The effects of dyslexia on the work of nurses and healthcare assistants
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The effects of dyslexia on the work of nurses and healthcare assistants

Karen Illingworth Clinical effectiveness adviser, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds

Aim To explore the effects of being dyslexic on the working lives of nurses and healthcare assistants (HCAs), and to identify what might be done to improve their working lives.

Method A qualitative approach was taken comprising semi-structured interviews and interpretative data analysis. Seven nurses and HCAs took part in the study.

Findings Dyslexia affects each individual differently and may affect career choice and career progression. Appropriate support from colleagues and employers is important. The participants identified dyslexia-friendly practices and made suggestions for improvements.

Conclusion Nurses and HCAs with dyslexia can make a major contribution to patient care, although dyslexia can affect their work in many different ways. Establishing a dyslexia-friendly workplace would help them to achieve their maximum potential.

Nursing Standard. 19, 38, 41-48. doi: 10.7748/ns2005.06.19.38.41.c3880