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Title: Student nurses' perceptions of patient/client care : a qualitative analysis
Author: Horsburgh, Dorothy
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis explores the perceptions of students undertaking a Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing, in relation of the care practices that they encounter during their practice placement allocations. Specifically, the factors and processes, by means of which students deem the quality of care provision to be satisfactory, or otherwise, are analysed. A central concern in the thesis is identification and exploration of the changes and constancies in the students' perceptions over time. Findings indicate that the students' conception of care, as related to nursing work, contains some important variations from the concept as used by policy-makers in nursing. In relation to their moral reasoning, the students' accounts indicate processes that are more subtle and complex than some of the influential theorists (Kohlberg, Gilligan) suggest. Students do not appear to adopt a perspective based on justice or care per se, although elements of these principles are present within their accounts. Rather, the students' moral reasoning processes become increasingly focused, over time, upon providing care in context and this emerges as the core category, and basic social process, within the study. The students, in progression through their programme, gain access over time to a 'wider picture' than is available to them during their initial practice placements. Increased experience and concomitant acquisition of confidence enable students to place the provision of patient/client care in the context of the substantive circumstances pertaining to the individual. Development of the ability to view care in context appears to be accompanied by a reduction in reliance upon abstract moral principles as a guide to behaviour. Direct involvement in patient/client care and the ability to access the 'wider picture' increases the moral complexity of decision-making for students. This is viewed by the students as being a prerequisite for good nursing practice. The factors which facilitate and inhibit provision of care in context are discussed and some implications of the study's findings for nurse educators and service providers are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available