Saturday, December 19, 2015

The best 2015 blog posts about nurses with disabilities!


As the New Year quickly approaches, it is time to look back at 2015. Included below are the top 10 Exceptional Nurse blog posts about nurses with disabilities. 

Hard of hearing nursing student wins case against college
A federal judge has entered judgment against Terra State Community College in a case alleging that the College discriminated against a former nursing student Shirley Parrott-Copus in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Order requires the College to pay $75,000.00 to the former student, Shirley Parrott-Copus.


"Heartbuds" may replace stethoscope: Is this good news for nurses with hearing loss?  
 A group of cardiologists in Florida developed “HeartBuds”, a device that plugs into a smartphone and operates with an app. HeartBuds record internal sounds, like a beating heart, producing a file that can be stored and shared.


Exceptional Nurse is giving thanks with a free book offer Thanksgiving weekend!
This Thanksgiving day through the weekend (November 26-29), you can get a free ebook copy of "The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities".

Yoga nursing....a gift to self!
The "Yoga Nursing Essentials" program offered by Annette Tersigni, the Yoga Nurse, will teach you the core principles of yoga nursing and prepare you to incorporate yoga nursing interventions into the nursing process in a variety of clinical settings. The program will provide you with the tools needed to start your own business.


Pinned by her attorney
Courtney Powell walked across the stage at Mount Saint Mary College to receive her Nursing Degree.  One of the people she asked to pin her was her attorney, Anthony LoBiondo. LoBiondo successfully represented Powell in a lawsuit against Mt. St. Mary College after the college wrongfully expelled her for knitting and wearing a sweatshirt during a clinical.  Powell has a nervous system disorder called Dysautonomia and is assisted by "Emma the Service Dog Extraordinairre."


Nurse practitioners with disabilities...Take a bow!
Nurses with disabilities often ask, "Can I become a nurse practitioner?" The short answer is "YES, you can!" This post includes examples.


Kristal Nemeroff, RN gives credit to the ADA for helping her become a nurse
Some days, Kristal Nemeroff needs her wheelchair, but usually her walker suffices. She is slower than the students who buzz around her, but her motivation is in overdrive. At 27, Kristal is the nurse at Hamilton Elementary School in rural Pennsylvania. She says, "The ADA protected my rights and now I'm making sure my students know that, whether they have a disability or a disease, they should follow their dreams."

Missing a limb, but not a heart!
April has been declared National Limb Loss Awareness Month in the United States. In the spirit of this campaign, it’s fitting that we celebrate some of our nursing colleagues who, despite the absence of a limb or extremity, are valuable members of our profession.


For National Epilepsy Awareness Month: Let's celebrate Erica Laney RN, a nurse with epilepsy!
For National Epilepsy Awareness month, I "chatted" with Erica Laney, a nurse/mentor with ExceptionalNurse.com. Erica was diagnosed with epilepsy at 11 years old. She has grand-mal seizures and has been practicing as a nurse for four years.

Disability gets sexy thanks to a nurse with Crohn's disease
Jasmine Stacey, 24, a nurse in the UK has Crohn's disease. She underwent surgery to remove part of her intestine when she was 20 years old and needed an ileostomy bag. Jasmine has launched a new line of luxury lingerie that allows women who also have stoma bags to feel sexy again.



Happy New Year!

With thanks to all who shared and commented,


Donna


This post was written as part of the Nurse Blog CarnivalMore posts on this topic can be found at http://nursecode.com/.
If you are interested in participating find out more details and sign up.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy Holidays from nurses with disabilities



As the old saying goes..."a picture can tell a thousand words".

Please take a few minutes to view the Exceptional Nurse holiday slideshow. It sheds light on nurses with disabilities in the US and abroad. These nurses work in a wide range of settings.


Best wishes from all of us for health, peace, love, joy and acceptance!

