Can a nurse have epilepsy??

  1. A survey in UK shows that 28% of the general population dont think that people with epilepsy should become nurses.

    I have epilepsy and there are times where I didn't get the job, because of it, even though I was the only applicant for the job. I write it on the application because I feel that it is something that I should be abel to talk freely about to prevent stigma both for me and for others.

    Epilepsy doesn't go very well with the working hours for nurses and the changing shifts, general stress and pressure in emergency situations. But I have always been drinking when I have had seziures.
    I have never had a day off because of it, and it has not been a problem so far. But the nature of epilepsy is that you can never say for shure about anything. And I cant say for shure if the changing shifts might be a problem.

    What do you think?

    Would you want to have a nurse with epilepsy? - as a college? - and if you were a patient?

    I ask because I would like some views on it and not because I want you to feel sorry for me. So I appriciate honesty, even though it might not be a politically correct point of view.

    Great Dane
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    About Great Dane

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 15


  3. by   traumaRUs
    I certainly wouldn't care if you had epilepsy as long as you took your meds. Same goes for any disease process.

    However, I would care if you came to working drinking - lol.
  4. by   EricJRN
    Do you also tell them about the drinking when you apply for jobs? If so, the drinking issues might be a big part of the problem getting hired.
  5. by   suebird3
    Yes, I have had co-workers who are epileptic. But....could the drinking been the cause of the seizures?

    Suebird :P
  6. by   knockandhello
    Yes I have partial body epilepsy(temporal lobe epilepsy).Only developed a few years ago.Aetiology unknown in my case.Unable to work for a few years until diagnosed, and have been on tegretol since then.Applied for a job once my symptoms were effectively under control and was upfront about my condition.Was employed and am extremely happy with my place of employment.The staff I work with are aware of my condition and are supportive.Have had a few days off due to condition but have had no negative feedback from anyone because of this.Good luck.
  7. by   Great Dane
    No I am not an alcoholic if that is what you mean and I don't have a drinking problem - well it is a problem with the epilepsy *lol*

    I was just turned down for my 3.rd job and it was at a ward where I have 5 months of experience and the need 10 new nurses, so they should be eger to get someone who knows a lot about that particular type of ward and doesn't need a lot of training.
    It was a medical emergency ward and not a lot of nurses in Denmark are very good at that speciality and the practical stuff too taking bloodsamples, IV accesses, EKG, Atery punctures, acting independent in emergency situations etc. Besides I am in the danish home guard (not even close to being at a level as your national guard) where I am taking a course as a medic, acually a bit more than that - but I get the same training as paramedics on ambulances. So I am pretty well qualified for the job or at least for knowing how to act in emergency situations. Still I was turned down.

    From now on I will not tell them about it. The reason why I did is that I do volentary work for young people with epilepsy and I thought that would be a good thing to mention. I have been warned about telling them before I get hired. But it is the reason why I am not too happy about changing shifts, so I would like to be only on evening shifts. It was also as a sort of experiment to see if it really is that bad, and apparently it is...

    I just can't belive that it happened within the healthcare system. We are supposed to know better.

    I have sort of given up and now I will work as a substitute. Then I will get more freedom to choose when I want to work, the money is better and I get to try out a lot of different wards.

    Knockandhello - I am glad that you haven't had the same experiences. It lets me know there is hope, maybe I should come to work in the US in stead
  8. by   husker-nurse
    I work with nurses who admit that they have diabetes, bipolar disorder, Crohn's disease, depression, arthritis, you name it, they got it. None of us are perfect, and I agree, as long as one does everything within his or her power to control his or her disability, who am I to judge? I've yet to see any of the above-mentioned harm a patient because of their disease.
  9. by   NickiLaughs
    I know a nurse with epilepsy out here in california. She hasn't had trouble finding a job. They actually tried to kick her out of nursing school when she had a seizure in class one day. It was actually good experience for the rest of the students and they all got to keep on their toes after that. She filed a complaint and was allowed to finish school. Don't give up, if you're persistent, someone will hire you!
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    I've had two seizures, at work. And kept my job.

  11. by   caroladybelle
    The issue w/drinking has nothing to do w/being an alcoholic, it has to do with being responsible of the epilepsy and coping well with it.

    I have ulcerative colitis and a cancer hx. There are people that believe that UC patients have no place in being nurses. Much like those that feel that cancer patients are all disabled, etc.

    I had a nursing instructor try to fail me in school, because she thought that the "psych" component of UC should bar me from Nursing.

    If I behave responsibly, carefully watching my diet, limiting alcohol intake, drinking lots of fluids (which means going to the bathroom alot), taking my meds (those 14 pills a day, spaced like they should are a pain), not getting overly fatigued (I require extra rest), and limiting my behavior so that I stay healthier than the other nurses, there are no problems.

    If I screw these things up, I will have serious exacerbations and it will serious impair my career.

    Is it fair that I have to do those things to be on par with other employees? No, it is incredibly unfair. But if I want to be a nurse (and be reasonably healthy), I have to sacrifice drinking, partying, eating things that I may really like but can no longer tolerate, yadda, yadda.

    This means that if drinking causes breakthrough seizures and you want to be a good nurse, that you do not drink alcohol. It has not "fair" and has nothing to do with alcoholism. It has to do with being a responsible nurse with a chronic illness that requires extra care.