Nursing 1 Final Exam

Nursing student sues Misericordia University after failing final exam
October 29, 2016 – 07:18 am

A nursing student at Misericordia University has filed suit against the university, claiming that the school broke federal law by denying her the ability to talk to her professor during an exam.

Jennifer Burbella is suing the university, several members of the administration and staff, as well the professor after she failed a required course two times.

Burbella said that she suffered from a host of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression and poor concentration, and that the university failed to make reasonable accommodations to her testing environment to account for her disability.

Specifically, Burbella claims that the university did not allow her to take the test in the same building as her professor and that when she was unable to reach the professor by phone during the final exam, she broke down crying “on several occasions” during the exam.

The suit raises some tricky questions about what accommodations are “reasonable” under federal disability law and whether Burbella can attribute failing her exam twice to her inability to speak with her professor during the test.

“Because she was denied her statutory right to accommodations, we’re looking primarily to have her take the test or take the course over with the accommodations she needs, ” Harry McGrath, Burbella’s attorney, told The Washington Post. “And if she passes the test. fine. And if she doesn’t pass the test, fine, then she has to live with that.”

According to the lawsuit, even before Burbella matriculated in 2010, she knew that she “had an existing predisposition which caused her to suffer from anxiety and depression.”

At Misericordia, she began seeing a school psychologist for her anxiety, depression and poor concentration in 2011.

But in spring 2014, Burbella failed a core curriculum class in her nursing program that required a minimum grade of 78 percent.

She agreed to retake the class in the summer, and the school officially agreed to make accommodations during the test because of her disability: extended time on the exam and a distraction-free environment.

When the time came for her to take the final exam again, the professor, Christina Tomkins, verbally offered to be available to answer questions that Burbella might have during the exam, according to the suit.

The only problem with that offer was that Burbella had already been scheduled to take the exam in a building different from the one used by the rest of her peers, so that she could have a distraction-free environment. Her professor was scheduled to proctor the exam in the other building.

Burbella claims that Tompkins denied her request to be moved to the same building as her classmates and instead gave Burbella a cellphone number on which she could be reached.

“The unfortunate reality of the situation on the day of the exam was that Professor Tompkins did not answer her cell phone despite [Burbella’s] repeated attempts to contact her throughout the final examination, ” the suit said. “Professor Tompkins’ failure to be available to the Plaintiff on numerous occasions during the examination created an even more stressful environment for the student.”

Source: www.washingtonpost.com
Interesting facts
The Minimum Data Set (MDS) is part of the U.S. federally mandated process for clinical assessment of all residents in Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing homes. This process provides a comprehensive assessment of each resident's functional capabilities and helps nursing home staff identify health problems.
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