Open Visitation in the ICU Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

Task 2

The basic problem in this research is to figure out whether open visitation will benefit or harm the patients in the ICU. The study being carried out is to determine what the nurses and the family of the ICU patients have to say about this issue. This topic is very controversial because the rules and regulations are not the same in all hospitals. Even if there are strict rules established, many nurses go on to bend the rules on their own liking or convenience. This, therefore, leaves a lot of ambiguity for the medical world including the nurses and the family of the patient. With more insight as to what the two populations think, this matter can be looked into for further exploration.

The research design will basically consist of quantitative approach towards the ICU nurses and the family of the patients. Both the groups will be questioned regarding their opinions and the results will be inferred statistically from there. Since this research is basically looking for the opinion and point-of-view of a certain population, quantitative approach is the best choice.

Quantitative approach is chosen because the opinions of the two masses would differ and that is what we really want to find out. We want to investigate this question while keeping nurses and the family of the patients in mind. This sort of approach can be easily carried out through surveys like interviews, questionnaires and observation of the participants. The role and bias of the researcher is that open visitation in the ICU will be beneficial to the patient. Therefore, the researcher is looking to develop the results of this study into further research. The interesting thing here is that all the nurses and all the family members do not have the same opinion on this matter. Therefore, such a study is being carried out to find out the general opinion.

The sampling techniques that were chosen were such that the any person who is an adult of 18 years to 80 years can take part in the study. The participant either has to be a nurse or an attending family or friend of the patient admitted in the ICU. The participants are of diverse educational, economical and ethnic background. This decreases the bias in the research and thus hopes to make the results more accurate. The target audiences for this research are the critical care nurses. A uniform opinion and an explanation on this matter might help them to reach a consensus on how the ICU patient'svisitation should be managed.

The basic data collection method will be through survey of the nurses and the family of the patients. Surveying can include many different routes such as observing the two groups, interviewing them, or having them fill out a questionnaire. Seeing how this is a 4-week project, it is possible to observe and survey the nurses and the family of the patient.Many patients that are in the CCU are not there for a long period of time. Therefore, the researcher can observe and take notes on the behavioral indications that both the groups give. The former method might not give much information as the presence of the researcher might cause the persons to perform differently. Therefore, interviewees with pre-conceived questions area also a way of data collection. This sort of method would rather rely on how well the interviewer carries out his or her tasks with the participants. Lastly, the method of data collection is questionnaires. These questionnaires are used because in these the respondent and the researcher never really come in contact. The questionnaire has to be prepared very carefully and then given to the nurses and the family of the patient.

This whole research is basically trying to gather the opinions and thoughts of two different populations. As mentioned earlier, the data collections were to be observational studies, interviews and questionnaires. For observing the two groups, the research would first require to have the two groups distinctly outlined. After the group focus has been created, and then the observation checklists would be required. Characteristics that show content or disapproval of visiting practices should be incorporated in the checklists.

For the interviews, pre-set questions need to be made. This would require the researcher to thoroughly study the two opposing viewpoints in detail. Only then would the answers really be able to depict what the opinion of the nurse or the family members are. The same goes for the questionnaires as well. The questionnaires might as well be the most important data collection till out of all three. As mentioned before, these are filled out by the participants when they are not under the influence of the researchers. This allows them to fill it easily and independently thus giving more accurate findings.

The data collected will more or less depict either one of the two opinions. As it was stated earlier, the questions should be regarding the subject that hand. Thus, with the answers to the interview questions or the questionnaire, it will be able to conclude whether the certain nurse or the family member is in favor of open visitation or not. Many times, in interviews especially, the interviewers may go on to ask reasons for the opinions as well. Thus apart from opinions or sides, the research will present the different sides of the story. It will tell what the majority of the population of attendants of patients and nurses think about visiting practices.

Subsequent to the data being collected, it will be analyzed. For analyzing the data, the researcher needs to establish different categories and apply these categories to raw data that they collected. The application of the categories is also done through tables and statistical inferences. Thus with the tables and graphs made, the researchers can quickly analyze whether their results support the hypothesis or not.

Task 3: Research Strategy and Data Analysis

Open visitation in the ICU is a very crucial topic and needs a great deal of research and attention before any definite conclusion is drawn pertaining to the safety of the patients in the ICU (Bourman, 1985). While devising this proposal, the first priority was to make sure that the maximum number of research paper were studied and the results were critically analyzed before carrying out the research for this particular proposal.

The main design of this research proposal was the use of a descriptive correlational method. Participants for this research were chosen randomly from 6 hospitals in New York and the results were the studied. The number of participants for this study was 226. The participants were the staff nurses of the ICUs of the randomly selected hospitals. Anonymous questionnaires were used to collect the data. These questionnaires had 4 parts. Two scales were used to analyze the beliefs and mindsets of the burses. Another scale was used to assess the attitude of the nurses' towards visits of the families of the patients who have been admitted in the ICU. The fourth part of this questionnaire was a demographic data collection sheet that consisted of five open ended questions pertaining to the current ICU visiting policy. A statistical analysis was also performed once the data was collected by making use of the SPSS version 17.0.

A number of trusted and reliable databases were used to retrieve the research articles that were relevant to this topic. Among these databases were OneFile, Info Trac, Medline, CINAHL and ProQuest. The main reason for the collection of this data and thorough research was that it was important for us to study the factors that may facilitate or impede the visiting practices that are prevalent in the ICUs. The search terms that were used using the aforementioned databases were physiological, care, critical, life, family, intensive, needs, visit, restriction and open. The search terms were used both as individual words as well as in combination with one another so as to retrieve the maximum number of research papers on this topic. The combinations were also used with Boolean operators. Most of the information was sought from America and Canada so as to explore the visitation in the ICUs in these regions as the context is likely to be similar for these two places rather than the United Kingdom or any other European country. A total of 36 articles were used to compare the data that was collected by us and the data that was given as part of the literature review in these papers to make an analysis of the results. These articles discussed in details the pros and cons of allowing open visitation in the ICUs pertaining to the frequent visits by family members of the patients and small children from the perspective of nurses.

The literature that was used to make an analysis of the data that was collected as a part of this research proposal and that has already been collected by…

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