Jump to content

Can't get a job because of my disability

Updated | Posted
Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Columnist) Educator Columnist Innovator Expert Nurse

Specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho. Has 30 years experience.

Hi Nurse Beth,
I am having trouble finding employment and it has been frustrating for me. I was a travel ER with experience in Oncology/MS/Tele with 5 years of experience and unfortunately in 2018 on a travel assignment in California my life changed with Transverse Myelitis that left me disabled and paraplegic.

Since then I moved to my parent in New York and went through rehab and now independent enough to continue on my new norm of living with the disease. Applying to work has been difficult with many employers not wanting to hire me with the excuse of lacking experience in case management etc. Recruiters contact me but when I inform them I am disabled never contact me back. I just need some advice on what to do since I don't know what else besides going back to school for Nurse Practitioner, afraid to face this roadblock of discrimination due to my disability again.

Dear Discrimination,

I'm sorry to hear about your transverse myelitis. Transverse myelitis is inflammation of the spinal cord, often in the thoracic area. It can cause loss of sensation and function distal to the inflammation or lesion. Glad to hear you've completed rehab and back to your new normal.

You do not have to disclose your disability unless you are asking for a reasonable accommodation. Employers are prohibited from asking about disabilities and forbidden against discriminating based on disabilities.

That said, it's hard to prove discrimination. But what you can do is control your disclosure. Even if you decide you need an accommodation after you are hired, it's OK to ask at that time.

Look for a job that is physically doable for you, and case management sounds like a good start. Some job require walking, and some can be done from home.

8 Work From Home Jobs

It will take perseverance because you have an employment gap and lack experience- but don't give up.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Start your job search today!