Give Nurses in Wheelchairs a Chance
She says the most common objections to hiring a nurse who uses a wheelchair are doing CPR and lifting patients.
"Some nurse leaders who are hiring people will just stand firm on those, and the applicant can't get any further than that. There isn't any discussion of reasonable accommodations or giving the person a trial," Maheady says. "I always encourage a leader in particular to look at the candidate [and ask] is the person otherwise qualified? Can we at least sit down at the table and see how we can accommodate these nurses? Don't just close the door. Can we just keep the door open long enough to have a discussion?"
When it comes to interviewing, Maheady cautions nurse leaders against doing things like requiring a "walking interview." She says she's not a lawyer, but she does know that "you cannot ask one applicant to do something that you don't ask everyone."
Once the door of possible accommodations is open and the discussion is started, Maheady advises reaching out to other leaders who are accommodating nurses in wheelchairs for advice and feedback.
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