Jump to content

Nursing with vision loss/low vision

Disabilities   (1,698 Views 6 Comments)
by TerpGal02 TerpGal02 (Member)

TerpGal02 has 6 years experience and works as a RN Community Mental Health.

13,370 Visitors; 538 Posts

advertisement

Hi all! I have been an RN working in mental health nursing for 6 years now. I currently work in a community based mental health agency on a mobile treatment team. In April, I was diagnosed with Stargardt Disease which for all intents and purposes is an early onset version of macular degeneration caused by an autosomal recessive mutation of the ABCA4 gene. All my life up until the last year or so I have had perfect vision. In nursing school I had perfect vision. Now I am corrected with glasses to 20/60 in the left eye and 20/80 in the right eye. It has progressed within the last 6 months but I don't know how much farther it will progress and in what time frame. Luckily, I have NIH in my backyard and am participating in a Natural History study there.

As far as functional vision, I mostly have problems with close tasks like reading fine print, working on the computer (without magnification) and reading handwriting. I can barely read my own handwriting anymore. Thankfully everything at my workplace is digital so I dont have to decipher chicken scratch orders or anything. I was wondering if there are other low vision nurses out there still successfully working in the field. How do you manage day to day work tasks and what accommodations do you use to make work easier? I am really new to all of this and quite frightened that I may no longer be able to work as a nurse one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

llg has 40 years experience as a PhD, RN and works as a Nursing Professional Development + Academic Facult.

5 Followers; 57,814 Visitors; 13,015 Posts

There is (or at least used to be) a website "Exceptional Nurse" that was targeted for nurses with disabilities. Maybe you should check that site out. You might find some people with similar issues there -- as well as some information about the legal rights and career suggestions for nurses in your situation.

I wish you the best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ariana214 works as a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant/Medical Assistant.

4,925 Visitors; 104 Posts

Hi, I too would be interested in what anyone has to say. I also have stargardts disease. I was diagnosed 5 years ago at 25. I have just graduated nursing school in May and will take my NCLEX next month. I start working on a surgical floor the first week in August. I have worked with my vision loss as a PCT for the last 2 years and got through nursing school with my vision loss with minimal accommodations but there were times where it was frustrating. I just can't do things as fast- there is always an extra step. However I do have to say that my instructors always told me that I was one of their best clinical students. At work the flowsheets I use as a PCT are basic so I can manage, and I carry a handheld paperweight magnifier in my pocket for reading urine dip results and small print. The computer has a magnifier if I need to enlarge something. I am nervous to be a nurse though, as all new students are. I am mostly worried about people not understanding. Discriminating against me. I know that I just need to get acclimated and I always find ways around things- we just adjust as human beings but I have not been a nurse yet so so cannot give you much advice, but that I've been online and seen stories of bedside nurses with vision loss and it is still possible as long as you can do the job with accommodation.

Edited by Ariana214
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TerpGal02 has 6 years experience and works as a RN Community Mental Health.

13,370 Visitors; 538 Posts

It's good to "meet" someone else with Stargardts. No one else in my family has it. I am 37 now, did not start noticing something was wrong until I was 36. No one else in my "real life" has Stargardts either. Being a rare disease, it's hard to connect with people who understand what it's like. A very lonely feeling. Anyway, I'm glad to hear someone else with vision loss successfully able to navigate a clinical setting. Good luck in your adventure as a new nurse and keep us posted on how things go!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

26 Visitors; 1 Post

Hello everyone I am a nursing student living with oculocutaneous albinism. So far I have been doing great but I am not sure if I should go on pursuing my career in nursing because of my eye conditions (myopia/ astigmatism). Also I am not allowed to drive in the state of Texas as a result of the fact that my eye range is too low to pass the test. I just need to know if their is any one here going through or have gone through the same challenges and what I can do to help myself in nursing and driving problems . Thankyou

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

14 Visitors; 2 Posts

On 7/30/2018 at 3:37 PM, Es880088 said:

Hello everyone I am a nursing student living with oculocutaneous albinism. So far I have been doing great but I am not sure if I should go on pursuing my career in nursing because of my eye conditions (myopia/ astigmatism). Also I am not allowed to drive in the state of Texas as a result of the fact that my eye range is too low to pass the test. I just need to know if their is any one here going through or have gone through the same challenges and what I can do to help myself in nursing and driving problems . Thankyou

Hi,

I also have oculocutaneous albinism.  But I do have a drivers license.  I'm relieved to hear you are doing well in nursing school.  I just got accepted to nursing school.  I will be starting in the Fall.  I have similar concerns about my vision and my nursing career.  The way I see it, there is so much you can do with a nursing degree, besides patient care.  I hope you continue with school.  Two of my nursing mentors both have BSNs but wok in office settings using their nursing degrees.  Let me know how things go.  Also, did you know you can get a waiver for the Texas drivers test eye exam?  Your doctor has to sign off on it.  I always do that when I have to renew.  Good luck with everything. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement
  • Recently Browsing 0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×