Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession (6)9 Sep 98


Quick Summary: Take-down and restraint were essential functions of this psych nurse's position.

   The facility re-evaluated its practice of allowing nurses to opt out of training in take-down and restraint techniques but still to work in direct care positions.

   A nurse with degenerative osteoarthritis never had the training. The practice was re-evaluated after she was working with someone who it turned out also had never had the physical training. In her disability discrimination suit the jury decided the physical training was an essential job function. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said the facility was on solid ground to take this nurse out of her direct care position. Jones v. Kerrville State Hospital, 142 F. 3d 263 (5th Cir., 1998).