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An Exploration and Comparison of the Worklife Experiences of Registered Nurses and Physicians with Permanent Physical and/or Sensory Disabilities

Neal-Boylan, Leslie PhD CRRN APRN-BC FNP

doi: 10.1002/RNJ.00005
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Purpose To examine the worklife experiences of physicians, to further the exploration of the worklife experiences of nurses with disabilities, and to discover how the two healthcare professions compare with each other with regard to these experiences.

Methods This study employed the research tradition of interpretive naturalistic inquiry and used constant comparative analysis to collect and analyze the data.

Findings Despite the cultural and educational differences between physicians and RNs, their experiences as healthcare professionals with self-identified permanent physical and/or sensory disabilities were very similar. The research team identified five core themes.

Conclusions Healthcare professionals, including staff and administrators, need to make an effort to retain employees as turnover and predicted shortages are likely to jeopardize the current healthcare system.

Clinical relevance Modifications can be made within both professions to support people with disabilities and to enable them to contribute to their professions using their abilities to think critically, solve problems, and care for patients safely.

Leslie Neal-Boylan, PhD CRRN APRN-BC FNP, is a Professor in the Department of Nursing at the Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent St, New Haven, CT. Address correspondence to leslie.neal-boylan@yale.edu.

© 2012 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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