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Keywords:

  • disability;
  • nurse;
  • nurse workforce;
  • physician;
  • work life

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.