Making Sure: Registered Nurses Watching Over Their Patients – Care Example

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"Making Sure: Registered Nurses Watching Over Their Patients" is a perfect example of a paper on care. A study by Schimdt (2010) entitled ‘ Making Sure: Registered Nurses Watching Over Their Patients’ suggests that surveillance has been identified as an essential aspect with regards to patient quality and safety intervention. However, the process used by the registered nurses as they carry out this particular function on patients in the hospital during a certain shift has not been studied in detail. Over the years, monitoring and observation have been regarded as central to the nursing profession but current studies have shown that surveillance plays a central part in promoting patient safety, health, and wellbeing (Institute of Medicine, IOM, 2003 cited in Schmidt, 2010). Literature review Of notable concern is the fact that an increase in nursing time available for patients through decreasing a nurse-patient ratio may not influence occasions such as patient falls which could happen on a single work shift.

However, surveillance may be influential in avoiding patient falls. Falls are distinct from other types of nursing care activities which may develop over time.

Basically, surveillance is a term that refers to watching over or supervising Titler (1992) identified eight surveillance interventions, including measuring, collecting, detecting, determining, interpreting, analyzing, treating, and prioritizing.   The hospitalized patients observed that ‘ watching over’ is a very important dimension in nursing   Method This qualitative study used the classical grounded theory and it focused on nurses watching over their patients during a single work shift. The qualitative research design used in this study is that of Hill and McGowan (1999), which posits to the effect that the only reality is that actually constructed by individual people who are involved in the research scenario.

In this case, the participants in the study are the only individuals who can help create reality from the situation under study. Participants were drawn from professional nurses working in acute care hospitals in Florida. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews over the phone or in person.   Consent was obtained from the participants before proceeding with the interview. This shows that the study was carried in an ethical manner.   The sample of the study comprised 15 registered nurses from two major metropolitan areas in Florida.

  All participants were asked questions related to their experiences watching their patients during their shift. The participants were asked to give a description of the processes they used to watch their patients as well as the factors that promoted or hindered their efforts to watch their patients. Data analysis                       All interviews were tape-recorded then transcribed for analysis. The results of the study indicate that Making Sure emerged as the basic social process that captured the nurses watching over their assigned patients on a work shift.

This social process is comprised of six dimensions namely: (a) knowing what’ s going on (b) being close (c) watching (d) not taking anything for granted (e) taking action (f) protecting patients from harm and negative events. The results of the study provide a sound theoretical framework used by registered nurses as they watch over their patients on a work shift. The study also provides insight into key nursing processes that may impact on patient outcomes. To a larger extent, it can be noted that the study is authentic since it highlights a core theoretical framework that needs to be conceptualized such that it can be used when carrying out a quantitative study.

However, the main weakness of the study is that it solely focused on registered nursing staff in acute hospitals and it excludes other personnel in the health sector such as assistants.   This may not necessarily represent the true picture on the ground. The other weakness is that the sample is small since it is comprised of 15 participants only. This may not reflect the true picture obtaining on the ground since there are different departments in a hospital that are comprised of patients with various ailments.


Hill J. & McGowan P. (1999). Questions about research methodology. International Journal of

Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 5(1), 5-18.

Schmidt, L.A. (2010). ‘Making Sure: Registered Nurses Watching Over Their Patients.’

Nursing Research November/December 2010 Vol 59, No 6.

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