This research aims at studying the interactions between nurses and patients during the pre-discharge period. The main research question is “How can nurses improve the level of caregiving for patients during the pre-discharged period?”. There are also several supplementary questions concerning the improvement of the efficiency of their performance during the chosen period, the choice of specific education tools, the necessity to implement a transitional care program, and the role in interactions between nurses and patients in readmission rates. In this paper, the researcher will define appropriate methods, sample, and setting for the future study.
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A qualitative study will be used in this project to examine the interactions between nurses and patients and the effects of educational tools used by nurses to help patients improve their knowledge about pre-discharged practices. The researcher will choose a group of people (nurses) with a particular case (high readmission rates among patients), check their records, and compare their strategies and interventions.
Heart failure is one of the most common discharge diagnoses among the patients with Medicare coverage and one of the main causes of readmissions (Chang, 2013; Howie-Esquivel et al., 2015). Therefore, the population of this research will include the nurses who work with patients who have heart failure problems.
The setting for this research is a local hospital in Miami, Florida. The total number of the participants will be 8-10 nurses who meet all the criteria, including the interaction with patients admitted to a hospital with health problems. Inclusion criteria for the nurses will be their work experience (1-3 years at the same hospital), a specific health condition of patients (heart failure), and the absence of other chronic diseases among patients (no diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc.). It is also necessary to exclude other healthcare workers and the nurses with less than 1-year experience in the cardiovascular unit.
Regarding the sample chosen for this study, a sampling strategy has to be properly explained and evaluated. Purposive sampling can be used to gather data about nurses, their patients, and their appropriateness for research. Though the cooperation with nurses in real time usually requires a systematic approach, the peculiar feature of this strategy is to identify if they work with patients who have a certain disease and the cause of their readmission.
Therefore, a purposive sampling strategy will allow establishing pre-selected criteria and considering research questions that should be answered. The sample size depends on the possibility to find as many appropriate participants as possible. The researcher will send the letters of invitation and consent forms to all nurses in the chosen unit and provide clear explanations of what kind of work should be done, what expectations are established, and what the role of participants will be.
A descriptive research design will be used in this study. It aims at obtaining information about the current problem and recognizing potential solutions offered by the participants. This design will help to describe the essential findings and discover new meanings of practices used by nurses in the pre-discharged period. An interview with nurses will be conducted. Five open-ended questions will be posed to the chosen group of people, focusing on the quality of care offered, a number of interventions taking, and the level of education promoted among patients. It is expected to gather a large amount of qualitative information that will be used for a detailed analysis and the interpretation of the findings.
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Chang, D. (2013). In South Florida, reducing hospital readmissions key to reform. Miami Herald. Web.
Howie-Esquivel, J., Carroll, M., Brinker, E., Kao, H., Pantilat, S., Rago, K., & de Marco, T. (2015). A strategy to reduce heart failure readmissions and inpatient costs. Cardiology Research, 6(1), 201-208.