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Posted on September 20th, 2012, by

Today, the problem of the nurses’ perception of seclusion remains under-researched. In actuality, nurses often avoid discussing seclusion and, what is more important, such an avoidance strategy used by nurses is often determined not by their unwillingness to discuss this issue but rather by their inability to discuss it because they do not have a solid theoretical basis in this regard. What is meant here is the fact that nurses lack theoretical and practical knowledge concerning seclusion and the major problem arises when seclusion is applied in their practice. Consequently, it is necessary to study in details the nurses’ perception of seclusion in order to find out what actually they think about seclusion and what problems this issue arise, which actually make nurses unwilling to discuss this issue, as many researchers point out (Hodas, 2005). At the same time, the research of the nurses’ perception of seclusion should be based on reliable qualitative methods. In this respect, it is possible to use observation, unstructured interviewing and case studies. In fact, the use of multiple qualitative methods will allow conducting the research more effectively since the use of only one method can be insufficient to make objective and reliable conclusions on the basis of findings of the research. In addition, it is necessary to involve nurses on all levels, because the perception of seclusion can potentially vary depending on the level of nurses. It is worth mentioning the fact that the higher level of nurses can imply the higher professionalism and probably a different perception of seclusion due to larger knowledge of the issue.

 

 

Description of the project

The project is focused on the research of the nurses’ perception of the seclusion. In fact, the research is supposed to be conducted on the basis of a tertiary teaching hospital in Victoria, Australia and it will involve nurses on all levels that will contribute to the higher level of objectivity, reliability and validity of the research. It is important to involve a large amount of nurses because the research is oriented on the use of qualitative methods. The latter implies that the individual position of each nurse matters and influences the findings and outcomes of the research. To put it more precisely, the use of such methods as observation or interviewing will inevitably involve individual views and models of behavior of each nurse. Therefore, the diversity of views and positions can contribute to the formation of a broad, generalized view on the nurses’ perception on seclusion.

In addition, the research aims at the understanding of reasons why nurses form specific views on seclusion. At this point, it is important to find out whether nurses can logically explain their perception of seclusion, i.e. whether this issue is perceived on the basis of biases or probably the perception is formed on the basis of a profound analysis of effects of seclusion and its efficiency by nurses. Moreover, it is necessary to take into consideration studies conducted by other researchers in order to be able to compare the outcomes and findings of the current research. In fact, the nurses’ perception of seclusion is an under-researched issue, therefore, it is possible to presuppose that the current research will lead to original and new findings which have not been noticed by other researchers (Curie, 2005), who mainly touched this issue superficially but failed to research in depth.

Rationale

In fact, the lack of information on the nurses’ perception of seclusion and the fact that this issue still remains under-researched is the main reason for the detailed study of this issue. As the matter of fact, seclusion is relatively widely spread today and it is impossible to use seclusion effectively, if the nurses’ perception of this issue remains unclear. In actuality, studies conducted by many specialists often reveal the complexity of the nurses’ perception of seclusion, but, at the same time, researchers argue that, at the moment, it is necessary to continue researches of this problem further to reveal more information on this issue. On the other hand, the lack of information on the nurses’ perception of seclusion is determined not only by the fact that there are few researches on this issue, but also and, mainly, by the unwillingness of nurses to discuss this issue. They prefer to avoid discussing seclusion, but it is extremely important to know their position concerning the issue.

Taking into account the fact that the nurses’ perception of seclusion refers to the personal sphere, it is impossible to conduct the research on the basis of some statistical information or other quantitative methods, which do not reveal the personal attitude and personal perception of seclusion by nurses. Therefore, it is possible to presuppose that the first difficulty that may arise, while conducting the research of the nurses’ perception of seclusion is the unwillingness of nurses to cooperate and discuss this issue.

Nevertheless, to start the research, it is possible to use the background information of seclusion and the relation of nurses to this issue.

Many specialists (Masters, 2005) point out the fact that the contemporary nurses training programs and professional education pay little attention to seclusion. Therefore, nurses come unprepared and untrained to work professionally in regard to seclusion. For instance, some specialists have revealed the fact that only 28% of nurses, who were involved in the research, recalled any training or education regarding seclusion practice, while 34% recalled reading articles concerning seclusion (LeBel and Goldstein, 2005). In such a way, a very little amount of nurses, which hardly exceeds a third of the total number of nurses involved in previous researches, can have an adequate, if any, perception of seclusion. What is meant here is the fact that their perception of seclusion is mainly based on their personal experience and mainly refers to the emotional sphere rather than to a scientifically grounded, logical reflections and perception of the seclusion practice. The problem is that the nurses can make judgments on seclusion if they understand what seclusion actually is. It proves beyond a doubt if nurses do not have any professional training or if they do not even read scientific articles on the issue, they cannot shape their own position in regard to seclusion. Hence, they naturally tend to avoid any discussions of this issue because they are apparently afraid of being incompetent or, else, they probably are afraid of making inadequate, profaned judgments on the subject of the research.

