Nurses’ and Patients’ Perceptions of Dignity Introduction This essay will provide an indepth analysis of the study of nurses’ and patients’ perceptions of dignity based on interviews by Ken Walsh and Inge Kowanko (2002) on real experiences of participants in the hospital…
143). Method or Design Phenomenological research is a science that deals with describing, interpreting and understanding human experiences of individuals, particularly patients and nurses. In this research, nurses were asked to tell their experiences with patients whose dignity was maintained or compromised. Patients were also asked about their hospital experiences in which their dignity was maintained or compromised. The whole process was done through unstructured interviews which lasted for about half an hour, and audiotaped by the researchers. The unstructured interview is used to motivate the participants to relate their stories at their convenient time. In arranging for interviews, the researcher informs the participants about the aim of the interview, the time frame, and the method it will be conducted whether audio-taped or video-taped. The participant have to be informed that the results of the interviews will be transcribed and that some of the answers will appear in articles, but the identity of the respondents will not be revealed. An unstructured interview is considered retrospective as the participants tell about their experiences about the subject being investigated. (Morse 2001) Unstructured interviews were used to explore and gather experiential narrative material and done in such a way that the researcher and the participants were like conversing with each other. The participants were not asked about their opinion on dignity but on their experiences wherein their dignity was maintained or compromised. After the interviews, the text was interpreted and analysed using ‘an interpretative hermeneutic approach,’ whereby themes were used and assigned on the participants’ responses. Out of the interpretations, the researchers drew their conclusions on the meaning of dignity and the circumstances where dignity was maintained or compromised. Sampling Sampling or recruitment of participants was done by way of posting notices in wards of a large hospital, which meant participants were asked to volunteer on the proposed study. Five patients and four nurses responded to the call and gave their informed consent. The sampling done in the study was not representative of the population of patients and nurses in that large metropolitan hospital mentioned in the study. Posting notices in wards do not draw the desired number of participants for a sample and does not generate a general opinion of the nurses and patients. However, the researchers were sure that the participants they intended to question possessed the desired information and that they were willing to answer the questions. Moreover, researchers should always try to obtain a sample that is representative of the population of interest. (Fraenkel & Wallen 2006, p. 402) There are other ways of drawing a sample, like random sampling, stratified random sampling, and cluster sampling. A simple random sample provides opportunity for every member of the population to have ‘an equal and independent chance of being selected,’ and ‘the larger a random sample is in size, the more likely it is to represent the population’ (Fraenkel & Wallen 2006, p. 95). This was not done in the research. What the researchers should have done was to ask permission of the owners or administrators of the hospital for the research to be ...
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