The nursing field has scientific research as an essential part of its development. Issues are solved by the variety of methods, from the literature review to experiments and observations in the field. Most research works are based on two traditional methods, which are the qualitative and the quantitative approach. The former one is beneficial for those works that focus on studying the environment, as well as group and individual opinion towards various factors. It should be used for discussing the issue of hospital-acquired infections, which is the primary question of the research project. Mixed methods are also useful since they allow to offer an accurate support to observations and interviews.
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The research project is based on studying the threat of hospital-acquired infections and their prevention. The primary question is whether particular actions of nursing staff help to reduce the number of cases associated with this problem. The qualitative method can be used in this study to collect evidence from nurses regarding their experience with the issue. The best practice should include the literature review combined with interviews.
The literature review is necessary for developing knowledge about previous research that has been done on the topic. There can be numerous theories regarding the reasons for hospital-acquired infection spreading, as well as ideas about how to prevent the increase in such cases. The literature review also helps to determine the interview questions that should be offered to practicing nurses. The downfall of this method is that collected information can be outdated.
The best qualitative method includes conducting interviews among practicing nurses. Questions should include the experienced rates of hospital-acquired infections, actions taken to prevent these cases, and the outcomes of such initiatives. Feedback is also quite valuable, as it can give considerations for further research. One of the weak sides of the qualitative method is the high possibility of bias. Nurses may be not interested in participating in the interview process or provide inaccurate data based on their positive or negative attitude towards their hospital workplace.
Using Mixed Methods
Mixed methods are good for supporting the findings with statistical calculations, which serve to provide more accurate results. The study question of hospital-acquired infections spreading is a good example of a subject that would benefit from adding quantitative methods. For instance, the group of researchers has used a controlled environment to educate the hospital personnel on actions that would prevent the infection threat and studied the results afterward (Salama, Jamal, Al-Mousa, Al-AbdulGhani, & Rotimi, 2013). They specifically focused on the hand hygiene as the positive factor. After conducting several interviews, they did a one-sided P-value statistical analysis. Another research focusing on the same subject combine the qualitative approach with evaluating the distribution of continuous characteristics, which allowed to determine that copper surfaces positively influence the studied trend (Salgado et al., 2013). One of the difficulties that can be encountered while using a mixed method approach is the difficulty of combining the collected qualitative data and statistical formulas to properly access its value.
Researching nursing topics can often be done by applying the qualitative approach to the main questions. An interview is the most popular type of collecting information for this purpose. However, mixed methods are more beneficial for this purpose since they offer more accurate results. Both approaches have their downsides, yet they can be adjusted to fit the particular needs.
Salama, M. F., Jamal, W. Y., Al-Mousa, H., Al-AbdulGhani, K. A., & Rotimi, V. O. (2013). The effect of hand hygiene compliance on hospital-acquired infections in an ICU setting in a Kuwaiti teaching hospital. Journal of Infection and Public Health, 6, 27-34. Web.
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Salgado, C. D., Sepkowits, S. A., John, J. F., Cantey J. R., Attaway, H. H., Freeman, K. D., … Schmidt, M. G. (2013). Copper surfaces reduce the rate of healthcare-acquired infections in the intensive care unit. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 34(5), 479-486.