The Improvement of Research in the Nursing Practice
Nursing as a profession directly affects the healthcare sector and hence the patients’ health and lives. It is a job where one wrong mistake could cost the life of an individual. It provides no room for error no matter how inconsiderably small it may be viewed in any other circumstances. As such, many people and organizations devote both time and finances to the study of different issues directly or indirectly affecting nurses across the globe. The results of the majority of these studies are used to make decisions in various departments of the health sector. It is essential for these outcomes to be as valid and reliable as possible. Thus, the critique of these studies is vital. It points to the strengths and weakness of the particular research. The critique appreciates the strengths of the research and points to what could have been done to make it better. The following review is necessary for the improvement of research in the nursing practice.
A quantitative research study is mainly concerned with the numbers, ratios, percentages, and logic. Quantitative methods emphasize the objective measurements and the mathematical analysis of the data collected through surveys and questionnaires or through manipulating the pre-existing data. Quantitative research can be either descriptive or experimental. The introduction section of a quantitative study points to the research problem. It must clearly state the issue that is investigated. It also reviews the literature directly or indirectly related to the study and may involve synthesizing key themes.
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A good sample of quantitative research is a study of the nurses’ exposure to the bodily and mental violence published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies (Spector, Zhou, & Che, 2013). It introduces the literature summary with an abstract that provides an insight on what the article discusses further. It also describes the quantitative rates of the nurses’ exposure to different types of violence. The introduction explains the theoretical framework which underpins the hypotheses of the study. Lastly, it provides the definitions of complex terms and the necessary background information about the studies related to the violence towards nurses.
The methodology section of the quantitative research describes the population and the sample. It lists the sources of information. It is in this part that the tools of data collection and the variables are defined. It also describes the procedures for data analysis. The article is a summary of quantitative reviews on the topic of nursing violence. The Medline, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases among other 136 different articles have provided data about around 156,300 nurses from 160 samples (Spector et al., 2013). There is an organized presentation of the relevant data. For instance exposure rates to violence are shown in percentages according to the type of aggression. The five groups of violence addressed are nonphysical, physical, sexual aggravation, bullying, and the uncategorized type.
The results section of the quantitative research study shows the findings of the research and the interpretation of results. The authors describe trends, compare the data, and elaborate on the relationships among the variables. The discussion section also handles the limitations and implications of the study. The sample article about the nurses’ experiences indicates the overall violence exposure rates at 36% for bodily harm, 66% for mental abuse, 26% for sexual aggravation, and 40% for bullying (Spector et al., 2013). Varying rates have been recorded in different regions. The Middle East has been experiencing the highest rates of exposure to nonphysical violence and bullying. The conclusion shows the summary of the findings, recommendations for various parties, and the relevance of the research for future studies. The research concludes that about a third of the nurses worldwide are exposed to violence with physical abuse being more prevalent in mental facilities and emergency departments. The patients account for the most frequent source of physical assault in the African and European regions. In the Middle East, the patients’ families and friends are more often responsible.
The review of nurses’ violence has a large population that represents one of its strengths. The research is a representation of over 150,000 nurses across the world. The quantitative aspect of the research allows for a broad study. Thus, it is easy to generalize the results. The use of valid databases to locate relevant articles boosts the reliability of the survey. The summary involves few variables mainly focusing on violence in the nursing sector. Thus, the review allows for the comparisons to be made regarding the types of violence and prevalence rates in different parts of the world. This quantitative study makes it easy to conduct comparisons as it focuses on the statistical analysis of the data (Nieswiadomy, 2012).
However, the abovementioned research is a summary of different studies carried out by varying individual researchers and organizations. Therefore, the reliability and validity of some works used may be questionable. The fact that the research is a summary shows that it has been carried out in an artificial environment. Thus, it may display the results of the nursing violence as laboratory outcomes rather than the real case. Another pitfall of the summary is the incomparability of the studies across different types of violence and the regions across the world as documented in various summarized studies. The results of the study also do not reflect the motivation and attitudes of the nurses themselves towards violence. The summary focuses on providing a mathematical description of the percentage of nurses exposed to violence while forgetting to address the detailed narrative that describes the human perception.
Qualitative research is more concerned with the narrative aspect of a certain topic under study. It assumes most of the statistical dimensions of the research and conducts a more theory-oriented analysis. Qualitative research mostly uses unstructured data collection methods. The most important aspect of the qualitative study is determining the research question. It must be clear and precise. The main question should be inquisitive and capture the reasons for individual attitudes and motivations rather than focusing on numbers. An applicable example of this kind of study is a qualitative study of hospital-based nurses’ experience of structural divergence conducted by Anderson (2015). This research addresses how hospital-based nurses describe instances of structural divergence and how they perceive conflicts related to structural alteration (Anderson, 2015).
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The study of the experiences of nurses in the relationship with structural divergence reviews the literature on the conflict between nurses and physicians as they try to negotiate for power. The methodology section of the qualitative research study analyzes the population and the sample. The qualitative study on structural divergence focuses on ten hospital-based nurses from different departments mostly from the Mid-Atlanta region (Anderson, 2015). The methodology section also addresses various methods used to collect and analyze the data. The participants in this qualitative research have been interviewed using a semi-structured narrative approach where they have narrated their experiences on the topic under study. The methodology section analyzes the key insights on the methods applied in the research. The data in this study is analyzed using phenomenological methods that help interpret personal experiences of individuals.
The findings of the qualitative research study are described theoretically rather than statistically. The article addresses three themes that connect around the results and the research question. These three topics are: managing overload, identifying and discussing boundaries, and substituting and advocating (Anderson, 2015). Each interviewed nurse has experienced problems with managers or physicians on any of the three topics. Thus, they have developed their own strategies for avoiding structural divergence in their facilities. The qualitative research study must clearly indicate its implications and limitations. Thus, the conclusion involves the summary of the research and the necessary recommendations for future studies as discussed in this particular study.
However, qualitative analysis has its own pitfalls. In the study of structural divergence in health care, the research uses a sample of only ten nurses to represent all the nurses. It is impossible to make valid conclusions from such small sample size (Nieswiadomy, 2012). Nevertheless, this limited number is advantageous for the author. For example, it paints a real and complete picture of what these ten hospital-based nurses have lived through. Unfortunately, the sample does not address the diverse groups in the nursing fraternity as all the participants are predominantly white and female. The fact that the nurses come from different departments makes the generalization of results possible only to some extent. The cross-departmental disparities are crucial in showcasing that all nurses experience structural divergence despite their specialty. This study addresses involves the participants of different ages from 25 to 60 with an average age of 44 years. However, it is essential to note that the survey does not represent other demographic factors such as a geographical location or the size of the nursing department.
All in all, both qualitative and quantitative research methods are essential for analyzing key aspects of any nursing study. Where one of the methods may fail, other approaches can be used to improve the validity and reliability of the results. The above critique of the two samples elaborates on the different areas where researchers have achieved their goals and some sections where improvements are crucial.