Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Do we take for granted that a nurse with a disability will return to nursing?

Recently I was reading an article written by Rose Felder, a nurse with a

disability. After many years of working as a nurse— in mental health settings and

with patients with tuberculosis— Rose was injured in an automobile accident.

Long months of rehabilitation followed the accident—related to a dozen fractures,

emotional shock, pain, double vision and a speech defect. She endured an

unending round of physiotherapy, stairs, wheels and exercises.

One day, Rose voiced her thoughts about returning to work. An

appointment was promptly made for her to visit with the counseling and

placement service of her state nurses association.

            Rose thought the visit with the counselor was a futile gesture—

but went to the appointment. She was surprised to discover that the

counselor took it for granted that she would return to nursing. And, within a few

days, Rose was back in uniform working three mornings a week on staff

duty—where she was met with patience and understanding.

            What surprised me most is the fact that this story was published in 1949!!!

Do we currently take it for granted that a nurse

 with a disability will return to nursing?

Were “things” different in 1949?

Have attitudes changed?..... If so, why?

Please share your thoughts,

Felder, R. (1949). The Handicapped Nurse. The American Journal of Nursing, 49 (3), 155.