Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mentoring nursing students and nurses with disabilities

Mentoring is important for all nurses but particularly important for nursing students and nurses with disabilities. 

For a nursing student born missing a hand, a mentor with a similar challenge can provide support, encouragement and answer questions like, “how do you catheterize someone?” or “How do you give an injection?" “Did you ask for reasonable accommodations?”

For a new graduate with a hearing loss, a mentor can provide guidance, advice and answer questions such as, “Did you disclose your hearing loss before or after you were hired?” “Do you use an amplified or electronic stethoscope?” “What workplace accommodations did you ask for?” “Do you tell patients about your hearing loss?”

For a seasoned nurse with a mental health challenge, a mentor can offer advice and provide support.  A mentor can answer questions, suggest support groups and discuss the benefits and risks of disclosure.

A nursing faculty member newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis can find support and guidance from another faculty member with a disability. “How did you handle disclosure to administration?” “Did you disclose to students or nurses at clinical sites?” 

So, where can a student or nurse find a mentor? ExceptionalNurse.com http://ExceptionalNurse.com is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit dedicated to the inclusion of nursing students and nurses with disabilities in the nursing profession. The organization provides many resources and a long list of mentors with various disabilities.

Mentors can also be found by reading the books "The Exceptional Nurse: Tales from the trenches of truly resilient nurses with disabilities" http://tinyurl.com/qg9l49y and "Leave No Nurse Behind: Nurses working with disAbilities"http://tinyurl.com/kbkgnaa. Both books include chapters written by nurses and nursing students with disabilities. Contact information is included following each chapter.

If you are a nurse or nursing student with a disability....you are not alone! Others have paved the way. Reach out and get connected!

If you have paved the way as a nurse or nursing student with a disability, reach out and become a mentor. ExceptionalNurse.com can connect you to someone who needs your support.

All the best!

This post was written as part of the Nurse Blog CarnivalMore posts on this topic can be found ahttp://www.straightanursingstudent.com
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