Correctional Nursing: Described From the Perspective of Nurses Working in a Maximum Security Correctional Hospital
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Session presented on Saturday, July 23, 2016 and Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences of nurses as they work in a maximum security acute care hospital. The thematic findings may be used to inform future research studies, and the development of future policies that address nurses' needs, and staffing guidelines. Methods: A qualitative design, descriptive Husserlian phenomenological methodology was the most appropriate approach to address the research questions. Qualitative research entails broad questions regarding human experiences and realities studied through interactions with people in their natural environments, which in-turn generates rich, descriptive data that help us to understand a phenomenon thoroughly. A purposive sampling design with snowballing was used to identify registered nurses who work in a maximum security acute care hospital. Before data collection, Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Data collection was in keeping with recommendations of Lincoln and Guba. To ensure credibility, multiple data collection techniques were used. Data was collected using in-depth, unstructured, face-to-face individual interviews; demographic questions; observation; field notes; and methodological and reflexive journals. Data analysis procedures used in this study followed Colaizzi's psychological stages of analysis to elucidate the meaning, structure, and essence of the lived experiences of nurses who work in a maximum security acute care hospital. Limitations include small sample size and the descriptive phenomenological approach addressing the study question. Findings cannot be generalized to other nursing population or geographical areas. The open ended design elicited rich description of the phenomenon. Results: Anecdotal results revealed barriers to working with correctional officers and identified education needs of nurses who work in a maximum security acute care hospital. Furthermore, nurses interviewed revealed commitment and teamwork to working in a correctional setting. Conclusion: The study was designed to describe and explore experiences of nurses who work in maximum security acute care hospital. Findings of the study reveal new and unique perspectives on the development of innovative strategies to recruitment and possible policy changes to improve work environment. Participants of the study revealed emotional impact and barriers in caring for correctional patients.