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Qualitative Research Design in Nursing Practice Essay

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Table of Contents
Article Summary and Design
Appropriateness and Ethical Challenges
Conclusion
References

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The role of qualitative research methods is often undermined by scholars who believe that only quantitative studies are useful. However, the use of qualitative methods is essential to the development of any research field. In nursing, for instance, scholars may use qualitative approaches to analyze patients and healthcare professionals’ psychological state, behavior, and personal opinions. Furthermore, qualitative studies can help researchers to uncover new, previously unconsidered ideas and concepts. The article by Pickering, Nurenberg, and Schiamberg (2017) is analyzed below regarding its research design appropriateness and ethical considerations.

Article Summary and Design

In their study, Pickering et al. (2017) address the problem of toxicity in the environment of nursing homes. As the authors note, many caretakers report that their older family members and loved ones were exposed to different types of abuse, violence, and neglect during their stay in a nursing home (Pickering et al., 2017). Thus, the study aims to analyze certified nurse assistants’ (CNAs) opinions about workplace bullying and its impact on patient safety and quality of care. The scholars employ an approach called grounded theory. With the help of this design, they address the toxicity as observed by CNAs by conducting semi-structured interviews.

After analyzing collected data, the researchers reveal a process through which CNAs usually go when working in a toxic workplace. The steps of this process include problem identification, loss of trust, reconciliation of expectations, and the development of outcomes. The first step deals with bullying recognition – an event during which nurses become aware of the workplace’s toxicity. Different categories of bullying identified by the authors include staff belittling, favoritism, mishandling of incidents, and risk misinterpretation (Pickering et al., 2017). Nurses who do not resign after losing trust in the establishment develop behavior patterns to ensure patient safety often negatively affecting their own physical and mental health. The authors conclude that individual characteristics of workers are not as crucial as the establishment’s overall culture for the toxic environment creation.

Appropriateness and Ethical Challenges

One can identify grounded theory as the design of the discussed study. This particular method is considered to be one of the common qualitative approaches along with phenomenology (Gentles, Charles, Ploeg, & McKibbon, 2015). This design studies the opinions of people who exist in a particular environment and analyzes them to establish possible issues from the perspective of involved persons (Polit & Beck, 2017). This design is appropriate for the study because it corresponds with the authors’ intent. As Gentles et al. (2015) note, grounded theory studies are perfect for exploring social processes. Here, the analysis of behavioral patterns that nurses developed fits in with the design’s purpose. If the scholars decided to employ a quantitative approach instead, their conclusions could be different from the existing ones. For instance, the development of nurses’ mechanisms to protect patients could not have been identified if the authors did not discuss it as a hypothesis.

The study was also conducted with various ethical considerations in mind. As Houghton, Casey, Shaw, and Murphy (2010) state, qualitative studies can be burdened by a plethora of ethical problems. The authors of the discussed research protected CNAs’ privacy by contacting nurses from another state and talking with them over the phone through a special calling service that hid phone numbers and identification information. Furthermore, all data that could potentially identify patients or workers was avoided during the interview. The authors also addressed the nature of the study and many ethical problems that might arise from talking about abuse (Pickering et al., 2017). All participants were recruited by email and informed about the study’s themes.

Conclusion

Qualitative studies can provide researchers with valuable data about personal experiences and opinions of all involved and affected individuals. The discussed article shows that a qualitative grounded theory approach can reveal concepts that would be ignored in a quantitative study. The authors of the provided example encounter many ethical problems during their research. However, they successfully overcome them by using special services and ensuring participants’ anonymity and consent.

References

Gentles, S. J., Charles, C., Ploeg, J., & McKibbon, K. A. (2015). Sampling in qualitative research: Insights from an overview of the methods literature. The Qualitative Report, 20(11), 1772-1789.

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Houghton, C. E., Casey, D., Shaw, D., & Murphy, K. (2010). Ethical challenges in qualitative research: Examples from practice. Nurse Researcher, 18(1), 15–25.

Pickering, C. E. Z., Nurenberg, K., & Schiamberg, L. (2017). Recognizing and responding to the “toxic” work environment: Worker safety, patient safety, and abuse/neglect in nursing homes. Qualitative Health Research, 27(12), 1870-1881.

Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2017). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

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