Published May 30, 2003
You are reading page 12 of Nurses with disabilities
im not new to this site, but i am a future nursing student, and i do have a disability, and i guess that its been in my way. I had a stroke when i was 4, and that left the right side of my body paralyzed. But now at the age of 22, i can walk ( w/ a slight limp) and my right hand stays closed. but i think that the reason i want to become a nurse is for the simple fact i want to help people the way that the doctors and nurses helped me. I have the determination to achieve, and by reading all of these posts im certain that i can do it. Thank you:nurse:
cool, what kind of nursing did you want to do?:icon_hug:
I think with the kind of determination you will do great. Like I had said in another post, there is a great website to help you find a direction in nurisng. There are so many areas of nursing to use your talents and the passion that you have for doing the job. Nurses are resourceful and have created so many areas where they can use their bodies and mind. www.exceptionalnurse.com can give you some ideas about where you might best fit in, depending on the level of your disability, but like me you probably don't consider yourself disabled. I can do almost anything anyone else can do and more than most. I am now working in the home that I love NICU and glad to be back after a 7 year absence in rehab. Keep at it, you will do fantastic and don't let anyone ever tell you NO!:cheers: santababy
well my goal is to become a pediatric nurse, but i think im going to start out as a cna and work my way up
Granuaile, ASN, RN
I have been reading some of the posts on this thread...it is comforting to know that I am not the only one who has struggled with discrimination based on my mental disabilities. I have never thought of myself as "disabled," just someone who has struggled with life-long clinical depression, anxiety, and in the past few years, I have learned (after getting treatment for my depression and anxiety) that I have ADHD, and that I have some learning deficits in the areas of processing reading, writing, and speech. It's been and continues to be a journey, and thankfully, I have had many supportive people along the way to help. I guess it wasn't until I was made to feel "less than" by a nursing instructor (see my posts in another thread...I can't remember which one, but maybe one can look up other posts by log-in name?) who I know discriminated against me. Without the facts, I don't expect anyone to take that statement at face value, but I know what happened and have enough validation from competent sources to be able to say that assertively. Since I have learned more about my mental "quirks," it has made some events of my past make alot more sense to me. I am also 10+ years in recovery from anorexia and bulimia, a disease I struggled with for 10 years, age 14 - 23 (I am 34 now). I realize now that probably my depression, anxiety, and ADHD contributed to developing an eating disorder...I remember the only time I felt I could focus was when I was binge-ing, and purging every night was the only way I knew how to bring closure to my day (ADHD and closure don't go hand in hand, IMHO). For example, I am in the middle of a tangent and have no idea how to bring this to a close! lol Anyways, I am heartbroken that there is so much intolerance of people with disabilities, and feel like a fool for not really realizing this until I was faced with my own experience of being discriminated against (I'm sure it wasn't the first time, but in the past, I didn't have the self esteem or boundaries to recognize if I was being wronged).
As nurses and potential nurses with disabilites, we have the birthright to be treated as the whole people that we are. And, if, like me and so many others, we have taken responsibility for our disabilities by learning how to cope, getting the right treatment/therapy, being honest about our actual limitations, monitoring our health and well-being, and setting boundaries with ourselves and others (I'm sure I'm missing something), then why should we not be treated as any other adult and judged on our merits, not on the labels we may have?
Isn't any person without a disability just as likely to be a liability as a person with a disability might be? Who can say whether a person will possess integrity, honesty, perseverence, or make ethical decisions? Having or not having a disability, IMHO, has nothing to do with any of those qualities; who a person is has everything to do with whether or not they possess those qualities. As well, not having a disability does not guarantee the ability to think critically, or that a person will possess intelligence, or will have the instinct and sensitivity required to make a good nurse. I realize that in addition to rambling, I am preaching to the choir, but, what also makes me sad is that by reading some of the posts, it seems evident that there are many people who still buy into the notion that we are in some way less than. I know that I struggle with this myself. I'm feeling that, as nurses and nurses-to-be, we need to stand up for ourselves and each other...not just for ourselves, but also so that we can be a beacon for change...discrimination against people with disabilites happens in all aspects of life. Nurses have always been patient advocates, and advocating for ourselves is another way that we can indirectly advocate for our patients. I'm sorry I've gone on so long...speaking of bringing my day to a close...it's way past my bedtime. In parting, I found the following page that might be informative and/or inspiring:
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