Changing a Clinical Nursing Unit Culture to Include Nursing Research as Part of Nursing Care

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Pamela C. Spigelmyer, PhD, RN, CNS
Department of Nursing Administration, Susquehanna Health, Williamsport, PA, USA
Christine Broscious, RN, CRRN, CMT
Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, Susquehanna Health, Williamsport, PA, USA
Diane Breckenridge, PhD, MSN, RN, ANEF
Department of Nursing, National University, San Diego, CA, USA

A pilot study was conducted in an acute care hospital inpatient on a rehabilitation unit as a means to introduce staff nurses to nursing research.  The project was based upon Watson’s (2008; 2012) theory of caring.  The quasi-experimental design to introduce a 3-minute slow back massage during evening nursing care for inpatient rehabilitation patients was developed.  Nurses were instructed in the research process and the intervention of a 3-minute slow back massage for their patients in the experimental group.  The pilot project was designed to compare inpatient rehabilitation patients’ perceptions of nursing caring during evening nursing care in both the experimental and usual care groups.  Patients were allocated to either the experimental or usual care treatment group by admission date. They were asked about their perceptions of pain and nurse caring during their evening nursing care each evening of their inpatient stay.  Data collected included pain scale ratings before and after evening nursing care and a nurse caring survey using the Caring Behaviors Inventory (CBI-24).  At the time of discharge each patient enrolled in the study was also asked to provide information on their overall perception of nurse caring during their hospital stay. An open-ended question survey format was used to obtain this information.  Analysis of the data revealed three themes relating to nurse caring.  These included providing hygienic and comfort care, demonstrating nurse caring behaviors, and being relaxed and comforted.  In addition to the study findings, nurses assisting with the research project learned first-hand how to conduct a research project on an inpatient rehabilitation unit.  They also learned that it was possible to incorporate parts of the research process into their routine nursing care of patients on the rehabilitation unit.  The completion of this pilot research project demonstrates the feasibility of conducting a small research project utilizing staff nurses to carryout parts of the research process while performing normal caregiving activities for their patients.