Had a seizure during clinicals and kicked out of school

Dear Nurse Beth Advice Column - The following letter submitted anonymously in search for answers. Join the conversation! Nurses Nurse Beth Nursing Q/A

Career Columnist / Author

Nurse Beth, MSN

157 Articles; 3,316 Posts

Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear Kicked Out,

Your health is first and foremost. Uncontrolled seizures can pose a risk of injury to you. Work with your healthcare provider to manage your condition and discuss treatment options. You may need to work with a neurologist or another specialist to ensure your seizures are controlled.

I'm not an admissions officer, but I can provide some general information that might help you explore your options. 

  •  In some cases, you may have the option to appeal the school's decision or reapply for admission after a period of time. This will depend on the school's policies and the nature of your medical condition.
  • If your former school does not allow re-admission, explore other nursing programs. Different schools may have varying admission criteria, and some may be more accommodating if you demonstrate that your medical condition is under control.
  • Be prepared to provide documentation from your healthcare provider demonstrating that your condition is effectively managed and that you can safely participate in clinical rotations and patient care.
  • If you have a diagnosed medical condition, you may be eligible for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if you're in the United States. This could include reasonable adjustments to help you succeed in nursing school. You may need to work with the disability services office at the school to access these accommodations.
  • In some cases, it may be advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in education law or disability rights to help navigate re-admission or accommodation issues. However, in nursing, public safety trumps all.

It's essential to take your health and safety into consideration when pursuing a career in nursing and having a medical condition that might affect your ability to practice safely. It's vital to ensure that your condition is well-managed and that you plan to address any potential issues that may arise during clinicals or in a nursing role. Discussing your situation with the school, and healthcare professionals can help you determine the best course of action for your specific circumstances.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Specializes in ER, Rehab, TCU, Medsurg.

A month before I started my second year of nursing school, I had a concussion and two weeks later suffered a tonic-clonic seizure (grand mal).  I saw a neurologist and was put on phenytoin.  A few months later, he switched me to trileptal because the phenytoin slowed my brain down so much I found it hard to study and focus. I had failed my second  big exam. I did notify my instructors of the seizure and was allowed to continue through the program.  I did have a written letter from my doctor stating I was under his care and had no restrictions.

BTW, that was in 2004 and I worked in a hospital environment for 16 years.   I did have a few more seizures at home but they stopped.  My neurologist took me off my meds and I've been seizure free for 10+ years.

So, I would think that if you stay under the care of the same neurologist and get a letter that your seizures are controlled through medication, the school would let you continue.

Also, in your appeal, state your commitment to following your docs orders which may include taking your meds, getting labs to ensure the medication is within the therapeutic level and seeing your doctor annually or more often if recommended.  

Also, not all nurses do hands- on patient care.  

I went to school with a student who had cerebral palsy who walked with a severe limp and did have a little trouble doing patient care, but she passed.  She knew her limitations and was planning to work in a desk job.  

Good luck!

Tenebrae, BSN, RN

1,911 Posts

Specializes in Mental Health, Gerontology, Palliative.

IMO getting back into nursing school will be difficult until you can show the thing thaty caused the orginal seizure is under control. 

Imagine you are in the process of inserting a catheter or other invasive procedure and you get dropped by another seizure. There is risk for harm to you and harm to the patient. 

 

Hoosier_RN, MSN

3,931 Posts

Specializes in Dialysis.
Tenebrae said:

Imagine you are in the process of inserting a catheter or other invasive procedure and you get dropped by another seizure. There is risk for harm to you and harm to the patient. 

This exactly! I work in a dialysis clinic. We currently have a tech that is in nursing school. She was having "cardiac events" for the last year, but continuously found reasons not to use a Holter monitor. Odd, I'd want to know what's going on.

The other day, she was in a corner area with a patient using a permacath. She had a seizure, pulling the catheter out! No one saw, until the patient began screaming that she was bleeding and tech was on the floor. They got the patient to the hospital. The tech came around, and while refusing care, had another seizure, ending up at hospital anyway. Of course her school now knows, as some students in her class were at clinicals and saw her there. She's saying her precarious school situation is our clinic's fault-what the actual ****?-and patients in our clinic are saying they don't want her anywhere near them for safety reasons. Other staff don't want to be responsible for her and for any patient that she may harm, as like any healthcare setting, we all have plenty on our plates. Our clinic manager says oh, but she has clearance from her cardiologist and neurologist. That's all well and fine, but if staff and patients aren't comfortable with the situation, I'm not sure of the answer 

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB.

She may have been cleared by two physicians, but now they need to be contacted by the school with this new information. It would also be possible that the school requests an eval by other physicians of like specialties. She will have to provide them with the written eval from the clinical placement of the event and a release for medical records from the hospitalization, with a specific request to have a reevaluation for fitness for patient safety in light of the events. If the physicians approve, the school MIGHT consider readmitting her after X waiting period.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X