Early Years (FD) and Medical Conditions

 

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

Learning Support (FD) and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

Education Studies and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

 

Psychology and Medical Conditions

 

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Psychology and Students with Medical Conditions

Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment

Sociology and Medical Conditions

 

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

History and Medical Conditions

 

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

General Business and Management and Medical Conditions

 

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General Business and Management and Students with Medical Conditions

Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment

Manufacturing Management (FD) and Medical Conditions

 

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Manufacturing Management and Students with Medical Conditions

Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment

International Foundation Diploma and Medical Conditions

 

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International Foundation Diploma and Students with Medical Conditions

Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment

Biosciences and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

 

Geography and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

For further details concerning geography and students with medical conditions see Waterfield, J., West, B. and Chalkley, B. (2006), Developing an Inclusive Curriculum for Students with Dyslexia and Hidden Disabilities. The Geography Disciplines Network (GDN) Inclusive Curriculum Project (ICP) Guidelines, HEFCE Project, University of Gloucestershire, http://www2.glos.ac.uk/gdn/icp/idyslexia.pdf (accessed November 2006).

 

Medical Conditions

Challenges and Subjects – this link takes you to challenges and subjects associated with this disability.


Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

Detailed descriptions of some Medical Conditions

Allergies and Asthma

Increasing numbers of people are affected by some kind of allergy or by asthma. With regard to asthma, the National Asthma Audit 1999/2000 found that at least 1 in 25 adults in the UK aged 16 and over – over 1.9 million adults – has asthma symptoms currently requiring treatment. Approximately 1 in 7 children aged 2-15 (over 1.5 million children) are also estimated to have such symptoms http://www.asthma.org.uk/infofa18.html . This is the equivalent of over 3.4 million people with asthma in the UK. These figures are higher than in past years, supporting the various studies which have shown that asthma is on the increase.

Most adults with asthma are able to establish methods of controlling their condition so that it does not normally affect their daily life. They know possible triggers and therefore are often able to prevent asthma attacks. However, it is still necessary for colleges to ensure that there are proper procedures for dealing with substances – called respiratory sensitisers – that can cause asthma or other allergies, those most relevant to the industry are animal allergens, chemicals and latex rubber.

Chemicals and latex rubber

It is normally possible for precautions to be taken so that individuals known to have some allergy to chemicals, latex rubber or other substances can avoid using them.

Dysosmia – Impaired Sense of Smell

An impaired sense of smell is usually associated with ageing. However, it can also occur in younger people and can be present from birth.

Apart from the need for extra safety precautions with regard to detecting smoke and gas, there is also the need to compensate for the fact that, for example, someone cannot detect food which has decayed.

Epilepsy

It is estimated that in the UK, 1 in 200 people have epilepsy and 1 in 20 people will have an epileptic seizure at some time in their lives. 300,000 people in the UK are currently thought to have epilepsy. Given the high incidence of epilepsy, it seems likely that there may be many veterinarians who have epilepsy.

The UK National Society for Epilepsy http://www.epilepsynse.org.uk provides advice for employers on the issues relating to someone who has epilepsy. The Society’s literature states that:

”If someone has uncontrolled epilepsy, it will be necessary to take into consideration any risks that a particular type of seizure might present in the workplace to themselves, their colleagues and clients”

According to the Society’s information, some occupations are barred by statutory provision for people with a history of epilepsy. These are:

Teaching posts involving physical education, science and technology, work with young children, jobs in the prison service involving close contact with inmates and some areas of nursing.

Also other professions Police and Armed Services are included in this exemption.

Each of the above professions has specific regulations, some of which allow them to accept people who have not had seizures for a specified number of years and have not been taking medication during that time. Other occupations listed as being those where difficulties may be experienced even though there are no statutory barriers include:

Aircraft pilot, ambulance driver, merchant seaman, LGV, PCV or Taxi driver, train driver and jobs in the armed services, fire brigade or police.

There is therefore a well-trodden path and an acceptance of the fact that it is not only perfectly legitimate but also a grave responsibility to exclude people with certain types of epilepsy from certain professions.

Photosensitive epilepsy is a rare condition in which seizures may be triggered by flashing or flickering lights or by certain geometric shapes and patterns. People with this condition are most likely to react to lights which flicker between five and thirty times per second (5-30Hz). An area of research currently being carried out by the US Access Board concerns producing fire alarm strobe lights which do not provoke an epileptic seizure in someone with this condition.

