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Posted: November 14th, 2022

Are Intellectual Disability Nurses Perceived Differently from Other Nurses?

Are Intellectual Disability Nurses Perceived Differently from Other Nurses?

Intellectual disability (ID) nursing is a specialty field of nursing that provides holistic care to persons with an intellectual disability. ID nurses work as part of a multidisciplinary team to enable and empower people with ID to achieve their full potential. However, despite the importance and uniqueness of this role, ID nurses may face challenges and stereotypes that affect their professional identity and recognition.

One of the challenges that ID nurses face is the lack of education and training in this field. According to Appelgren et al., “few European health sciences curricula include undergraduate and graduate training courses in IDD” (1). This may result in RNs feeling unprepared or incompetent to support patients with ID, as well as a lack of awareness and knowledge among other health professionals and the public about the health needs and rights of this population. Moreover, the lack of education may contribute to the low status and visibility of ID nursing as a career choice and a research area.

Another challenge that ID nurses face is the complexity and diversity of their practice settings and roles. ID nurses may work in various settings, such as residential facilities, community services, schools, hospitals, or prisons, and may have different responsibilities, such as assessment, care planning, advocacy, education, or coordination. However, these roles may not be clearly defined or standardized across settings, leading to role ambiguity and confusion. Additionally, ID nurses may encounter difficulties in collaborating with other health professionals who may not understand or value their expertise and contribution.

Furthermore, ID nurses may face stereotypes and stigma that affect their self-image and perception by others. Some of these stereotypes may include that ID nursing is less challenging, less scientific, or less rewarding than other nursing specialties; that ID nurses are less skilled, less knowledgeable, or less professional than other nurses; or that ID nurses are more caring, more compassionate, or more patient than other nurses. These stereotypes may influence how ID nurses view themselves and their work, as well as how they are viewed and treated by their colleagues, managers, patients, families, and society.

In conclusion, ID nursing is a vital and distinctive field of nursing that requires specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes to provide quality care to persons with ID. However, ID nurses may face various challenges and stereotypes that affect their professional identity and recognition. Therefore, it is important to promote education and research in this field, to clarify and standardize the roles and responsibilities of ID nurses across settings, and to challenge and change the negative stereotypes and stigma associated with this specialty.

Works Cited

Appelgren, Marie et al. “Nurses’ experiences of caring for patients with intellectual developmental disorders: a systematic review using a meta-ethnographic approach.” BMC Nursing 17 (2018): 51. Web.

Auberry, Kathy. “Intellectual and developmental disability nursing: current challenges in the USA.” Nursing: Research and Reviews 8 (2018): 23-28. Web.

“BSc (Hons) in Intellectual Disability Nursing – South East …” WIT.ie. Web.

“Developmental Disability Nurse Career Overview.” NurseJournal.org. 12 Nov. 2021. Web. Research essay writing service.

“Learning disability nurse | Health Careers.” Healthcareers.nhs.uk. Web.

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