The effects of shortstaff on quality of care - Research Proposal Example

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Effects of shortstaff on quality of care Tutor Name February 27, 2013 Effects of shortstaff on quality of care Introduction Research defines systematic exploration of a topic in order to develop a new knowledge base for academic or professional purposes…
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Effects of shortstaff on quality of care February 27, Effects of shortstaff on quality of care Introduction Research defines systematic exploration of a topic in order to develop a new knowledge base for academic or professional purposes. Its systematic approach identifies specific elements and requirements that a researcher must guarantee before an intended research is approved for implementation. I, in this paper, present a research proposal for a study on ‘the effects of staff shortage on quality of care’. Background information and research problem Efficiency and effectiveness of nurses’ labor output depends on their environmental factors that can either motivate or demoralize them in their work. A motivating environment facilitates output and can be identified by high patients’ utility levels while poor environments lead to poor services and hence poor quality of care to patients. A research to determine association between the level of staffing and quality of services by a care facility identified dependence between the two variables. Based on the research’s results, insufficient staffing in a care facility increases the number of reported deaths, hinders rescue processes, and increases cases of cardiovascular complications, pneumonia that is acquired within the care facility and other negative occurrences that could be anticipated from a facility (Minnesota Evidence Based Practice Centre, 2007). Other factors such as patient’s age, type of illness and physiological conditions also affect the quality of care to a patient (Clarke and Donaldson, n.d). This knowledge base identifies uncertainty in the proposed association between staffing and quality of care and the need to ascertain the link to facilitate nurse staffing policies and public knowledge towards informed decisions when seeking nursing care. The proposed research therefore seeks to ascertain existence of a significant relationship between staff shortage and presumed effects of understaffing on quality of care. Research questions In order to explore the proposed topic, the research will examine the following question, What are the effects of staff shortage on quality of care? Variables The proposed research will consider two variables, ratio of number of patients to personnel in a care facility and patients perceived quality of care. The patients to personnel ration will define the derived quotient from dividing the average number of daily patients to a facility by the number of personnel in a facility and will be the independent variable. The ratio will be measured on a categorical scale to be determined. Patients’ perceived and observed outcomes that are associated with staff ratios at respective facilities will be the independent variable and will be measured qualitatively. Target population The research targets the general population who has visited more than three care facilities but will be limited to individuals between 15 years and 65 years old. Research methods Research paradigm The research proposes to use a qualitative paradigm because of the scope of data to be explored, qualitative data of the dependent variable. An example of qualitative variable is inefficiency due to exhaustion of care personnel (Rubin and Babbie, 2009). The research paradigm will answer the question, ‘What are the effects of staff shortage on quality of care?’ Research design Phenomenology will be applied in implementing the research. This design relies on people’s experiences for analysis that aims to understand factors behind the experiences. This scope is consistent with the nature of the proposed research that seeks to explore patients’ experiences and to develop an understanding of possible association between the experiences, which relate to quality of care, and staff shortage (Rubin and Babbie, 2009). Data collection and data analysis Data will be collected through questionnaires that will be issued to the participants by the researcher. Statistical methods Qualitative methods will be applied in data analysis and will include researcher’s subjective rationale and application of software for qualitative data analysis. The researcher’s subjective rationale will be used in preliminary analysis to predict the involved association between the two variables and to explore further effects of the shortage while ‘Atlas.ti’ software will be used to verify possible association between staff shortage and the identified effects of such shortages (Babbie, 2010). Thematic coding and saturation The multi step analysis that will involve subjective analysis along the research process will be open to identify further dependent variables. The proposed software will then analyze the final data once saturation of the model of dependent variables is reached (Seale, 2012). Conclusion The proposed research seeks to use qualitative methods and phenomenology design. Data will be collected through survey questionnaires and analysis will be conducted in two phases. Subjective analysis will be done alongside data collection to facilitate thematic coding while software will be used in the final analysis. The research’s scope is therefore viable and significant to the society who is the immediate beneficiary of healthcare, and policy makers in healthcare. References Minnesota Evidence Based Practice Centre. (2007). Nurse staffing and quality of patient care. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (07-E005): 1- 97. Babbie, E. The practice of social research. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning Clarke, S. and Donaldson, N. (n.d.). Nurse staffing and patient care quality and safety. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Retrieved from: Rubin, A. and Babbie, E. (2009). Essential research methods for social work. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning. Seale, C. (2012). Researching society and culture. Thousand Oak, CA: SAGE. Read More
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