Another area for consideration is the issue of holding a driving licence. Whilst knowing how to drive is not an essential requirement for a vet, as stated earlier, it could be for someone who wanted to go on to work in a rural setting. In the UK, current regulations state that a person needs to be seizure free for a period of one year, either with or without anti-epileptic medication in order to hold a Group 1 driving licence (cars and motorbikes). Even if it is not essential for qualifying in the profession, therefore, not being able to drive because of epilepsy could affect someone’s future career path.

Characteristics Impacting on Learning and Teaching

Routines

Conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy or psychiatric conditions can seriously affect a person’s daily routine. In many ways, it can be the side effects of the condition itself which causes difficulty. For example, a student may be prone to fatigue or stress or special medication may cause drowsiness and/or poor concentration.

Environment

Students can also be affected by the environment, e.g. students with epilepsy, diabetes or asthma. For some these cause physical or sensory disabilities but for many others stamina can also be affected. This means that planning an evenly distributed workload with the possibility of delayed/staggered deadlines is important. This consideration is particularly significant when students have had time off and need to catch up as well as cope with the demands of new studies.

Understanding

Students with these conditions many not see themselves as having a disability and may not have indicated on application that they have a particular need. Students may also have faced previous prejudice from those around them and this also may restrict their disclosure of their condition. It is therefore particularly important that it is known that tutors will be sympathetic to students with such hidden disabilities or medical conditions.

Medical Conditions

For further information on medical conditions, please see the following external links and references:

If you would like to recommend any links to be added to this page please email s.smith@worc.ac.uk 

 

Asthma UK http://www.asthma.org.uk/

Cancer Research UK http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME) http://www.afme.org.uk/

Cystic Fibrosis Trust https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/

Diabetes UK http://www.diabetes.org.uk/

Health Line Type 2 diabetes http://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes

Macmillan Cancer Relief http://www.macmillan.org.uk/

Multiple Sclerosis http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/

Muscular Dystrophy Campaign http://www.muscular-dystrophy.org/

NACC (Crohn’s Disease) https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/

Narcolepsy Association UK http://www.narcolepsy.org.uk/

National Society for Epilepsy https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/

Pain Concern http://www.painconcern.org.uk/

Terrence Higgins Trust (HIV / AIDS Information) http://www.tht.org.uk/

Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

Music and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

 

Nursing and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

 

Physiotherapy and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

It is very likely that Clinical Educators will already have experience of supervising physiotherapy students with a range of medical conditions. These may or may not have been declared by the student whilst on placement. Support of Students with medical conditions is a wide ranging issue as many different conditions could be included as long as they have substantial, adverse and long term effects on the student’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Students in these situations need to be dealt with on an individual basis as the requirements of each will be different, and an open and non-judgmental approach is key, particularly with regard to:

  • Requiring time out for medical appointments.
  • Requesting flexible work patterns, or
  • Needing regular work patterns with set breaks to allow for regular food intake.
  • Using appropriately modified techniques.
  • Being responsible for their own personal safety and that of patients and colleagues.

Any reasonable adjustments should be negotiated and agreed with the student, ideally prior to the commencement of the placement. University staff members may also be involved in this process. A note should be made of the agreed adjustments and all parties involved in the negotiation should sign this record. The arrangements should be reviewed at intervals throughout the placement to ensure their effectiveness. An open attitude to these issues will encourage the student to approach the Clinical Educator early enough to avoid the development of any problems.

 

Social Work and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

The General Social Care Council’s (GSCC) rules for registration (GSCC, 2003) quote section 58(1)(b) of the Care Standards Act, 2000, in stating that applicants should provide evidence of their "physical and mental fitness to practise the whole or part of the work of a social worker".

What is positive in this statement is that people may be fit only to undertake part of the work of a social worker, which indicates sensitivity to the concept of adjustments that might be made under the Disability Discrimination Act. To support this, the GSCC has stated:

We mean that your physical or mental health condition should not affect your judgement or performance in a way that poses a risk to others. We must establish this about all of our applicants as the law says that we have to make sure that everyone who is registered is "physically and mentally fit" to work in social care. The Registration Committee will assess whether a relevant declared health condition will affect registration. Telling us about a health condition will not necessarily prevent you from being registered, but could lead to conditions being placed on your registration. Most importantly, it is not a bar to registering for people with disabilities.
(email from registration@gscc.org.uk, 18/08/2003)

The process will ensure that social workers do not have to reveal health information to employers, but if the GSCC consider it relevant they may reveal it as part of the conditions. Regulatory bodies such as the GSCC are subject to the DDA Part 2 and the codes of practice. Currently, the GSCC registration forms require applicants to give details about medical conditions, and whilst they are unable to give a full list of what is relevant, they state that it includes conditions that may cause seizures, conditions or treatments that may result in memory loss, communicable diseases, serious mental ill health and substance dependence. Decisions on whether to register, register with conditions or not to register will be taken after seeking medical advice.

