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HIV + registered nurses
Sep 4, 1997

I recently returned to work with the dubious help of my state's Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation. I am a registered nurse, with a Ph.D. and speciality in chemical dependency. The "rehab counselor" and his team have provided my with little help in finding employment since they were against me having any contact with patients. Their rationale was their fear that I would pose a risk to the patients "if one of them were to bite me." (I'm not making this up). I pointed out to them that they obviously did not understand HIV or people with mental health issues. In twenty years of practice, I've never been bitten by a patient. Anyway, I was wondering what recourse I have. I've registered a grievance through "official channels" which has proved to be a large waste of time. I have done my own work anyway and found a job without the aid of the BVR. I also realize that I'm highly credentialed and am not in the same position as many others, who might have to accept the decisions of BVR. Is there legal recourse one would have when faced with such ignorance? Thank you.

Response from Ms. Gabriel

Because your question is regarding legal recourse, I am referring it to the section regarding HIV and the Law. I have forwarded your question to them, please check that area for a reply (http://www.thebody.com/cgi/legalans.html#recent). Thank you.

Lynne Gabriel



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