Tracheostomy

  1. Hello,
    I have a Q.. I've had a tracheostomy in place my
    whole life (42yrs) due to being born prematurely. I've weaned myself off of the sunctioning machine in my teens & I change my own trache. I wear scarves to cover my trache while out in public & no, I can breathe just fine. I can talk, eat & swallow too.. In fact, most people don't know I have a trache unless they're familiar with what a trache is..

    My Q is, will I be able to get into a nursing program, hence having a tracheostomy in place? Does anyone know of a person who has gone into the RN program with a trache? Thanks!
  2. Visit RN2bfro76 profile page

    About RN2bfro76

    Joined: Aug '18; Posts: 9; Likes: 16
    from CA , US

    19 Comments

  3. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from RNfro76
    Hello,
    I have a Q.. I've had a tracheostomy in place my
    whole life (42yrs) due to being born prematurely. I've weaned myself off of the sunctioning machine in my teens & I change my own trache. I wear scarves to cover my trache while out in public & no, I can breathe just fine. I can talk, eat & swallow too.. In fact, most people don't know I have a trache unless they're familiar with what a trache is..

    My Q is, will I be able to get into a nursing program, hence having a tracheostomy in place? Does anyone know of a person who has gone into the RN program with a trache? Thanks!
    I don't see why a trach, alone, would stop you. The scarves may not be allowed, though.
  4. by   Davey Do
    Wow, RNfro76, I'm impressed about you and your situation and wanting to become a nurse!

    I'd be interested in knowing if having a tracheostomy is part of the reason why you want to work as a nurse.

    Good luck, the best to you, and welcome to AN.com RNfro76!
  5. by   KelRN215
    I've never known a nurse with a trach but have known of a respiratory therapist who had one. I don't see why a trach would prevent you from being a nurse. It should not be relevant to your acceptance into the program in the least.
  6. by   RN2bfro76
    Hello Davey Do,
    Thanks for your reply. I've always had a passion to want to help people. I just finished my Bachelor's in Gerontology & working with older adults increased my passion for nursing. Often times, older adults are mistreated & under-represented.
    To answer your Q, yes having a trache has made me want to become a RN so I can inspire & help
    those who may not have a voice to speak their needs & desires when it comes to medical care.
  7. by   RN2bfro76
    Thank you so much! The story about the respiratory therapist with a trache is very inspiring to me! Thanks so much for sharing!!
  8. by   Kitiger
    Do you wear a Passy Muir valve or an HME (heat moisture exchange, or "trach nose")? I wonder if a Passy Muir would increase your exposure to infections.

    What does your doctor say to this?

    If you are cleared by your doctor, I don't see a problem with getting through nursing school.
  9. by   RN2bfro76
    Hello,
    Thanks for your response! I don't wear any of the sources mentioned above. No need to. I take very good care of my trache & do my own trache care. My doctor is all for me going to the RN program.
  10. by   mrsboots87
    Is your trach at least capped since you breath well on your own? My only concern would be with constantly being around sources of infection and coughing sick people with an open trach. If it's capped then i can't see why you couldn't go to nursing school as a trach alone if you're otherwise healthy, won't affect your ability to do your job.
  11. by   RN2bfro76
    It's not capped, but can be.. I'm otherwise healthy. The trache just helps me breathe, that's all..
  12. by   NRSKarenRN
    Have you viited the wonderful support group + resource center: Exceptional Nurse (a nonprofit resource network for nurses and nursing students with disabilities). Additionally, they offer a small scholarship for disabled students.

    Check out the book:
    "Nursing Students with Disabilities Change the Course" by Donna Maheady

    Be aware, with a trach you will be exposed to many more germs within clinical settings that will challenge your respiratory system. If you are able to pass Basic Cardiac Life Support course to perform CPR as needed +have doctor approval, go forward with your plan! Best wishes in your journey.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Aug 7 : Reason: Oops...spelling
  13. by   TruvyNurse
    A school cannot discriminate against you for simply having a trach as long as you can perform the required duties. I would speak to your doctor to get the OK. I don't think you'll have any problems. You certainly have the right mind set and good attitude. My hat is off to you!! Keep us posted!
  14. by   RN2bfro76
    Thank you so much for the support!! I'll keep y'all posted!

close