There is no intention to automatically exclude people with certain conditions and to do so would be problematic. Richard Exell of the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) makes it clear that:

…discrimination based on prejudices are stereotypes and not justified or legal. Let me be clear, we need to rule out any assumption that "it isn’t safe for people with X to do Y"
(Exell, 2002)

physical and mental fitness to practise the whole or part of the work of a social worker. Most importantly, it is not a bar to registering for people with disabilities. Risk assessments must be individualised.

The DRC’s code of practice for trade and qualifications bodies states in relation to competence standards that, Medical requirements which are based on stereotypical assumptions about the health and safety implications of disability generally, or about particular types of disability, are likely to be directly discriminatory – less favourable treatment of a disabled person resulting from the application of such a requirement will therefore be unlawful.
(Disability Rights Commission, 2003, p. 91)

Exell argues that it is important to individualise risk assessments and not to simply try to remove disabled people from the workplace, rather to adapt their environment to their needs. The GSCC registration process has only just begun and as with other trade and qualifications bodies they will need to ensure their processes and practices are in line with the DDA Part 2 and the forthcoming codes of practice. Their task will be to balance these requirements with those of the Care Standards Act, 2000 to ensure the quality of social work practice.

 

Veterinary Science and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

Students with a wide range of disabilities or health conditions can achieve the required standards of knowledge and skills to enable them to practise as veterinary surgeons, but it needs to be recognised that each case is different and has to be viewed on its individual merits. The safety of patients, the public and other colleagues must always take priority.

There are very many conditions which may not be a disability but which may nevertheless impact upon someone’s performance as a veterinary surgeon.

Allergies and Asthma

Increasing numbers of people are affected by some kind of allergy or by asthma. With regard to asthma, the National Asthma Audit 1999/2000 found that at least 1 in 25 adults in the UK aged 16 and over – over 1.9 million adults – has asthma symptoms currently requiring treatment. Approximately 1 in 7 children aged 2-15 (over 1.5 million children) are also estimated to have such symptoms http://www.asthma.org.uk/infofa18.html . This is the equivalent of over 3.4 million people with asthma in the UK. These figures are higher than in past years, supporting the various studies which have shown that asthma is on the increase.

Most adults with asthma are able to establish methods of controlling their condition so that it does not normally affect their daily life. They know possible triggers and therefore are often able to prevent asthma attacks. However, it is still necessary for veterinary medical colleges to ensure that there are proper procedures for dealing with substances – called respiratory sensitisers – that can cause asthma or other allergies, those most relevant to the industry are animal allergens, chemicals and latex rubber.

Animal allergens

Most veterinary medical colleges have reported that they have had students who have indicated that contact with certain animals or with certain animal products produces an allergic reaction. These reactions are caused by the protein found in the oil glands in the skin of animals, the dander (minute particles or scales shed from the feathers, hair or skin of various animals), the saliva or the urine. Some individuals may even have serious or life-threatening allergies to certain animals.

These situations should be looked at on a case by case basis and with common sense. However, they should also be looked at in the context of accommodations or special allowances made for students with physical disabilities. One should ask what is the effective difference between a student who cannot work with horses because he uses a wheelchair and cannot safely enter the stable, and a student who is physically able to enter the stable but is barred from doing so by an allergic reaction. The difference seems to be only one of perception – many people seem to believe that the first student’s situation is more serious, whereas this is not actually the case.

Chemicals and latex rubber

It is normally possible for precautions to be taken so that individuals known to have some allergy to chemicals, latex rubber or other substances can avoid using of them. Health and safety is a major issue already within the veterinary profession so that it should be only in rare instances that someone cannot participate because of such allergic reactions.

Dysosmia – Impaired Sense of Smell

An impaired sense of smell is usually associated with ageing. However, it can also occur in younger people and can be present from birth.

