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Title: Caring in a technological environment : the experiences of junior intensive care nurses
Author: McGrath, Mary
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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Purpose: The study sought to explore junior nurses’ experiences of providing care within intensive care units (ICUs) where there is a high level of technology. Research Question The research question that guided the study was: What is the experience of junior ICU nurses caring in a technological environment? Background: Nursing practice is interwoven with technology, but there is limited understanding of the caring experience of the junior ICU nurse within a technological environment and how it impacts on the care provided to patients. Method: This study is underpinned by Heideggerian phenomenology using in-depth qualitative interviews. A purposeful sample of 20 junior Irish ICU nurses were interviewed. Data were analysed through the identification of codes, categories and themes. Findings: Three main themes emerged; ‘challenging environment’, ‘knowing and caring in the technological environment’ and ‘mastering technology’. The theme ‘challenging environment’ identified how nurses struggled to cope with the stress engendered by technological caring; they were concerned about their competence and about patient safety. They felt more comfortable when drawing on pre-existing caring skills. ‘Knowing and caring in the technological environment’ demonstrated the interrelationship of expressive caring with knowing the patient’s bodily responses; the latter an aspect that came to the fore in the current study. ‘Mastering technology’ identified competence as a maturation process in which nurses moved between being competent and being a novice depending on the type of technology and the nature of the caring event. This process required support from the multidisciplinary team. Conclusion: Junior nurses’ experiences identified the stressful and challenging nature of intensive care nursing, the need to balance expressive caring with caring for the patient’s bodily responses, and the importance of developing competence within a supportive team environment to ensure patient safety.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RT Nursing