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Looking into medical and colorblind

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by truckinusa truckinusa (Member) Member

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I have the option of starting nursing school for ADN in the fall, waiting on a waiting list for a year and a half for LPN, or possibly Radiology School(not sure if I can still get in). Can I do any of these being colorblind? I have looked at job openings and found one that said they accommodate colorblind RNs. Most say you can't be colorblind. Is there something else in the medical field I might want to look into? I have no idea what I should be pursuing. I am reasonably intelligent, 35 year old male, that wants to earn $500 a week or greater at some sort of career in the medical field. I'm stating my income desire because I don't think I can make it on $10hr. I can suffer at lower wages for a time if necessary. Don't want it to be permanent though. My aunt is a RN and says just keep your mouth shut about being colorblind. Is this something I would need to ask school counselors about?

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2,139 Posts; 16,499 Profile Views

School counselors won't help you. I'd do what your aunt says and keep your mouth shut about it. So few employers will screen for color vision with those that do namely being aviation, marine navigation, law enforcement, and military. I'm red-green color blind, and I'm in law enforcement.

Once you get into the work place nobody is going to fire you if you ask is something purple or blue. I can't imagine anyone even asking nurses about it. Most people don't even understand color vision impairment or how it effects you.

Frankly, I've bounced into nursing school because I couldn't do the things I'd rather be doing which were military aviation and federal law enforcement. I ended up failing a color vision test for a local LE job but passed it on a second try (logic will get you through a lot in life), and I've been in that since. I moved up from there. I'm just tired of the same crap you deal with on a local level. I don't know what else to do so I'm in nursing school, plus I had the prereqs from a previous degree. I'm nicheless.

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umcRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

867 Posts; 21,685 Profile Views

I don't know what other places do but I know I've gotten a color blind test every year since I started at my place, don't know what their policy is though for people that are colorblind...I mean I wasn't asked when I interviewed...

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276 Posts; 9,683 Profile Views

School counselors won't help you. I'd do what your aunt says and keep your mouth shut about it. So few employers will screen for color vision with those that do namely being aviation, marine navigation, law enforcement, and military. I'm red-green color blind, and I'm in law enforcement.

Once you get into the work place nobody is going to fire you if you ask is something purple or blue. I can't imagine anyone even asking nurses about it. Most people don't even understand color vision impairment or how it effects you.

Frankly, I've bounced into nursing school because I couldn't do the things I'd rather be doing which were military aviation and federal law enforcement. I ended up failing a color vision test for a local LE job but passed it on a second try (logic will get you through a lot in life), and I've been in that since. I moved up from there. I'm just tired of the same crap you deal with on a local level. I don't know what else to do so I'm in nursing school, plus I had the prereqs from a previous degree. I'm nicheless.

You sound like my dad. He can stare at it long enough and figure it out. I'm so bad I don't see anything on the dots of red and green or the blues and purples.

I guess what I need to know is if the school will kick you out. Just looking at various job openings its a mixed bag as to whether they will take a color blind nurse.

Edited by truckinusa

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2,139 Posts; 16,499 Profile Views

You sound like my dad. He can stare at it long enough and figure it out. I'm so bad I don't see anything on the dots of red and green or the blues and purples.

I guess what I need to know is if the school will kick you out. Just looking at various job openings its a mixed bag as to whether they will take a color blind nurse.

Don't mention it to the school, and it'll never come up. Just play dumb. Lots of guys, with actual color vision problems or not, can't label a color. I mean what is fuschia anyway?

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190 Posts; 2,346 Profile Views

most men are colorblind to some degree. The only reason I know Im not is because I had to pass a test to work in a photography studio making color corrections for printing.

Most people dont even know if they are or arent so just keep your mouth shut I say.

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jelly221,RN has 3 years experience and specializes in Neurosciences, cardiac, critical care.

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I've never heard of a school checking for that. My job does though at my annual checkup- those numbers composed of colored dots inside a circle of different colored dots. You can probably figure it out though. I can't think of anything in actual nursing practice that would really require you to distinguish colors, except maybe assessing a wound....

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58 Posts; 2,452 Profile Views

There's a LOT of reasons you can't be colorblind for nursing! Sorry, but this just isn't safe for your potential future patients. Checking for infection, making sure your IV fluids or meds are the right color, checking for cyanosis, bruise staging in trauma (you could miss bruises in different stages of healing, a sign of physical abuse), identifying meds, judging color in urine/emesis/stool/etc, determining the result of a guiac test, determining the results of a urine dipstick, the list goes on and on.

You may be able to get away with it in Radiology, but nursing and possibly EMT is really not something you can do.

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jelly221,RN has 3 years experience and specializes in Neurosciences, cardiac, critical care.

306 Posts; 9,452 Profile Views

There's a LOT of reasons you can't be colorblind for nursing! Sorry, but this just isn't safe for your potential future patients. Checking for infection, making sure your IV fluids or meds are the right color, checking for cyanosis, bruise staging in trauma (you could miss bruises in different stages of healing, a sign of physical abuse), identifying meds, judging color in urine/emesis/stool/etc, determining the result of a guiac test, determining the results of a urine dipstick, the list goes on and on.

You may be able to get away with it in Radiology, but nursing and possibly EMT is really not something you can do.

Touche'. I thought about this when I was looking for blood in diarrhea today.

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276 Posts; 9,683 Profile Views

There's a LOT of reasons you can't be colorblind for nursing! Sorry, but this just isn't safe for your potential future patients. Checking for infection, making sure your IV fluids or meds are the right color, checking for cyanosis, bruise staging in trauma (you could miss bruises in different stages of healing, a sign of physical abuse), identifying meds, judging color in urine/emesis/stool/etc, determining the result of a guiac test, determining the results of a urine dipstick, the list goes on and on.

You may be able to get away with it in Radiology, but nursing and possibly EMT is really not something you can do.

I'm just looking for some good advice. I'm not trying to get away with anything. My basic question is: Is nursing a waste of time for someone like me? I certainly don't want to be blamed for harming someone because I didn't see something right.

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2,139 Posts; 16,499 Profile Views

There's a LOT of reasons you can't be colorblind for nursing! Sorry, but this just isn't safe for your potential future patients. Checking for infection, making sure your IV fluids or meds are the right color, checking for cyanosis, bruise staging in trauma (you could miss bruises in different stages of healing, a sign of physical abuse), identifying meds, judging color in urine/emesis/stool/etc, determining the result of a guiac test, determining the results of a urine dipstick, the list goes on and on.

You may be able to get away with it in Radiology, but nursing and possibly EMT is really not something you can do.

Eh, I worked as a paramedic so yeah that's doable, but I'll chance nursing just the same.

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