The College of Nurses of Ontario protects the public by ensuring that all nurses registered in this province meet the practice standards of ethics, competency, safety and knowledge (College of Nurses of Ontario, 2009, p.3). The foundation of these competencies is evidence-informed practice based on scientific nursing research (Davies & Logan, 2012, p.1). Through the critical reading of research papers, nurses acquire the latest scientific knowledge necessary to practice their profession in a rapidly changing health care environment, thereby maintaining their required level of competency as set out by the CNO (CNO, 2009, p.3). As students who are becoming socialized into the profession of nursing, learning to critically read research papers is a skill vital to our future practice. The purpose of this research assignment then, is to develop our critical thinking and research reading skills. Purpose of the Study
The article that I chose to evaluate for this assignment, “ Impact of Death and Dying on the Personal Lives and Practices of Palliative and Hospice Care Professionals,” by Shane Sinclair Ph.D., appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in February 2011. The researcher proposed to evaluate how the experiences of dealing with death and dying on a regular basis, effected the spiritual views and professional practices of these health care professionals, and to identify any overarching themes that became apparent upon data analysis.
The researcher realized that this study filled a research gap. There is a great deal of extant research regarding how death and dying effect patients and their families, but much less about how this process impacts health care professionals (Sinclair, 2011). As health care providers, we are impacted by what we see and experience professionally every day. Death and dying is something that we all will encounter. Reading about how others in our field have been impacted by their experiences may help those of us who have yet to experience death and dying in the health care setting, to better evaluate our own inevitable feelings and reactions. As a student nurse, I feel that this is a topic worthy of research. Method
Because this study deals with the experiences, thoughts and feelings of the participants, the researcher chose a qualitative research method (Davies & Logan, 2012, p.9). Qualitative research can be accomplished using different design methods. The design method chosen by the researcher was ethnography research (Sinclair, 2011). This design method originated in the field on anthropology and has been expanded to include other culturally based groups (Davies & Logan, 2012, p.50). For this study, the researcher chose an interprofessional team consisting of 6 key leaders and 24 frontline workers, all of whom worked in the palliative and hospice field (Sinclair, 2011). Consistent with ethnographic studies, the researcher used the technique of participant observation to gather research data. This is a form of naturalistic observation in which the researcher observes the behaviours of the participants in their own environment (Ciccarelli, White, Fritzley, & Harrigan, 2013, p.19), allowing him or her to get an etic perspective – that of the outsider (Sinclair, 2011). He combined this with the use of semi-structured interviews. These were 2 hours long private interviews conducted at the work places of the participants (Sinclair, 2011). The questionnaire set the structure of the interview, but allowed the participants to fully express their deeply personal information in their own ways. This allowed the researcher to get an emic perspective – that of the insider (Sinclair, 2011).
For this particular type of study, the researcher chose a good design method. A quantitative method of research would have been impossible, as people’s feelings, thoughts and experiences cannot be reduced to numbers. The ethnographic method chosen was also appropriate, as was the...