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Type: Theses
Title: Nurses' experience in caring for patients with traumatic spinal cord injury
Author: Mohd Arif, Shareena Bibi
Issue Date: 2015
School/Discipline: School of Nursing
Abstract: The aim of this study was to explore nurses’ experiences when caring for patients with traumatic spinal cord injury that had neurological deficit at a spinal unit in Australia. The study used a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Three registered nurses and three enrolled nurses with a broad range of experience were recruited and interviewed. The data were transcribed and analysed using Burnard’s (1991) 14-step approach to analysis. Four essential themes emerged: ‘Nurses’ interpretation of the patients and family’, ‘The passage of care’, ‘Patient needs’ and ‘Hope and grief’. The study revealed the experiences of six nurses, highlighting the passage of nursing care that the nurses underwent while caring for spinal cord injury patients. Although these patients had physical disabilities and were dependent physically, the nurses in this study showed that their concern and attentiveness was directed more towards fulfilling their patients’ psychological needs. During the acute phase, the nurses identified patients that were going through the process of grief. They believe in providing patients with hope in order to motivate them to move on in their lives; however, they knew that giving false hope may have a negative impact. Finally, the experience of caring for these patients and going through the passage of care gave the nurses the opportunity to understand their patients and their families. This suggests that the time spent with patients and their families gave the nurses a broader understanding of them, which in the long term helped the nurses to plan the care for future patients, and at the same time help their families to go through the traumatic life changes resulting from their family member’s injury.
Advisor: Rasmussen, Philippa
McLiesh, Paul
Dissertation Note: Thesis (M.Nurs.Sc.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Nursing, 2015
Keywords: coursework
spinal cord injury
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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