33 minutes | Oct 29th 2020

Why we need more nurses with disabilities

Today’s guest is someone very special who is working tirelessly to change the field of nursing.  Andrea Dalzell is a registered nurse and a pioneering activist for people with disabilities. At five years old, she was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that left her unable to walk. Despite spending most of her life in a wheelchair, Andrea has been determined to make a difference, graduating with honors and receiving many awards for her advocacy work and leadership, including the Cindy Loo Disability Rights Advocate Award.  In 2018, Andrea became not only a registered nurse, but the only nurse in all of New York City who is in a wheelchair. After the school where she was working closed down in March, Andrea heeded Governor Cuomo’s call for help and began working on the frontlines with the city’s COVID patients.  Throughout her professional journey, Andrea has had to fight against the preconceived notions that her professors, bosses and colleagues have had about her disability. She has worked tirelessly to promote health inclusion and advocate for people with disabilities. Last month, she was awarded the inaugural Craig H. Neilsen Visionary Prize, which she’ll be using to start a foundation to encourage people with disabilities to get into the field of nursing and to ensure that nursing schools are equipped to handle students with disabilities.  Dr. Dan speaks with Andrea about her experiences, what she plans to do next and what she wants nurse leaders and other individuals working in the healthcare industry to know.  Links to recommended reading:  Craig H. Neilsen Visionary Prize  'Good Morning America' surprises NYC nurse, disability advocate with $1 million This RN Who Uses a Wheelchair Is Treating COVID-19 Patients in NYC  Trusted Health Frontline Nurse Mental Health & Well-being Survey  The full transcript for this episode can be found here: https://www.trustedhealth.com/the-handoff-podcast/andrea-dalzell 
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