    

Please share and Happy New Year to all,


Donna
    

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hard of hearing nursing student wins case against college

                                                       Shirley Parrott-Copus


On 12.8.15, the National Association for the Deaf announced the following:

"Toledo, Ohio A federal judge has entered judgment against Terra State Community College in a case alleging that the College discriminated against a former nursing student Shirley Parrott-Copus in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Order requires the College to pay $75,000.00 to the former student, Shirley Parrott-Copus.
Parrott-Copus, who is hard of hearing, had more than 14 years of experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse when she earned admission to Terra State Community College’s Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse Program on the basis of her strong academic record and work experience. However, soon after her admission, the College required her to prove she could hear or be dismissed from the nursing program. Despite Ms. Parrott-Copus' excellent track record, the school also refused to consider auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication and ultimately dismissed Parrott-Copus from the program because of her disability.
Yesterday’s entry of judgment against the College ends the federal lawsuit and clears the way for Parrott- Copus to pursue her dreams of earning an advanced nursing degree.
Parrott-Copus, who has a deep passion for the nursing profession commented, “What matters is that a nurse is committed, skilled, passionate, and caring. As one of many deaf and hard of hearing nurses, I am thrilled that the Court has entered judgment against Terra State Community College. Whether a nurse can hear or not has nothing to do with whether they can make a difference in the world for their patients.”
"The NAD commends Ms. Parrott-Copus for standing up for her rights as a hard of hearing individual to pursue her dream of being a Registered Nurse,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, NAD Chief Executive Officer. “Today's court judgment puts nursing schools nationwide on notice that deaf and hard of hearing individuals are qualified to be nurses, and refusing admission to them violates federal law."
One of the attorneys for Parrott-Copus, Mary Vargas, said, “There are extraordinary medical and nursing professionals throughout the United States who are deaf and hard of hearing. These doctors and nurses have much to offer and must be judged on the basis of their abilities, not on the basis of outdated stereotypes.”
Parrott-Copus is represented by the National Association of the Deaf, the law firm of Relman, Dane & Colfax, PLLC, and the law firm of Stein & Vargas, LLP."


Appreciate hearing your thoughts about this case.

With thanks,
Donna

https://nad.org/blogs/12/08/2015/judgement-entered-against-college-discrimination-case

Monday, December 7, 2015

Nurses and nursing students with disabilities: How to help vocational rehabilitation counselors help you!




In my new book, “The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities”, Cheryl Machemer, MSN, RN, CCRN-CSC presents a guide for requesting state vocational rehabilitation services. It may be possible to secure financial support for equipment (e.g. amplified stethoscope) or funds for tuition for a nursing program through your state vocational rehabilitation program. The guide organizes a request from a nurse or nursing student with hearing loss, but it could easily be adapted for any disability. The following is a brief summary of the guide.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Request for support from the (State)_________Vocational Rehabilitation Services Office

Name: _____________________________       Date:_________________

Contact Information: Email: ___________________ Phone: _________________________

Mailing Address: ___________________________________________

                                     ___________________________________________

Nursing Student ___Professional Nurse___

Client/Case Number: ______________________

Describe your personal background/ situation. Why are you requesting services from Vocational Rehabilitation?


Education: Nursing Assistant_____ Licensed Practical Nurse______ Associate Degree______

Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing_________  Master’s Degree in Nursing________


Disability

Type of Hearing Loss:

Assistive Devices used:

Stethoscope currently used:


Accommodations needed:


Current Employment:


Student:

Indicate the school you are currently attending or have applied to, date accepted and expected date of graduation.


Student or Nurse:

State your long-term career goals. Include any volunteer experience, places of employment and length time in each position, and any other information that may be helpful for the vocational rehabilitation counselor.


*** Include statistics, articles, books, and resources to strengthen your application. Attach scholarly journal articles documenting examples of nurses practicing with hearing loss or articles about nurses with hearing loss practicing in different roles.

Cheryl Machemer, MSN, RN, CCRN-CSC teaches nursing at the Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences, Nursing Program, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center, Reading, PA. She was diagnosed with moderate to severe bilateral sensorineural hearing loss at the age of 40 and wears bilateral behind-the-ear hearing aids. Cheryl has a master’s of science degree in nursing. Her thesis examined the lived experience of the hearing-impaired nursing student. She is a board member and the nurse professional leader for the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses (www.amphl.org) and member of www.ExceptionalNurse.com. Cheryl can be reached at cherylmachemer@gmail.com.


