Poster Presentation

Thursday, July 12, 2007
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Thursday, July 12, 2007
3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
This presentation is part of : Poster Presentation II
A grounded theory study of nurses' clinical uncertainty experiences: An undiscovered area of evidence-based practice
Lisa A. Cranley, RN, MN1, Diane M. Doran, RN, PhD1, Ann E. Tourangeau, RN, PhD2, Lynn M. Nagle, RN, PhD3, and André Kushniruk, PhD4. (1) Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, (2) Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada, (3) Nagle & Associates Inc, Toronto, ON, Canada, (4) School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
Learning Objective #1: identify key themes regarding nurses' perceptions of their uncertainty.
Learning Objective #2: identify strategies to support nurses' use of available resources for their decision making and care planning.

     The increased attention placed on evidence-based nursing practice by administrators, clinicians, and policy makers to improve the quality of patient care, has created an urgent need to increase our understanding of how nurses experience and respond to uncertainty in practice. Understanding how nurses experience uncertainty and act on it is a largely unexplored aspect of evidence-based practice, and is an important direction for theory development.
     The purpose of this study is to develop a theory to explain how intensive care nurses experience and respond to uncertainty about patient care situations, and their associated feelings and behaviours. A grounded theory approach guides the study. Individual semi-structured interviews are currently being conducted and will include approximately 12-26 staff nurses working in an adult medical-surgical intensive care unit. Interviews are audio recorded and transcribed verbatim with nurses’ consent. Constant comparison analysis is used to identify patterns and themes. This study is currently in progress as a dissertation study, and for this reason, preliminary study findings will be presented.
     Implications of the study will be the development of strategies that enable nurses to both understand the nature of their clinical uncertainty and to seek the best available resources to reduce their uncertainty. This study will provide the foundation for theory testing and the identification of strategies to support nurses in their decision making and care planning.