Welcome to the Exceptional Nurse Blog! I am Donna Maheady, EdD, ARNP, founder of www.ExceptionalNurse.com, the nonprofit resource committed to inclusion of people with disabilities in nursing. We facilitate inclusion of students with disabilities in nursing education programs and foster resilience and continued practice for nurses who are, or become, disabled. We celebrate abilities, share resources and examples of nurses with disabilities who work with and without accommodations.
Recently, I received the following email from a nursing student.
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Angelica Baeza and I'm a new Nursing 1 student currently attending Orange County Community College in Newburgh, NY. I was born without the lower portion of my left arm. It's never interfered in any given task, but now as I go into the second week of Nursing 1, the questions arises, "Can I actually become a nurse?" Everything in my heart and soul is telling me "yes" but obviously I'm scared and nervous. I only wish to succeed and master all the skills necessary to achieve my goals!
Angelica also sent me the following videos of "Donning and removal of PPE". In one video she is practicing skills at home and in another one she is practicing in the car while her girls are in math tutoring!
The Royal College of Nursing's magazine reported on the experiences of nurses in the United Kingdom who are d/deaf. Helen Cherry was included in the article. In 1977, Helen Cherry became one of the first deaf people to begin nurse training. Helen has severe to profound deafness, meaning that she has little to no hearing without the benefit of hearing aids.... Helen's career flourished and in the late 80s
she followed a lifelong dream to travel, moving overseas to work firstly in
Australia and then India in early HIV/AIDS projects. One of the many roles she
undertook was heading up a team in Tasmania that was tracing haemophiliacs who
had unknowingly contracted HIV through infected blood. She went on to present a
paper on integrated patient care between Volunteer HIV/AIDS services and
Royal District Nurses services at the 4th international AIDS conference in
“Being deaf didn't stop me from my ambition to work overseas and
experience more of the world. I hope my experiences will encourage other D/deaf
nurses to realise what they can achieve”.
is currently working in education, co-facilitating sessions in health and
social care at London Southbank University’s innovative People’s Academy. “I
think people with diverse disabilities bring a wealth of their own experience
Jackie Wan who is a Deaf community nurse who works within the Deaf Adult Community Team (DACT) at Springfield University Hospital, which provides inpatient and outpatient mental health services to D/deaf children and adults... In 2016, Jackie won the Best Deaf Role Model award for her work supporting D/deaf people and being a leading example of what D/deaf people can achieve. Read more about Helen, Jackie and other d/deaf nurses who are breaking down boundaries and changing perceptions! Bravo!!! Donna https://www.rcn.org.uk/magazines/bulletin/2017/december/breaking-boundaries