Phenomenology, Grounded Theory, and Ethnography

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Team A: Phenomenology

Ethnography is an essential form of social research, characterized by the exploration of culture, including the interpretation of human action (Ironside, 2014, p.1). The study primarily focuses on the first-person point of view and experience. Thus, the principal structure of phenomenology is its intentionality and the manner in which it is perceived towards a particular subject. Therefore, the style’s mode of data acquisition depends on the narration of an individual’s experience.

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The technique is effective since the interviewee realizes an in-depth comprehension of a person’s (interviewee) phenomena. The revelations from an informant result in a rich data, which translates to qualitative research (Polit & Beck, 2014, p.300). However, Phenomenology may also have limitations that undermine data collected through this style. Data gathered through this technique may be difficult to ascertain its validity and authenticity due to the subjectivity of the data. The method may lead to bias practice due to the difficulty in detecting and preventing research partiality. The enhanced qualitative nature of the result may also limit a nursing practitioner’s implementation.

TEAM B: Grounded Theory

Strauss and Glaser established Grounded Theory in 1967. The method aims to explore a spiritual understanding and the various ways in which nursing practitioners apply it to their area of expertise. The theory provides the nursing professionals with the knowledge on how to assist their patients by providing holistic care. 

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The theory majorly focuses on the spiritual domain of both the patients and the caregiver. Thus, the method enhances a caregiver’s spiritual awareness, which assists them to overcome personal barriers and promote spiritual care competence. The theory also helps in developing an attitude of tolerance, openness, and respect towards others (patients and colleagues) (Cone & Giske, 2012, p.3). The method also helps nursing practitioners in balancing their professional boundaries with the patients leading to the preparedness for spiritual experience. However, the only limitation to the theory is the language barrier between a patient and a caregiver.

TEAM C: Ethnography

Ethnography is one of the oldest types of qualitative social research in healthcare. Thus, ethnography is an analysis technique that explores the social phenomena (cultures) of a patient (Nakrem, 2015, p.1). The method enhances the interpretation of the human action towards their healthcare environment. Globally, there is great concern on the improvement of the quality care in nursing facilities. Therefore, various healthcare facilities have established the idea of “corporate cultures” as the suitable means of improving quality care for patients.

The most vulnerable group of patients that require the implementation of this method are the aging individuals. In most of the European countries, there is a shift of population increase towards the aging populations. Thus, nursing homes play a crucial role in the health sectors of these countries due to their service provision to the aging population. Therefore, for the healthcare facilities to ensure that they are providing high-quality nursing services, they must incorporate and implement Ethnography in their operations. 

As indicated by Donabedian (1980), the quality caregiver is divided into two: interpersonal processes and technical care. Technical care involves the application of science and technology in solving health problems (Nakrem, 2015, p.5). Thus, to develop a proper technical care, the facility should ensure care is maximized at an affordable cost and lower risks. Interpersonal processes, on the other part, include psychosocial interaction between the patients and the nursing practitioners. Enhancing interpersonal quality in healthcare facilities depends on the level of adherence to the accepted values that are supported by the ethical principles of health. The ethnographic study purports that the implementation of this method by different nursing homes might have resulted in advanced care provision.

Ethnography comes with several advantages that can promote service delivery to health facilities. One of the benefits of ethnography is the provision of a better understanding of the healthcare organization (Nakrem, 2015, p.7). Thus, it boosts information and communication management. The method also provides nuance organizational understanding leading to the comparison between what practitioners say and implement. The method can be utilized to develop formal structures (establishments of hierarchies and rules).

The implementation of the technique may limit the operations of the nursing homes. The technique might require an in-depth research that may be costly to an organization to fund. The technique’s provision of rich data requires much time to collect such information that consumes a lot of time. Researcher have also argued that, as qualitative methodology, it lacks generalizable results

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  1. Cone, P. H. & Giske, T. (2012). Teaching spiritual care: a grounded theory study among undergraduate nursing educators. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22, 1951- 1960. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2012.04203.
  2. Ironside, P. M. (2014). Enabling narrative pedagogy: inviting, waiting, and letting be. Nursing Education Perspectives, 35(4), 212-218. doi:10.5480/13-1125.1
  3. Nakrem, S. (2015). Understanding organizational and cultural premises for quality of care in nursing homes: an ethnographic study. BMC Health Services Research, 1-13.
  4. Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2014). Essentials of nursing research: Appraising evidence for nursing practice (8th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 
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