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Title: Informal Workplace Learning in Critical Care Nursing
Contributor(s): Dew, Sally Angela (author); Somerville, Margaret Jean (supervisor); Dymock, Darryl (supervisor); Edwards, Helen (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2008
Copyright Date: 2007
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Rapidly changing developments in treatments and procedures in health care and advances in technologies increased the complexity of managing patients in intensive care units. This environment created challenges for the Nurses to acquire knowledge and skills continuously. The demand for this awareness was often urgent, with minimal time for familiarisation of new procedures or equipment. This research explores how Critical Care Nurses' understanding of their informal workplace learning can enhance their professional practice. The study was undertaken in an intensive care unit of a large metropolitan hospital. A participatory action research approach with focus groups was used. The use of focus groups in participatory action research enabled the nurses to discuss and decide the ways in which they would explore their own informal learning. It also provided opportunities for them to reflect on the many ways they gained knowledge and the strategies they used to learn informally. Data were collected through the Critical Care Nurses' written narratives of learning experiences, as well as audio-taped focus groups and open-ended interviews. Thematic analysis was used to identify and group phrases into categories. These categories represented the Nurses' effective learning as well as challenges to learning. During the participatory action research cycles the difficulties that Nurses faced in undertaking practice research became apparent and reflected the challenges of continuously building new knowledge.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 2007 - Sally Angela Dew
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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Thesis Doctoral

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