Congenital Arm Amputee - any one else out there?

Nurses Disabilities


Hello -

I am interested in heading back to school and going through an accelerated nursing program. I have already ran into a few people questioning whether or not I will have problems once I try to get a job.

I was born without the lower portion of my left arm, I have about three inches below my elbow. I can use my left arm and do quite a bit with it. However, could this be a problem and is there anyone else out there dealing with this?



14,633 Posts

Interesting you should ask that -- many years ago, when I was in nursing school, there was an RN who worked in the hospital who had the same situation you describe; no left hand or lower forearm, just a few inches below the elbow. I didn't know her well enough to ask her about it; I just saw her in passing frequently when I was doing clinicals. She was a v. successful RN on a busy med-surg unit, and managed to do everything the other RNs did (in her own way, of course).

Hope that info is helpful. Welcome to allnurses, and best wishes for your journey! :balloons:


166 Posts

I am currently an x-ray tech trying to get into nursing school. My left arm in congenitally shorter than my right and I only have 2 finger on that hand. I have worked the past 7 years in healthcare and I've never had any problems. I've learned to adapt to my surrounds & most of my co-workers say that I work so welll with my handicap that most of the time they forget that I have one.

I feel like I am just as qualified as a "normal" person to work in healthcare. I won't let it stop me & you shouldn't either.

psalm, RN

1,263 Posts

Specializes in Staff nurse.

You may have some restrictions, or have to have reasonable accomodations. I immediately thought of inserting IVs, urinary catheters, NGs; drawing up meds from tiny vials; injections one-handed (I'm sure it can be done). Have you talked to a school counselor from the nursing department? Let us know what you find out and what you decide.

Specializes in critical care: trauma/oncology/burns.

Hello All:

I worked with an RN who also had a congenital arm malformation: she was missing her right hand.

She was able to: insert IV's, foley's, draw up meds from any size vial, inject said meds (IM and IV)

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent"

Good Luck on your journey in nursing school!

athena (deaf/hoh RN)

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