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Title: Curiosity, knowledge and liberty : exploring the lived reality of curiosity in nursing practice
Author: Smith, Helen Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2015
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This study set out to explore the lived reality of epistemic curiosity in nursing practice in the NHS. It adopted a narrative, post-structuralist approach to inquiry, which included researcher ethnography as integral to the method. In depth, un-structured interviews were conducted with six currently registered and practising NHS nurses, across two U.K. NHS Trusts. Purposive sampling was adopted. Data was collected utilising an innovative rhizomatic approach over a six month period May – October 2013. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Twenty hours of un-interrupted, depth data was obtained and inductively,thematically analysed. The thesis suggests a nursing narrative on curiosity which is socially constructed, with curiosity acting as a liberator and antecedent to reflexive knowledge correspondence and construction. Nurses viewed their engagement in curiosity as a key asset for melding the various sources of knowledge required for the provision of person-centered care. However, curiosity is also lived within the tension afforded by organisational compliance discourse, which demands engagement with prescriptive, formulaic forms of knowledge and a felt dismissal of the need for professional nursing knowledge and curiously crafted practice. Acts of resistance to dominant organisational compliance discourse are evident, as nurses engage in curiosity on a moral but covert basis, in an attempt to preserve epistemic truths, subvert and circumvent compliance and prescription and thus exercise professional freedom. Concerns are raised as to ‘knowledge lost’, which may be generated from covert curiosity practices. Nurses lament a lack of discourse on curiously led practice, resulting in perceptions that curiosity is significantly compromised as a critical motive to engage with professional knowledge correspondence, practice improvement or innovation initiatives.
Supervisor: Freshwater, Dawn ; Walsh, Elizabeth ; Esterhuizen, Philip Sponsor: School of Healthcare, University of Leeds
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available