The complete guide can be found in Appendix C of “The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities” by Donna Maheady.
http://www.amazon.com/Exceptional-Nurse-trenches-resilient-disAbilities/dp/149540093X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411585730&sr=1-1&keywords=maheady

Friday, December 4, 2015

Karen Zander reminds us "take a picture..tomorrow could be different"!





"Registered nurse Karen Zander elected to have spinal surgery to be able to walk better and with less pain. She suffered from tethered spinal cord syndrome, a disorder in which tissue attachments, or fluid pressure, impair the chord's ability to transmit sensory and motor information from the brain. The nearly 12-hour operation..... left Zander paralyzed from the chest down, as a result of complications during the procedure."

Karen Zander, was a speaker at Baystate Medical Center as part of the Schwartz Center Rounds. Her talk was entitled "The Journey from Waking Up Paralyzed to Living a Para-Normal Life," a title she said was intended to embody a little humor, with its reference to the paranormal, as well as to being a paraplegia, with loss of movement in her legs and sensation from the mid-chest down. 

In her talk she shared a message important for all of us....

"..take care of yourself, and every day that goes well, take a picture because tomorrow could be really different." 


"Karen is president and owner of The Center for Case Management, a Wellesley-based corporation. She continues to travel around the country to help clients balance costs and outcomes related to medical care. Earlier in her career, she had done psychiatric nursing, at New England Medical Center, and was involved with developing models of clinical case management for its Center for Nursing Case Management, the predecessor of the company she now owns. She holds a master's degree in psychiatric-mental health nursing from Boston University."

Read more about Karen and the Center for Case Management by clicking on the links below.

http://www.cfcm.com/wordpress1/aboutccm/consultants/

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/registered_nurse_karen_zander_shares_her_journey_of_waking_up_paralyzed_after_surgery_at_age_59.html


Love to read your thoughts or comments,

Donna

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Do you want to pay fewer taxes, go fishing or get/keep a job?




         

       On March 6, 1945 I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My mother saw my eye defects before the doctor saw them. What it was called back then I am not sure, but now it is known as coloboma—which comes from the Greek word meaning “curtailed”. The word is used to describe conditions where normal tissue in or around the eye is missing from birth.

Since graduating from Beverly Hospital School of Nursing in 1965, I have worked fulltime at many different jobs, owned a temporary nursing agency and now have my own business providing Hypnosis, Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique. 

Until 2000, I had good corrected vision in both eyes. Then I was diagnosed with cataracts as a result of 30 years of smoking. Yes, smoking can cause cataracts—back then I was never warned and even stopping smoking 15 years earlier and it didn’t help— the damage was already done.

When I went for an interview at a nursing home I recognized “trouble” when I could not see the application well enough to complete it. I went home and went into a depression, not wanting to see or speak to any of my friends. I soon realized I had a choice— I could stay depressed or get help. I realized when you make the choice to take control and take action the fear drops away. Fear is a result of inaction.

            A call to my state department of low vision (services for the blind and visually impaired) resulted in a visit the next morning and delivery of a free zoom text program for my computer and large labels for my keyboard.  A job coach came to the house the next day.   As luck would have it, just before she arrived a flyer showed up in the mail with information about a company looking for night nurses to do telephone triage. I thought— this sounds perfect!  When you take action the universe provides everything that you need to succeed. You only have to learn how to recognize it.

The coach helped me rework my resume. She prepared everything for me, coached me on how to handle the interview and drove me to the agency. The next day I had the job. After accepting the position, I told the agency that I had low vision and the state department of low vision would be providing all the necessary tools to assist me free of charge. I have been there over 4 years and love the job.

My business is also thriving and I am always looking at new avenues to apply my skills using Hypnosis and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Many of my sessions can be done by telephone so in the event that I can no longer do nursing triage—I will have a good income.

