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Title: Patients' views of nurses' clinical competence : a grounded theory approach
Author: Calman, Lynn Ann
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis examines, from the viewpoint of the patient, what is meant by competent nursing and how, with this perspective in mind, patients would regard the prospect of assessing the competence of nurses. The study utilises a grounded theory approach. Twenty-seven patients were interviewed about their views of nursing care. Preliminary data collection was undertaken in general medical and surgical areas. A theoretical sampling strategy was developed to include more experienced patients in three specialty areas renal dialysis, cystic fibrosis and diabetes care. Data were analysed, in keeping with the grounded theory tradition, utilising the constant comparative method. Patients described the process of becoming a patient and how they come to understand the complex social world of the hospital and the role of nurses within this. They identified the features of a good nursing encounter as being patient led, personal and individualised. Patients also identified their own responsibilities, specifically how to be a ‘good’ patient. Previous studies have highlighted the importance of the quality of the nursing encounter – the nurse/patient relationship, individualised patient care and empathy for example. This study specifically raises the issue that patients take technical competence for granted and highlights the important finding that when technical competence is assumed than these interpersonal factors become the most important indicator of the quality of nursing care. These personal and highly individual encounters between the patient and nurse and personality characteristics displayed such as caring and kindness, empathy and sense of vocation are difficult to measure or make objective judgements about. Although patients can discriminate between nurses who have these attributes and skills, being involved with the formal assessment of these attributes is considered a difficult prospect. The study findings emphasise that patient assessment of nursing competence is complex and implications for nurse education and service provision are highlighted.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available