The dependent variable in the study is the nursing rounds (which involves undertaking the prescribed protocols and actions to be taken as well as the frequency of rounds, i.e. one hour rounding and two hour rounding). The study aims to see the behavior of the nursing rounds variable when tested against the study's independent variables (which are patient's call light use, level of satisfaction, and safety). The title of the article, as readers may notice, effectively points out the dependent and independent variables in the study.
In terms of the relationships of the dependent and independent variables, the authors hypothesized that nursing rounds will reduce the call light use (negative direction, i.e. As one variable increases, the other decreases), increase patient satisfaction (positive direction, i.e. one variable increases and so is the other), and improve patient safety (positive direction).
For the first hypothesis (nursing round and call light use), probability tests were used. After establishing that the experimental (those with prescribed protocols/actions to perform) and control groups (one-hour rounding group and two-hour rounding group) of the study were comparable at baseline using significance testing, probability test (more particularly the binomial test was done). This test reflected the high probability of getting significant reductions in call light use for the increased (more frequent which is two-hour rounding group) rounding conditions. For hypothesis 2 (patient satisfaction), t-test as used because the authors needed the mean score coming from the patient satisfaction scores pre and post tests. For hypotheses 3 (patient safety), paired-t tests were done to compare the number of patient falls (this variable was used to measure patient safety) during the pre and post test periods of both the control and experimental groups.
Findings and Conclusion
Results of the study showed that the first hypothesis was verified. Indeed, rounding wherein the nursing staff performed specific (prescribed) actions resulted to lower patient call lights use. Patient satisfaction also increased during the performance of these rounding protocols. Patient falls were also reduced during the experimental rounding.
The contribution of this study to what is known about nursing practices, or medical practices by and large, is undeniable. However, it is a fact that most (if not all) research works have their strengths and weakness.
One of the major strengths of this work lies on its ability to fill the research gaps in nursing literature. The study offers a new, fresher perspective to the way we understand patient satisfaction for example, or the way we view the rather mundane task of doing nursing rounds.
However, as the authors themselves have stated, limitations of this study include the research design used. Although the quasi-experimental design perfectly suited the objectives of the study, some fieldwork glitches were still sustained. The equivalence of the groups was not ensured because the researchers were not able to account for all the specific factors the hospital managers considered in assigning the one-hour and two-our rounding control groups. Secondly, there was no way of ensuring that the protocols issued by the researchers for implementation were performed as prescribed.
As a form of summary, this quantitative research critique analyzed the structure and details of the Effects of Nursing Rounds work by Meade, Bursell, & Ketelsen (2006) and readers have seen that the research structure deviates from the rather rigid research report flow dictated by traditional researchers (see Nachmias & Nachmias, 2006). The utility of this research work is its ability to show that there is a lot more room for creativity in the way research reports are written. Although it fell short on some of the details expected in the introduction and literature review as well as it has some perceived limitations in fieldwork which implicated the research design, the contribution in the nursing practice made by the findings of this study is quite promising. Not only does it increase our discursive understanding of the variables tested, but it also gives readers concrete ideas on the ways and means by which patient satisfaction and safety can be improved, in the hope that this can contribute to widely-recognized medical practices.
Ebert, J.R. (n.d.). What Is an Abstract? Retrieved from http://employees.oneonta.edu/ebertjr/what_is_an_abstract.htm on April 9, 2009.
Meade, C.M, Bursell, a. & Ketelsen, L. (2006). Effects of Nursing Rounds on Patient's CallLight Use, Satisfaction, and Safety. AJN, 106 (9), 58-70.
Nachmias, C. & Nachmias, D. (1996). Research Methods in the Social Sciences. London: St. Martin's Press.