When I was diagnosed as legally blind, which I waited to do because I was in denial, I found out that in Nashua, NH when you are legally blind you can get half of your property tax taken off and a FREE FISHING LICENSE! So for 2 weeks I was walking around the house saying “You know GOD I would rather pay my full property tax and get my vision back”…. Besides I don’t like to fish.

Nurses with disabilities should consider holistic nursing. A nurse with low vision or hearing loss can be a hypnotist or Reiki Master.  Our intentions as caregivers can be very strong and so enhanced when we take the holistic approach. Visit the web site of The American Holistic Nurses Association for more information http://www.ahna.org.

For those of you who are already nurses, you need to know that you have an incredible set of skills that can be applied many different ways. It is like a tapestry where you weave your skills in with your challenge to produce a work of art.

 For those of you who are considering nursing and have been told it cannot be done find a different way, create a new way and never take “no” for an answer unless it is your decision. All no means is next opportunity! Ask for help from people who will encourage you every step of the way. Be only in the presence of those who are a positive influence. Einstein said” Matter is energy”. My dear friend and mentor Pat Crilly says “It’s energy that matters” If you think it you can create it.


 Susan Nordemo, RN, CH, Reiki Master Teacher lives in New Hampshire. Her business is called Monarch Healthcoaching  http://www.monarchhealthcoaching.com. She continues to do telephone triage with Ali Care Medical Management. Susan can be reached at sue@monarchhealthcoaching.com.


Read more about Susan in chapter 14 of “The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities” edited by Donna Maheady, EdD, ARNP.

http://www.amazon.com/Exceptional-Nurse-trenches-resilient-disAbilities/dp/149540093X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411229391&sr=1-1&keywords=maheady


So, do you want to pay fewer taxes, go fishing or get/keep a job?
Feel free to share a comment below.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

#GivingTuesday...Today is the day to help Exceptional Nurse



Today is the big day to give!

Why do we ask for donations? The short answer is "we need the money"!

To pay for the domain name.

Maintain the website (hosting, updates, revisions).

To pay non-profit corporation fees to the State of Florida.

To award scholarships to nursing students with disabilities.

ExceptionalNurse.com is a 100% volunteer effort. Every penny donated goes directly into maintaining the website, advocacy efforts and scholarship awards.

No donation is too small.... Please click on this link and give what you can.  http://exceptionalnurse.com/makeadonation.php

With thanks in advance!!

Donna

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Have you heard about “Law & Order for Nurses” book giveaway?



Every year thousands of nurses are disciplined because they don’t understand the law. If you don’t want to become one of them you must learn how to protect yourself…but that’s easier said than done!

I have great news for you! Nurse-Attorney, Lorie Brown wrote a fantastic book, “Law and Order For Nurses: The Easy Way To Protect Your License & Livelihood,” with practical tips you can use every day in your career. This Thanksgiving she’s giving it away at no charge!

Here’s the link where you can order your copy:


Here’s just a few of the important things you’ll learn:

ü  How to get a second chance and why all nurses deserve representation
ü  How not to let technology put your gut instinct on autopilot
ü  How to avoid the top three reasons nurses get fired
ü  How to speak up and ask for help
ü  How to avoid nursing malpractice (and how to decide if you need insurance)
ü  And so much more!

Don’t waitthis book sells for $24.99 on Amazon but it’s yours for free from 11/25 to 11/30. Grab your copy here: http://yournurseattorney.com/freebook.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Donna


Monday, November 23, 2015

Exceptional Nurse is giving thanks with a free book offer Thanksgiving weekend!



Guess it is no secret, I LOVE nurses! 

Disability advocacy wasn't my initial goal in life. 

It all began with my daughter, Lauren, who is significantly disabled due to autism and related challenges. My advocacy for Lauren moved far beyond her life--and evolved into research, a dissertation, creation of a nonprofit organization; and writing books, and articles about nurses with disabilities.

I am thankful for so many nurses with and without disabilities who continue to work, improve the lives of patients and advocate and help other nurses and nursing students. It takes a village!

This Thanksgiving day through the weekend (November 26-29), you can get a free ebook copy of "The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities".

