Proud Nurse! My disability does not define my ability. Fighting for your rights!

When the board oversteps bounds. How it makes a good nurse want to leave. Nurses Announcements Archive Article


Proud Nurse! My disability does not define my ability. Fighting for your rights!

When you think of the nursing profession one may imagine a person who tirelessly gives of themselves for the good of the most critically ill. That caring smile, that person to hold the hand, to ease the pain, the one the family trusts. You do not think of the person whose lives outside the job or their own health concerns are so scrutinized by a panel of eight to 10 people. This panel while protecting public interest, ignore one the person the person that gives them their job! Sometimes it is justified, other times it is a witch-hunt. It is one of those aha moments if it ever happens to you that you wish would have been taught in school. For some it leaves them feeling helpless to do their jobs based on their own knowledge and not what the board mandates.

In all reality to those who are in that role, if all we require is based on what we are told to do, why do we spend tireless hours in school? While there are cases that do require what, the board is placed there to do, there are some that make you wonder why? Why do we in this field found guilty immediately sometimes without a chance to defend ourselves and then it is up to us to reverse that judgment. That is an act Congress could not help with. Again, the reason may be just and the nurse did violate the nurse practice act, by a criminal offense, abuse of narcotics, etc but then there are reasons, medically that are tried and the nurse convicted that hold just as much weight as someone who is diverted drugs. All it takes is a complaint…..

The truth is any person can file a complaint against a nurse, from an ex spouse to a patient and some complaints are justified. I am in no way disputing that. But say you and your spouse and they abuse you, you utilize the services to get to a safer place, maybe you file for divorce and leave. Then as revenge, that person files a complaint with the board in spite. That is all it takes. However, when clear violations of protected rights are committed by the board the nurse has no one to complain to.

Where did my rights go? As a disabled person I have been passed around from agency to agency and in fact just recently in Texas had someone from the governor's office tell me "the board is its own entity and reports to no one." Are you kidding me? Why are we telling consumers that decide to dedicate their lives to this profession, get on their bad side and we will make you think the devil has nothing on them. How is that fair? Plain and simple it is not! No where in the nurse practice act does it say, once you accept this role, you sign over all rights including rights that the federal government has established. To have to do that is wrong and constitutes a form of duress.

Where are the boundaries for what is right and wrong when it comes to a disabled nurse? There seem to be more credibility and leniency to a law breaker these days! It is amazing to me how someone who is using an illegal substance, is convicted of a crime or commits fraud by writing oneself a prescription for narcotics can practice, but someone who has a disability it raked over to coals then stepped on repeatedly! Adding insult to injury? We have all had instances where our blood sugar may be low, because of all the breaks we get right? Yes. I am kidding. Say that happens to you, you are the only nurse on duty and you cannot eat, take a break etc. Your blood glucose drops to 40 and you have a seizure. You now become the subject of a board investigation. Your employer has not afforded your rights and now the board thinks you are unsafe. Now picture yourself with an actual disability that you notified to the board prior to even sitting for your NCLEX and they APPROVE you!

Then one instance where that disability occurs and your license in in question. Imagine telling your child who sees their parent in those blue scrubs, stay healthy otherwise you may be subject to a board review and discipline. I know if my mother, who was an OR nurse had told me that as a young child with a disability I would have never walked down this road. I would have ran faster than a nurse to a rapid response team to a code blue. I have news for people who sit in judgement of disabled people, or any person we age, we get injured, we all have some type of medical ailment or we will and you may as well. The point is we are in a profession that mandates we stay 100 percent healthy or the threat of losing our livelihoods is eminent.

We are taught to do the right thing in school. If a mistake is made, we own up to it. I am in no way perfect, and am the first to say, I made that mistake, how can I learn from it. I cannot say I made a mistake having epilepsy. That was out of my hands. But I was reprimanded for it and now face mandatory drug and alcohol testing, cannot leave my own state without written permission, have limitations of where I can work and have my name ruined. Why again??

There needs to be a change in how we as nurses are treated. I do not see them same standards for doctors, dentists etc. we all have lives on our hands, but the reality is we are the fall person in situations like mine. It isn't something that is fair or just but rather a lunching of sorts by people in power!

If you want us to have the type of accountability that costs us our reputation, livelihood and happiness perhaps those standards need to apply to those 8-10 people who are pretty much above laws the president is mandated to obey!

Proud nurse! Disability does not define my ability!

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OrganizedChaos, LVN

1 Article; 6,883 Posts

Specializes in M/S, LTC, Corrections, PDN & drug rehab.

As someone with Epilepsy & a mental health diagnosis this is truly scary. I had a seizure once at work & thankfully the manager at the time wasn't worried about it. We should not be treated the same way as convicts. We did not choose to have an ailment/disease/disorder, so why punish us like we did?

I always make sure to avoid anything that will cause me to have a seizure, which includes working nights. It isn't easy & I have had to turn down a *lot* of jobs because they were night shift & I just can't handle that. When I had my seizure at work I was working days, eves & nights. Obviously it caught up with me, so I told myself never again.

I hope to never be investigated by the BON & you don't deserve to be either.

This sounds like one of those posts where we are getting - at most - half of the story. I've got a few questions before I give the writer the benefit of the doubt for being credible.

1) what is this alleged disability? There was talk of an ex reporting you and then a manager for having a seizure.

2) what is the point of this post? It's long and rambling, with few facts.

3) if you are indeed being raked over the coals, why haven't you hired a lawyer?

4) I think you're making a lot of broad statements about the BON and how they handle nurses with disabilities, because you did something actually wrong and you want to stir people up to get sympathy.

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