beside the pt.

I could be wrong, but I don't think the ADA requires that the exact same opportunities be available, just that the opportunities are there. In other words, I would be the opportunity for a deaf/blind pt to communicate with the world outside the hospital. If you know the ADA says otherwise, please post it so I can learn.

sirI, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

I don't think the ADA requires that the exact same opportunities be available, just that the opportunities are there.

Correct. There would be no way to address and/or provide all items, products, services for those who qualify under ADA. Only that it is addressed and provisions made.

Olli - I am also now disabiled, and covered under the ADA. I would ideally need special weighted silverware, and special weights around my hands for when I eat. Also a special cup for when I drink hot liquids - do you have those immediately available on your unit?

I would expect that at some time during my hospitalization, you might be able to comply with some of my needs, but maybe not all - and certainly not right after admit.

Maybe you should volunteer to be in charge of a commitee to procure special devices that a patient might need?:)

see if you can get an ot consult for your pt.

they would be the ones w/the assistive devices.

leslie

Yes, I do. I have a blind diabetic who lives with a caregiver, but his caregiver is out of town so we see him to manage his daily insulin injections. He cannot see to draw it up himself, but he can use the phone because he knows the pattern of how the numbers are laid out.

I have had deaf pts in the past. We communicated by the pts reading my lips and writing their answers for me, if they didn't speak. When I worked in the hospital and had blind pts, I placed the calls for them. If they were hard of hearing and the volume couldn't be turned up, I relayed the conversation while standing beside the pt.

I could be wrong, but I don't think the ADA requires that the exact same opportunities be available, just that the opportunities are there. In other words, I would be the opportunity for a deaf/blind pt to communicate with the world outside the hospital. If you know the ADA says otherwise, please post it so I can learn.

Here it is http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/hospcombr.htm The information about the telephones/TVs are under the third picture: " If telephones and televisions are provided in patient rooms, the hospital must provide patients who are deaf or hard of hearing comparable accessible equipment upon request, including TTY's, telephones that are hearing-aid compatible and have volume control, and televisions with closed captioning or decoders." I did bold only "must" this time :) I believe that if the patient asks you about the telephone with big numbers or voice amplifier and you said "oh, I don't know, we probably don't have those here" and do not provide it, it's against federal law. And it's kind of a BIG charge...

Olli - I am also now disabiled, and covered under the ADA. I would ideally need special weighted silverware, and special weights around my hands for when I eat. Also a special cup for when I drink hot liquids - do you have those immediately available on your unit?

I would expect that at some time during my hospitalization, you might be able to comply with some of my needs, but maybe not all - and certainly not right after admit.

Maybe you should volunteer to be in charge of a commitee to procure special devices that a patient might need?:)

I think I would just call the department of justice and do my best to get it for you. If you have those at home, perhaps I would try to see if someone can bring them for you... I'd ask a PCT to assist you with food if needed meanwhile.

I'd be more than happy to be in charge of such a committee... or anything that lets me to advocate the most for those who need it the most

Correct. There would be no way to address and/or provide all items, products, services for those who qualify under ADA. Only that it is addressed and provisions made.

I posted a link where the department of justice suggests few ways

I think I would just call the department of justice and do my best to get it for you. If you have those at home, perhaps I would try to see if someone can bring them for you... I'd ask a PCT to assist you with food if needed meanwhile.

I'd be more than happy to be in charge of such a committee... or anything that lets me to advocate the most for those who need it the most

Olli - that's very nice of you, but what you aren't getting is that unless I'm being admitted during some emergency, I should already have those things available and should bring them with me.

The hospital should have things available for the commenest set of disabilities, not for every problem ever thought of on earth! For crying out loud, girl, it's not their fault my hands shake, why should they be penalized for it?:stone

You are right on in asking someone if they could ask me if I needed help with my food.:up:

I think I would just call the department of justice and do my best to get it for you. If you have those at home, perhaps I would try to see if someone can bring them for you... I'd ask a PCT to assist you with food if needed meanwhile.

I'd be more than happy to be in charge of such a committee... or anything that lets me to advocate the most for those who need it the most

Does the DOJ now supply assistive equipment?

Does the DOJ now supply assistive equipment?

I wouldn't think so, but who knows?

The way you worded your paragraph suggested you did not have the special utensils with you, which implies on some sort of emergency that brought you to the hospital or suggest you forgot them.. in any case I did mention that I would ask your family to bring it. So I don't think you should be saying "what you are not getting..." In case with the gentlemen I had, he did not have any family to bring it. Anyway, I located everything. It's in communication department.

I think I would just call the department of justice and do my best to get it for you. If you have those at home, perhaps I would try to see if someone can bring them for you... I'd ask a PCT to assist you with food if needed meanwhile.

I'd be more than happy to be in charge of such a committee... or anything that lets me to advocate the most for those who need it the most

Olli-

You are going to be an awesome nurse. You are a true advocate for the patient. It is good to know that there are people who take disabilities and accommodations for them so seriously.

I wouldn't think so, but who knows?

It's not the DOJ's responsibility; it's the hospital's.

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/discrimdisab.html

Covered entities must:

  • Provide services and programs in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities.
  • Make reasonable modifications in their policies, practices, and procedures to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless it would result in a fundamental alteration in their program or activity.
  • Ensure that buildings are accessible.
  • Provide auxiliary aids to individuals with disabilities, at no additional cost, where necessary to ensure effective communication with individuals with hearing, vision, or speech impairments.

Here's my bet: Your hospital does have all the devices you mentioned, it's just that no one on the floors knows where they are kept. The admin types are always very anal about making sure they buy that kind of stuff, but when it comes to actually storing it, you know how seldom-used equipment gets shunted off to odd places.

I once worked in a hospital where there were exactly two TDY machines; unfortunately they were both in a cabinet in the ED med room. And I only knew about them because I used to stock it as a CNA.

Here's my bet: Your hospital does have all the devices you mentioned, it's just that no one on the floors knows where they are kept. The admin types are always very anal about making sure they buy that kind of stuff, but when it comes to actually storing it, you know how seldom-used equipment gets shunted off to odd places.

I once worked in a hospital where there were exactly two TDY machines; unfortunately they were both in a cabinet in the ED med room. And I only knew about them because I used to stock it as a CNA.

Exactly! I found everything I needed. I even discovered things I would never thought the hospital had. The problem is the lack of staffs' knowledge about where everything is located. It's a bit off the topic, but I found a bladder scanner at one of the units, so I can go there and borrow it when needed.

Here's my bet: Your hospital does have all the devices you mentioned, it's just that no one on the floors knows where they are kept. The admin types are always very anal about making sure they buy that kind of stuff, but when it comes to actually storing it, you know how seldom-used equipment gets shunted off to odd places.

I once worked in a hospital where there were exactly two TDY machines; unfortunately they were both in a cabinet in the ED med room. And I only knew about them because I used to stock it as a CNA.

Exactly! I found everything I needed. I even discovered things I would never thought the hospital had. The problem is the lack of staffs' knowledge about where everything is located. It's a bit off the topic, but I found a bladder scanner at one of the units, so I can go there and borrow it when needed.

Good for you, Olli!:yeah: But I still maintain that it shouldn't be the hospitals responsibility to maintain equipment for each and every rare condition that there is.

The gentleman that you spoke of - yes, I can see that, and with mine, well maybe some basic stuff, but I think it should still be my responsibility to bring any specilty things I need.

By the way, I don't think the Dept. of Justice deals with disibilties - I think they're a criminal branch of the government?:confused:

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.

OK