Please take advantage of this gift and share with others. Read it on your Kindle or other device.

With thanks for all you do!!

http://www.amazon.com/Exceptional-Nurse-trenches-resilient-disabilities-ebook/dp/B00MMG9YUC/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1447945036&sr=1-1


Donna

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Heartbuds" may replace stethoscope: Is this good news for nurses with hearing loss?


On November 11, 2015, CBC News reported the following information about "Heartbuds".

"The traditional stethoscope, commonly seen draped around the necks of health-care providers, could someday be replaced by devices that incorporate smartphone technology.

A group of cardiologists in Florida has developed what they call HeartBuds, a device that plugs into a smartphone and operates with an app.
HeartBuds record internal sounds, like a beating heart, producing a file that can be stored and shared.
It's not the first device of its kind, but the five doctors on the team from Orlando Health have outlined why the technology makes more sense than using traditional or disposable stethoscopes.
They presented their findings at the American Hearth Association's Scientific Sessions that wrapped up in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday."


Better than disposable stethoscopes: tests

"The group compared HeartBuds' sound quality in 50 patients with the sound from a standard stethoscope, a disposable one and a digital one.
They rated their device as comparable in sound quality to the more traditional and electronic models that have the Y-shaped tube that feeds into the doctor's ears.
Results of the study showed that the HeartBuds performed just as well as the more expensive and more commonly used stethoscopes in detecting heart murmurs and carotid bruits, which are sounds in the neck that indicate moderate to severe blockage of the carotid artery.
However, the doctors found that the disposable stethoscope performed worse when it came to detecting heart murmurs and carotid bruits.
"That's very disconcerting," said study author Valerie Danesh. "Many facilities have started using disposable models after several studies, particularly overseas, showed there can be a 30 to 40 per cent potential risk for transmitting harmful bacteria through stethoscopes," she said. "These findings may cause some to reconsider that practice."
"Because the HeartBuds device doesn't have earpieces, we no longer have to worry about that," said Arnold Einhorn, a cardiologist and one of the developers. "This device is much less expensive to produce and offers a safer alternative to both traditional and disposable models without sacrificing sound quality."
The device sells for around $50 US and is being marketed primarily for use by expectant mothers and athletes."

Will this new device replace our traditional stethoscope? Will it be helpful to nurses and nursing students with hearing loss? It is used with a Smartphone. What about bacteria carried on Smartphones? 

Love to hear your thoughts!

With thanks,

Donna

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/smartphone-heartbuds-instead-of-stethoscope-1.3313926

https://www.facebook.com/orlandohealth/videos/10153428238524737/?fref=nf

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151111092446.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Heartbuds-Hb-001-01/dp/B00T6NLDT4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427226354&sr=8-1&keywords=heartbuds




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Today, we celebrate Lisa Lobdell RN, a Veteran and Exceptional Nurse



"In December 1995, I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from California State University Long Beach. About a year before graduation a recruiter visited our nursing program. After her visit I decided that I would join the military. I came home and called my friends and family.  What an adventure it would be!! I went to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas to visit. I was taken to the Officers’ Club where I felt I was stepping into the filming of “Top Gun”. I did not need any further coaxing. I signed without reading all of the fine print."


"On April 6, 1996 off I went joyful that I would meet my own Tom Cruise. I spent three years on active duty and my rank prior to leaving the US Air Force was 1st Lieutenant, for which I feel honored, proud and grateful. The things that I loved about the military are the many close friendships, the leadership skills I developed and confidence gained in my nursing skills."


This is an excerpt from a chapter written by Lisa Lobdell in "The ExceptionalNurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses working with disabilities". http://tinyurl.com/qg9l49y

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

For National Epilepsy Awareness Month: Let's celebrate Erica Laney RN, a nurse with epilepsy!


For National Epilepsy Awareness month, I "chatted" with Erica Laney, a nurse/mentor with ExceptionalNurse.com. Erica was diagnosed with epilepsy at 11 years old. She has grand-mal seizures and has been practicing as a nurse for four years. Here is some of what we discussed.


DM: Did you need accommodations in nursing school? Were you met with discrimination?

