How Can I Perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if I Have Limited Mobility?
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Consider the following activities:
- If you are a nursing student, be sure to work with your Disability Services Office where you already have documented your disability. They can advocate for you with nursing faculty.
- Find out if the nursing program is willing to accept your theoretical knowledge of the skill and a learning laboratory demonstration of your competence, in lieu of actually carrying out the skill in the clinical setting? If not, you can do CPR standing beside a bed or stretcher if your knees are the issue. If you use a wheelchair, you have several options. You can get out of your chair onto the floor with the patient and do CPR there or you can lower the bed or stretcher to reach the patient.
- You also can use an Ambu-Bag, which helps with the assist breaths via a mask with an attached bag to inflate the patient’s lungs. Current guidelines emphasize chest compressions, which can be done on the floor.
- See how one nursing student adapted to situations like this in the film entitled Open the Door, Get ‘Em a Locker. Many nurses never perform CPR; most practicing nurses who find CPR difficult simply find a job that does not require this skill.
Disclaimer: The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) does not offer legal advice but NOND does offer resources to help you understand your rights, protections, and responsibilities within various Disability Rights Laws.