Apart from the need for extra safety precautions with regard to detecting smoke and gas, there is also the need to compensate for the fact that, for example, someone cannot detect food which has decayed off. A vet with a smell impairment would therefore have to ensure that human and animal safety and welfare were not jeopardised.

Specific issues relating to the veterinary profession relate to areas where a vet uses the sense of smell to reinforce information coming in through the other senses. One equine expert stated that he was unable to insert a tube into a horse’s stomach correctly because he could not tell when the tube had reached the stomach. There are undoubtedly other tasks which likewise depend upon someone being able to detect things through smell.

Epilepsy

It is estimated that in the UK, 1 in 200 people have epilepsy and 1 in 20 people will have an epileptic seizure at some time in their lives. 300,000 people in the UK are currently thought to have epilepsy. Given the high incidence of epilepsy, it seems likely that there may be many veterinarians who have epilepsy.

The UK National Society for Epilepsy http://www.epilepsynse.org.uk provides advice for employers on the issues relating to someone who has epilepsy. The Society’s literature states that:

”If someone has uncontrolled epilepsy, it will be necessary to take into consideration any risks that a particular type of seizure might present in the workplace to themselves, their colleagues and clients”

Relating this to the veterinary profession, one must also add ‘animals’ or ‘patients’ to the list of those potentially at risk.

According to the Society’s information, some occupations are barred by statutory provision for people with a history of epilepsy. These are:

Teaching posts involving physical education, science and technology, work with young children, jobs in the prison service involving close contact with inmates and some areas of nursing.

Each of the above professions has specific regulations, some of which allow them to accept people who have not had seizures for a specified number of years and have not been taking medication during that time. Other occupations listed as being those where difficulties may be experienced even though there are no statutory barriers include:

Aircraft pilot, ambulance driver, merchant seaman, LGV, PCV or Taxi driver, train driver and jobs in the armed services, fire brigade or police.

There is therefore a well-trodden path and an acceptance of the fact that it is not only perfectly legitimate but also a grave responsibility to exclude people with certain types of epilepsy from certain professions.

Epilepsy and the veterinary profession

This is therefore a matter now for the veterinary profession to consider seriously. There are many situations where a veterinary surgeon literally holds the life of an animal in his/her arms so that to have an epileptic seizure could have devastating consequences.

Apart from this direct contact with animals. there are other situations where people with certain types of epilepsy would encounter difficulties.

Photosensitive epilepsy is a rare condition in which seizures may be triggered by flashing or flickering lights or by certain geometric shapes and patterns. People with this condition are most likely to react to lights which flicker between five and thirty times per second (5-30Hz). An area of research currently being carried out by the US Access Board concerns producing fire alarm strobe lights which do not provoke an epileptic seizure in someone with this condition.

Another area for consideration is the issue of holding a driving licence. Whilst knowing how to drive is not an essential requirement for a vet, as stated earlier, it could be for someone who wanted to go on to work in a rural setting. In the UK, current regulations state that a person needs to be seizure free for a period of one year, either with or without anti-epileptic medication in order to hold a Group 1 driving licence (cars and motorbikes). Even if it is not essential for qualifying in the profession, therefore, not being able to drive because of epilepsy could affect someone’s future career path.

Phobias

This has been included because of the very high incidence of animal phobias reported among veterinary students. Veterinary medical college staff appear to deal with this in the same way as they deal with people who have allergies – i.e. people are permitted to miss out on certain aspects of the curriculum because of their phobia. Although more research is needed to establish whether there is a specific pattern of phobias and other disorders found among veterinarians.

Much of the information for this page was sourced from: Tynan, Anne. (2001) At the Portal of the Profession: The Veterinary Profession and People with Disabilities – A North American Perspective. University of London: Royal Veterinary College. http://www.rvc.ac.uk/RVC_Life/PDFs/AtThePortal.PDF necessary to discuss the safety of certain activities in particular with regard to laboratory settings, practical work or field trips.

 

Computing and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

 

Dance, Drama and Performance and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.

English and Medical Conditions

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Brief description of Medical Conditions

The term Medical Condition includes asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, chronic pain and heart disease. Most people have experienced ill health of one kind or another from time to time, but this has probably been temporary in nature. Some people, however, have long term or permanent conditions which have been present from birth or acquired during life. The effects of these depend on the person’s age, circumstances and the nature of the conditions and/or treatment.