EL:"I tried to be open in nursing school and yes I was met with discrimination and resistance.  Initially no accommodations were needed.  I actually had a seizure during clinicals during my second year; and after that was required to have a "shadow" during clinicals for the safety of my patients."  

DM: Did you require accommodations on NCLEX?
EL:"No accommodations were needed".

DM: While working as a nurse, do you need accommodations?
EL:"No accommodations are needed for work; if I am sick or have an "episode/aura" I call in and go home."

DM: Where do you work? Did you disclose? Accommodations? Challenges?
"I currently work as a Hospice nurse at Community Hospice of Northeast Florida.  I go to people's homes/and assisted living facilities and mostly work from my car.  I didn't disclose immediately, and actually didn't do it until I had an episode at a patient's house.
The only accommodation they have made for me is to allow my husband to drive my vehicle for me. I am working on getting my driver's license back."

What has contributed to your success?
"I chose to stay positive, think outside the box and stay away from the typical "floor" nursing role. I knew I couldn't leave a hospital floor if I needed to." 

DM: Finding the right niche is so important for nurses with disabilities. 

DM: What would you say to another nurse or nursing student with epilepsy? Advice? suggestions?

EL: Stay positive!!! There is hope! Evaluate your type of epilepsy. Do you have an aura? Warning signs? Try to be as honest as possible with your co-workers if you feel comfortable. It's better to disclose and have people around you aware of your situation instead of being surprised! Epilepsy doesn't have to be a burden; I use it often to connect with patients and even co-workers. 

DM: Your positive attitude shines through!

EL: "Epilepsy may change your life--but that isn't always a bad thing!"

DM: Erica, thanks so much for sharing your story with us. We celebrate you and others with epilepsy this month. You are a role model to others and have demonstrated that nursing with epilepsy is possible!



Friday, October 30, 2015

Disability gets sexy thanks to a nurse with Crohn's disease




Jasmine Stacey, 24, a nurse in the UK has Crohn's disease. She underwent surgery to remove part of her intestine when she was 20 years old and needed an ileostomy bag.

Jasmine has launched a new line of luxury lingerie that allows women who also have stoma bags to feel sexy again.

The nurse/designer said she was "inspired to come up with a stylish range of underwear by the lack of seductive garments available for women in her position".

"I want to take the stigma away from having a stoma bag and prove you can still be sexy with underwear. 

"I want to get the message out there that it is not as bad as people think and that young people have stoma bags as well as old people."

"We hope our underwear is stylish without being flimsy and empowers women to feel confident whether they have stoma bags, scars, or simply want more stomach control." 

..............................................................................................................................................


Leave it to a nurse!

Love to hear your thoughts,
Donna

Read more:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3275562/Nurse-Crohn-s-disease-unveils-range-lingerie-high-waisted-pants-make-women-stoma-bags-feel-sexy-again.html

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween and asylums visits: Are ghost seekers being disrespectful?




As Sarah Handley-Cousins writes in:  
Ghosts are Scary, Disabled People are Not: The Troubling Rise of the Haunted Asylum

"This past spring, the defunct Willard Psychiatric Center in Ovid, New York, opened its doors for tours — one day only, with no advance sale tickets."

"I left bright and early from Buffalo and arrived in Ovid with plenty of time before the tour. But instead of getting my ticket, I found myself at a dead stop, just before the asylum grounds, in a line of hundreds of cars."

"When the tour of the asylum was announced, news had apparently traveled through local ghost-hunting circles. Most of the folks who had lined up by the thousands to tour the old asylum weren’t interested at all in the history of asylums — they were hoping to see a ghost."

"I like a ghost story as much as anyone, but the patients who lived in institutions like Willard and Pennhurst weren’t spooky spirits — they were human beings with complex lives."