However, it is not actually the problem of nurses that they are unable to get more information and make scientifically grounded judgments on the issue, but it is rather the problem of the modern system of education and nurses training. On the other hand, this issue attracts more and more attention from the part of specialists and some researchers have already revealed quite noteworthy facts, which may be useful in the research of the nurses’ perception of seclusion. For instance, G. Smith and other researchers (1997) have found out that there are six thematic categories which refer to seclusion and nurse practice and which can influences the nurses’ perception of seclusion: keeping safe; seclusion abuse; nurses’ role conflict in implementing seclusion; the value of seclusion in real world’ practice; the learning process; and against the wall’ decision-making.

In such a way, the current research could uncover the veil which hides the nurses’ perception of seclusion and probably this research will raise the attention of nurses as well as other health care professionals to the seclusion practice and its perception. In fact, it is impossible to apply seclusion, if health care professional, including nurses, do not really understand what it actually is, what it affects can be and, what is more important, they do not really know how they should act and apply seclusion.

Research method and plan

The research of the nurses’ perception of seclusion will be conducted in a tertiary teaching hospital in Victoria, Australia. At the beginning of the research, it is necessary to clearly identify the objectives of the research and subjects of the research. In this respect, it should be said that major objectives of the research derive from the theme of the research, i.e. the nurses’ perception of seclusion. Therefore, primarily, it is necessary to identify the essence of seclusion and its application in the modern health care system of Australia. Secondly, it is necessary to find out the extent to which nurses are informed about seclusion. What is meant here is the fact that it is necessary to assess the theoretical awareness of nurses concerning seclusion, i.e. it is necessary to define what they actually know about seclusion, its effects and practical application as well as their own conduct as health care professionals in regard to this practice. Another objective of the research is to identify the attitude of nurses to seclusion and effects of the practical application of seclusion on nurses. At this point, it is necessary to pay a particular attention to psychological effects of seclusion on nurses. Eventually, it is necessary to analyze the impact of the nurses’ perception of seclusion on their professional activities. Obviously, the nurses’ perception influences their professional work and the lack of information or knowledge concerning seclusion can have negative effects on nurses since they can fail to develop positive models of behavior or make errors while working with patients when the seclusion practice is applied.

On defining objectives of the research, it is necessary to identify subjects of the research. In fact, as it has been already mentioned above, the research should focus on nurses on all levels in a tertiary teaching hospital in Victoria, Australia. It is important to involve a large number of nurses in order to collect more data since the more information is at the disposal of a researcher the larger the opportunities to reveal various aspects of the nurses’ perception of seclusion. For instance, the nurses’ perception of seclusion can depend on their professional level, i.e. their qualification. Also, it may depend on their professional experience and age, cultural norms and traditions, etc.

At the same time, the choice of methods can be as significant as the choice of subject. In fact, the use of qualitative research methods seems to be particularly effective in the research of the nurses’ perception of seclusion because the research of the perception inevitably involves some psychological, individual peculiarities, which can hardly be identified if quantitative research methods are applied. Basically, it is possible to recommend qualitative research methods that have already proved their efficiency, being applied in other studies. By the way, the research of the literature and studies dedicated to the seclusion practice and nurses is also important for the understanding of the nurses’ perception of seclusion.

As for qualitative methods being applied in terms of the current research, it is possible to define three methods which can be applied: direct observation, unstructured interview and case studies. The use of direct observation should be based on the observation of nurses’ perception of seclusion without interference in their professional work. The observer should be unobtrusive as possible in order to avoid biases in the process of observation. The researcher should remain distanced and objective in his/her observations. He/she should focus on specific samples of behavior or reactions of the subjects, i.e. nurses without interference in their work or becoming interested in the process or subjects he/she observes.

Another method is unstructured interview. This is a very important, core method because it is due to this method it is possible to collect the information concerning the personal perception of seclusion by each nurse, which is involved in the research. It is on the basis of these interviews the researcher will able to define major trends in the nurses’ perception of seclusion. At the same time, the researcher should remember about the fact that personal attitude to and perception of seclusion by nurses may be affected by their emotional state, experience, age, etc. In such a way, variables influencing the research should be taken into consideration by the researcher when the analysis of the findings will be made and the outcomes of the research discussed.

Finally, it is necessary to use case studies, which is one of the widely spreads methods which are applied in various researches. In fact, case studies can help better understand the extent to which nurses are conscious of effects of the seclusion practice on their work and psychological state. At the same time, case studies can reveal whether nurses are able to perceive seclusion objectively, on a solid scientific basis, or probably there are some gaps in their professional training in regard to the seclusion practice.

The research will be ended with conclusions made by the researcher, where he/she can make the basic findings and develop recommendations concerning the further research of the nurses’ perception of seclusion. It is important to support conclusions and findings by factual evidences which a researcher receives in the course of the study. At this point a proper application of the qualitative research methods mentioned above can be crucial for the outcomes and conclusions made by the researcher and the reliability of the entire study.

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