A Phenomenological Study: Understanding Primary Care Providers' Lived Experiences in Rural Texas

A Phenomenological Study: Understanding Primary Care Providers' Lived Experiences in Rural Texas

Author: 
Donna Logan Bohlen
Program of study: 
D.H.A.
Abstract: 
This qualitative phenomenological study was designed to explore the lived experiences of Primary Care Providers (PCPs) working in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, an area of almost 5000 sq. mi. with a population of more than 1.3 million people. PCPs provide comprehensive, cost-effective healthcare for the entire family while focusing on disease prevention and wellness. The study’s specific purpose was to understand the lived experiences of PCPs in this unique location. Ten PCPs participants who met predefined criteria were selected through purposeful sampling. Participants were assigned an alpha numeric individual identifier to ensure confidentiality. Data was collected through individual interviews using six open-ended questions allowing participants to share their lived experiences. Through extensive and iterative analysis using both van Kaam’s method modified by Moustakas and NVivo 11TM, five major themes were revealed: (a) Job Satisfaction, (b) Challenges, (c) Job-Related Stress, (d) Work-Life Balance, and (e) Burnout. The five major themes culminated into the Essence of the Experience: PCPs resilience and resolve to cope and overcome challenges. This study also provided suggestions for future research to identify methods to improve PCP satisfaction and increase medical student’s decisions to choose a career in primary care.