Is this prejudicial - page 4

Good morning! I am an RN working in a nursing home. I am scheduled for 32 hours a week on days. I am hearing impaired, and do very well with amplification. My employer now want to initiate a... Read More

  1. by   TazziRN
    Quote from earle58
    excuse my ignorance, but where is the harm in occassionally wearing hearing aids at noc?


    I am not being flippant, this is an honest suggestion: if you want to know what it feels like to lay down while wearing aids, try wearing iPod/cd player earpieces and lay down. It hurts. It doesn't matter if it's behind the ear or in the ear, it hurts.
  2. by   Tweety
    You're question was is it prejudice? You didn't ask for alternatives because you obviously aren't going to do on call at night and are willing to quit. I really don't think they mean to be prejudiced. You're a good nurse and an asset to them, and they probably don't realize your situation because they can't read your mind.

    You need to be up front. Tell them, you can't afford and are not willing to buy any equipment that would allow them to call you at night. You don't wear your hearing aids at night, you live alone (I think, you mentioned a husband being disturbed earlier), and can not hear the phone ring at night. You feel that it would be discriminatory because they knew about this prior to hiring you.

    You will not be doing all call at night: end of discussion.

    Be up front and talk to them. They might just say "oh, we didn't think of that. We're so sorry. You can be exempt from this requirement". Offer them a compromise. Offer to be oncall during the day on a weekend or something like that. Work with them. Don't expect them to know each and everything that's unique about your case without talking to them first.
  3. by   crackerjack
    In answer to the OP's original question, no, I do not believe this is prejudicial. I have a son with disabilities and have had to make innumerous accommodations for them and yes it gets expensive to say the least. It is a lot of work, it is wearying and that's just on *my* part, not to mention how challenging it is on his part. Unfortunately, that is the hand we were dealt and the family learns to accommodate and live with the disabilities. It is our way of life. I do this as a single mom to three children. Yes, I have expenses the 'normal' person does not have. We have to make purchases for things that other families can put towards family outtings, a new pair of shoes, t-ball for the tyke, new furniture, whatever. I have to make accommodations for him just to be able to function in public schools...and as I tell the kids, school is their "job". I have to make changes and flex for my job because of his disabilities. My employer is aware of the situation and is lenient where she can be but still I must bear the same weight as my coworkers because that is the job I was hired to do. Yes, the job requirements change and not always in ways that are easy to work into my family life and the challenges of raising a disabled child. I'm sorry if this sounds callous but we just deal with it and I'm afraid that's what you're going to have to do with your job. I know devices get expensive but in the long run you benefit much more than what accommodations it provides for your job. I do not believe the ADA will cover in this situation as you are not being singled out, the new requirements are being applied to all your coworkers as well. The fact that you self-disclosed to the employer during the hiring process doesn't change the fact that the business needs what it needs. It's a job to us, a business to our employers.

    If you are truly looking for ways to fulfill the new requirements of your job you will take some of the suggestions and research them to find the one that best suits your unique, individual needs and apply it to your life. If you just don't want to work nights then you're going to be job hunting. Good luck finding something where noc call isn't's just a fact of life in nursing I'm afraid.
  4. by   Tweety
    Quote from crackerjack
    If you are truly looking for ways to fulfill the new requirements of your job you will take some of the suggestions and research them to find the one that best suits your unique, individual needs and apply it to your life. If you just don't want to work nights then you're going to be job hunting. Good luck finding something where noc call isn't's just a fact of life in nursing I'm afraid.
    The OP is looking for ways of getting out of this requirement, not for suggestions on who to fulfill it.
  5. by   nursing 101
    You know what? Why should she have to do on night call? This is the problem right here... They can find staff to do just on call you know... Employers always want us to understand this and that is mandatory but they don't want to spend the dollars to hire extra personnel and guess what we just follow like a pack of herds... I'm sorry if she explained her situation from day one she should be exempt and further more I'm sick and tired of hearing mandatoring work in nursing. Businesses always try to get by...
    As someone suggested reiterate your situation and if they can't work with you I would look for another job. When will we learn as nurses to say no.
    And I do understand change in the work environment such as learning how to do things differently, such as if there is disaster to help out and my list can go on. But mandatory overtime or night call indefinately is ridiculous. The employer can either hire extra personnel or go agency...
  6. by   NurseRotten
    Quote from jprn05
    This is crazy. If I didn't have this problem call wouldn't be an issue. I am not looking for a way to get out of it. I can't believe some of the responses I have gotten. I appreciate the time taken to answer this, but I see that most nurses seem to have an issue with nurses with disabilities. Better to have a nursing shortage huh?
    First of all, we are trying to help you come up with a solution. Did you just want someone to agree with you that your situation would get your preferential treatment? The Americans with Disabilities Act was designed to put you on equal ground with everyone else, not to give you the special treatment. Based solely on your comments in this tread, it seems that you are looking for a crutch, not a solution.

    By the way, my brother is a T4 paraplegic and my paternal Grandfather and Grandmother both have profound congential hearing loss. I do not have an issue with nurses, or anyone for that matter, with disabilities. It saddens me that you have resorted to name-calling because people do not agree with you.
    Last edit by rn/writer on May 13, '07
  7. by   rn/writer
    I can see that nurses with disabilities only cause problems in the workplace in some of your opinions. Better to have a nursing shortage huh?
    It saddens me that you have resorted to name-calling because people do not agree with you.
    The first quote is not technically name-calling, but I see the point being made by the second poster.