"Haunted attractions that use asylums as settings rely on reductive and offensive portrayals of the mentally ill as horrifying, dangerous, and evil people that must be kept within an asylum for the protection of the public. They exploit the ways that the real patients of mental institutions were treated for cheap thrills — “patients” are often depicted in restraints or undergoing medical procedures and experiments. Indeed, part of the “creep” factor is the general disrepair of the institution, invoking the very real neglect patients experienced. The thousands of “paranormal investigators” who hoped for a tour of the Willard Asylum were looking for... an eerie setting filled with the ghosts of scary, dangerous lunatics. In the process, they disrespected the grounds of Willard and likely influenced New York State to think twice about opening the grounds for tours in future years, making it even harder for historians to gain access to the asylum."

This Halloween, do me a favor: think twice before you buy a ticket and stand in line to visit a “haunted asylum” attraction. Consider picking up a book about the history of those women and men deemed mentally ill instead."
              ................................................

Are asylum ghost seekers being disrespectful? Getting cheap thrills?

Love to hear your thoughts about this.

With thanks,
Donna

Read more at Nursing Clio, an open access, peer-reviewed, collaborative blog project that ties historical scholarship to present-day issues related to gender and medicine.


http://nursingclio.org/2015/10/29/ghosts-are-scary-disabled-people-are-not-the-troubling-rise-of-the-haunted-asylum/

Friday, October 23, 2015

Nurses, obesity and disability


A recent story about a nurse in the UK stirs some serious questions.

Nurse Carol Sykes could barely walk let alone care for people. A size 34 at 5ft 4in, she was morbidly obese with diabetes, gout and arthritis. 

Her wake-up call was when she  forced to give up the job she loved.


“I was in horrendous pain and it got to the point where I couldn’t even walk,” she says.
She was off work for three months and swapped day shifts for night ones. “The patients were usually in bed most of the night so there was less rushing around”.

A retreat in Spain, which combines exercise, mind coaching, healthy eating and juicing helped her shed the weight and return to working as a nurse. 

She states, “It’s amazing because I never wanted to leave in the first place.”
                               ................................

How many nurses are becoming disabled due to obesity?  Do you know nurses who are giving up positions due to obesity and related disabilities?

The obesity epidemic is real....

What can we do?

Love to hear your thoughts!

With thanks,
Donna



http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/nurse-who-fat-carry-job-5210190

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nurse practitioners with disabilities...Take a bow!


Nurses with disabilities often ask, "Can I become a nurse practitioner?"
The short answer is "YES, you can!"
Here are some of their stories. 




Morag MacDonald is a nurse with a significant hearing loss. She has practiced as a nurse for more than 28 years and has worked on spinal cord, pediatric and mental health units. Currently, she works as a nurse practitioner at Capital Region Mental Health Center in Hartford, Connecticut.  She has knowledge of pathological and cultural viewpoints and can communicate in all modalities (oral, signed English, American Sign Language and gestures) in order to meet the health needs of d/Deaf patients.



Greg Mercer is an adult geriatric nurse practitioner with mental illness. Greg has a blog called Big Red Carpet Nursing. He wrote, "I deeply understood depression, suicidality, and the inpatient patient experience...  I knew how to manage agitated patients without meds or force." 

He works at McClean Hospital, a psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Greg has worked on all of the inpatient psychiatric units at McLean and the ECT service. He has also supervised clinical placements for various nursing schools.




Carla Pease was born with cerebral palsy. She finished her LPN certificate and then finished an RN program. Carla continued on to get her masters in nursing. She is now a board-certified adult-geriatric nurse practitioner. Carla lives in North Dakota and has been practicing as a nurse practitioner for 3 years. She states, “The only disability is ignorance. Cerebral Palsy is not my stumbling block, it is my stepping stone.”


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Are you a nurse practitioner with a disability? Are you a nurse with a disability interested in becoming a nurse practitioner? Share your stories and questions here. 

And, get connected with others at www.ExceptionalNurse.com.

With thanks!

Donna 


References

Morag MacDonald (2006). "The Little Engine that could: Nursing with profound deafness". In D. Maheady, Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses working with disAbilities, New York:iUniverse.

http://bigredcarpetnursing.com/2015/10/21/a-nurse-with-mental-illness-my-story/

http://www.minotdailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/522689/Nurse-to-graduate-in-spite-of-cerebral-palsy.html



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