Phenomenology: Nursing and Lived Experience

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A Phenomenological study describing the lived experience of nurses caring for prisoner-patients

by

Christopher Veal

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A Phenomenological study describing the lived experience of nurses caring for prisoner-patients

ABSTRACT

There are close to five thousand prisoners in custody in Queensland prisons and this number is on the increase. Prisoners have complex health needs and it is the role of the correctional health nurse to care for prisoner-patients and their health needs. Yet there is a paucity of research surrounding this topic. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the lived experience of nurses caring for prisoner-patients. Five registered nurses, employed in correctional centres in Southeast Queensland were interviewed to illuminate the experience of caring for prisoner-patients. Data was analyzed using Colaizzi’s (1978) method of phenomenology. Textual analysis revealed two themes with five corresponding sub-themes that depicted the meaning of nurses’ caring for prisonerpatients. The experience of nurses caring for prisoner-patients was described by nurse

participants as ‘obstructive practices’ from the custodial officers, ‘decreased standards of care’ by nursing staff, ‘prejudice’ towards to prisoners, ‘increased level of mentally ill prisoners’ and a ‘lack of recognition’ for nurses working in the prisons. Amidst all these

difficulties, nurses who cared for prisoner-patients demonstrated courage in the work they did and persevered for the sake of the their prisoner-patients and the specialty that is correctional health nursing. Communication must continue between prison and health care administrators in order to identify conflicting issues that impact on the autonomy of nurses delivering health care to prisoner-patients. Further research must also be conducted into the level of mental illness in the prisoners and the health care that is needed for the mentally ill prisoner.

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A Phenomenological study describing the lived experience of nurses caring for prisoner-patients

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT........................................................................................................................ i LIST OF TABLES ........................................................................................................... iv 1. CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION .................................................................1 1.1 Problem.........................................................................................................1 1.2 Background and Significance.......................................................................2 1.3 Purpose of the Study.....................................................................................5 2. CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW....................................................6 2.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................6 2.2 Nursing in correctional settings....................................................................6 2.3 The nature of nursing practice in prison settings........................................10 2.4 The clientele in prison settings and their health needs ...............................14 2.5 Nursing Theories and how they underpin correctional nurse practice .......18 2.6 Caring as an inherent dimension to nursing practice..................................24 2.7 Summary.....................................................................................................30 3. CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY ........................................................32 3.1 Introduction ................................................................................................32 3.2 Origins of Phenomenology.........................................................................32 3.3 Husserl’s Phenomenology ..........................................................................33 3.4...
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