    It isn't "nurses with disabilites" that some of us are reacting to. It's confusion over what it is you are wanting--both from your employer and from us.

    Have you spoken with your employer about the situation? Have you explained the unworkability of sleeping with your aids in? You may have mentioned some of this when you were initially hired, but I'll bet your manager was thinking in terms of how you could manage on the job. The fact that she hired you tells me she is interested in working to find solutions. I doubt that she has thought through how this new policy would affect you personally. If you haven't spoken with her, please do. Give her your perspective on how your life could be adversely affected by this new requirement. And give her a chance to brainstorm some solutions or alternatives.

    But before you do, please take a look at your own reaction. You sound angry and resentful that your employer would even consider asking this of you. How much of that is disability-related and how much is general indignation tied to making this request of ANY nurse on the floor. There is probably considerable overlap, but it's important that you sort this out in your thinking. For the record, I think most of us would be PO'd by the sudden introduction of mandatory call for rotating shifts. This is NOT a good solution for staffing shortages.

    Other posters have tried to offer ideas and been met with negativity. That leads me to wonder if this is less about your disability and more about the overall unfairness of putting all of you nurses in this kind of bind. Nurses with child care problems, nurses with other committments, nurses with health care appointments and regimens--this new wrinkle has the potential to put many of you in a bind.

    And to make you feel trapped and helpless.

    If that's what's really behind your dissatisfaction, then none of the disability-connected solutions that have been offered will help. Because the disability isn't the issue. The mandatory on-call for rotating shifts is.

    If you discover that you are reacting more to the unfairness of the general situation than just your specific aspect of it, you'd be better off connecting with your co-workers and presenting a united front. Each of you could state how it would affect you personally (this is where your disability-related concerns would enter in) and insist that the powers that be find another way to handle staffing shortages.

    In focusing only on your needs as a hearing-impaired nurse, you stand a chance of creating further isolation and missing an opportunity to connect with your co-workers on an issue that affects ALL of you. If my employer decided to institute such a change, you'd better bet we'd band together and say, "No way."

    None of this is meant as criticism. It's an invitiation to look beyond the obvious difficulties the new regime would place on you because of your disability and see that the entire request is insane. Don't miss out on the chance to address that.

    I wish you well.
  8. by   Tweety
    bump - mods were discussing this thread and it was temporary closed. Please continue. I especially would like to hear back from the original poster in response to what Miranda says above.
  9. by   rn/writer
    jprn05, I'd really like to see your thoughts on whether or not this might be more of a nurse vs. employer issue than strictly a disability question. I believe you have a legitimate gripe with the request itself rather than only with the way it affects you. Every single nurse in the place should be hopping mad over this ridiculous expectation. Your hearing impairment is just the flavor it takes in your world. Other nurses will be just as stretched and hassled but in different ways.

    The hearing-impairment questions look more dramatic on the surface, but they should NOT sideline or distract from the overall dilemma of your employer pulling the rug out from everyone.

    This whole thing is an exercise in insanity. Think about it. Mandatory--you can't say no, or at least that's what they want you to think. Rotating--always changing, never mind that bodies HATE it when you tinker with their biorhythms on short notice. On-call--uncertainty, another biological irritant. Maybe you'll have to go in. Maybe you won't. Can't plan anything. Can't really relax.

    This could be a really great opportunity for you and your co-workers to team up and decide what to do about the situation collectively.

    Again, nothing I have said is meant as a criticism. I am so riled up on your behalf (and that of your coworkers) that I'd like to sit management down and 'splain a few things to them.

    If they think they're short-staffed now, I wonder what would happen if the whole flock of you said, "See ya," and just walked out the door together.
  10. by   NurseRotten
    i read about a internet chat session that you might find interesting. maybe the speaker could give you more valuable insight.

    guest chat
    nurses working with disabilities
    may 16th, 8-10 pm et

    nursing with a disability is a challenge, but with proper planning, the right knowledge, and perseverance, it is not impossible. on wednesday, may 16, donna maheady, arnp, edd, founder of and author of leave no nurse behind: nurses working with disabilities, will be on hand to offer inspiration and practical advice. join her from 8 pm to 10 pm et at
  11. by   jprn05
    Hi All,
    Sorry I didn't forget to answer. My co-workers and I have decided to present as a united front against mandatory call. We have no problem covering for each other, but to force us to take call during the night is too much. If they want a 24 hour nursing staff they should hire one. My co-workers all agreed that for all of us to take call whether we have different situations or not is not what we signed up for. I guess the issue is getting properly staffed in the first place. We all understand that job descriptions change, but it seems staff nurses must always pickup the slack. Miranda, I guess you hit the nail on the head. By the way Happy Mother's Day to all.
  12. by   rn/writer
    jprn05, thanks so much for the good news. You are now tackling the real issue AND you're joining forces with your co-workers. No matter what happens, these developments are steps in the right direction.

    I hope management has the good sense to listen to what you are all telling them. Sometimes I think administrative types push to see just how far they can go and only when they meet determined resistance do they consider other options.

    I'm so glad to hear that you are all working together on this. You might not belong to a formal union, but sometimes an informal one can get the job done just as effectively.

    Please, let us know what happens. I'm excited for you.