Title: Nurses with Disabilities Professional Issues and Job Retention
Author: Leslie Neal-Boylan
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, 2013
Reviewer: Jane Brown, patient safety advisor, Worcester Acute NHS Trust
What was it like?
This book will help nurses to gain a full understanding of how the issue of disability is affecting workforce supply in nursing. It states “this is the first research-based book to confront workplace issues facing nurses who have disabilities.” It sets about exploring the barriers nurses may experience in securing employment, the misconceptions surrounding disability in the workplace and the discrimination they often face. Instead of taking nursing away from the bedside it explores how we can take care of our own and ensure the right nurses are nursing patients.
The book looks at accommodating staff, which is something that can be overlooked, such as shift patterns, looking beyond the disability and perceived problems at interview and how much physical tasks might there be in the job applied for and can that person do the job.
What were the highlights?
The recognition that nurses with disabilities will not compromise patient care or safety.(???)* The author acknowledges the fact that everyone has the potential to be unsafe. This demystifies the myth that nurses with a disablement cannot look after patients. The author also explores the ever increasing problem of staff with obesity problems and looking at the perceived ideas that for instance cancer is a disease, which is unavoidable whereas obesity could be perceived as self-induced. The author quite rightly asks the question does the nurse who is obese lose his or her ability to think clearly and critically.
The author is an associate dean of an American school of nursing among other professional titles and interests. She is also a member of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
There are real-life examples throughout the book, and this helps in the further understanding of disabilities and shockingly that people will go to lengths to hide their disability due to fear of being found out.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The author recognises that nurses with physical and sensory disabilities have a difficult time finding and keeping a job, but states there are ways and means of securing a job that is patient focused. There is a place for all nurses who want to care for patients and that patient seek comfort from one who understands.
Although the book is intended for nurses working in US, some of the terminology is different to that in the UK such as the family and medical leave act. This must not put potential readers off as this is a well-written informative book and extremely valuable in this day and age.
Who should read it?
This book is a must for all healthcare managers, recruitment, occupational health, human resources and for all nurses working within the healthcare setting to gain a full understanding and dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding disability. It should be on all student nurses reading lists.