Case studies for inherent requirements

Walter

Walter is a prospective student wishing to undertake the Bachelor of Nursing. He is concerned about his ability to complete the degree due to the impact of a back injury he sustained as the result of a motor vehicle accident two years ago. Walter’s medical information indicates that he experiences pain on standing for extended periods and requires seated rest breaks approximately every 30 minutes. Further, Walter has some limitations on his movement – including difficulty with bending.

A discussion was held between Walter, the Disability Liaison Unit and the School of Nursing regarding the relevant inherent requirements of the Nursing program - those in relation to gross motor function and sustainable performance. Walter confirmed his standing tolerance at 30 minutes in addition to the requirement for frequent seated rest breaks of 15 minutes duration. The Clinical Co-ordinator from the School explained the diversity of physical activities undertaken by student nurses. Further discussion was undertaken regarding the types of reasonable adjustments that could be investigated to support Walter to undertake the program successfully such as rest breaks, part time placement and minimising travel to the placement site.

However, given Walter’s very limited ability to stand, it was concluded that such adjustments may not be sufficient to support him to complete all requisite activities in the clinical setting.

Walter acknowledged that his current physical limitations and impaired capacity for standing would significantly impact his ability to undertake the clinical aspects of the Bachelor of Nursing program.

It was determined that currently Walter would not be able to fulfil the Bachelor of Nursing inherent requirements even with reasonable adjustments in place. It would be difficult for him to successfully complete the B. Nursing program, given the impact of the condition on his capacity to undertake the clinical aspect of the program (which is compulsory).

Walter was advised that he may wish to re-evaluate his program choice and explore a program which has less physical demands or reconsider the timing of his studies, in order that he makes a further recovery.

Jessica

Jessica is a Master of Social Work student who is about to commence her first field work placement. Jessica has a specific learning disability which impacts upon her reading and construction of written text. Jessica uses ‘Text Help Read and Write Gold’, a software program that reads text from the screen and assists with written language to support her literacy in the academic context.

Jessica has engaged with the inherent requirements of the program and is aware that during her work integrated learning placement, she will be required to read and contribute to client notes.

Jessica proactively arranged a meeting with the Field Work Coordinator in order to make a suggestion around what reasonable adjustments she may require to meet the inherent requirements relating to reading and writing. Jessica suggested she could use the same software she used to support her academic studies on placement by providing her own laptop.

This was agreed to and the arrangement to use her laptop with software was communicated to the placement provider.