Preventing negligence in the hospital settings-how nurses can avoid negligence

Summary
This research project aims at discussing ways of preventing negligence in the hospital settings and how nurses can avoid negligence. Negligence among nurses in the hospital setting occurs when nurses fail to care for patients just like a reasonably prudent and careful person would while taking care of patients. There has been an increase in negligence by nurses in the hospital setting mainly because patient care responsibilities have been increasing and nurses are not able to perform the duty (Vaughn, 2012). Negligence is therefore preventable and this research projects discusses how nurses can avoid negligence. The research will involve concepts and background evidence from literature review, previous studies and anecdotal evidence to answer questions on preventing negligence in the hospital setting. The research proposal will aim at improving health care provision while finding ways of preventing negligence.
The best research design and method for this type of research will be qualitative as it will assist in conducting meaningful research based on NEAF standards. This research project will cover sections 1, 5, 6 and 8 of the main administrative sections of NEAF in order to cover the topic of the study. The research design that will be used in this research project is qualitative and it will be used to address ways of avoiding negligence by nurses in the hospital setting. The research design will describe, explore and explain the concept of negligence in hospital settings and how nurses can avoid it. The qualitative research design used will describe the meaning, experience and understanding of negligence in the hospital setting while acknowledging the participants and ethical consideration in the research process. The main research methods that will be used will include review of documents and previous research, interviews and observation. There will be review of documents and previous research on negligence in hospital settings and how nurses can avoid negligence. Interviews and observation will revolve around the concept of negligence in the hospital setting, how individuals have experienced it and some of the ways of avoiding negligence. While conducting this research, three fundamental ethical principles will be considered namely, respect for people, justice and beneficence. The research will protect the human rights to self-determination, confidentiality and privacy, anonymity, fair treatment and protection from harm. This research project is intended to provide knowledge on negligence in the hospital setting and improve healthcare by discussing ways of avoiding negligence.
Project
This research project will involve qualitative research design as it is the most ideal for the problem and the purpose of the study. The research will involve a review of documents and previous research, interviews and observations regarding negligence in the hospital setting. The documents and previous research to be used will the ones centred around negligence in the hospital setting, how it occurs and how it can be avoided. Reviewing previous research will provide information on the general concept of negligence and how it has been experienced (Brink, Walt, & Rensburg, 2006).
Interviews will be conducted on patients who have experienced and reported cases of negligence and their experiences will relay the concept of negligence in hospitals. Interviews will give more first-hand information and it will enable an understanding of the concept from the participant’s point of view. Negligence can be studied through observation in the natural hospital settings by analysing the duties of the nursing personnel and the extent to which they performed this duty. This method will provide reliable information although it is costly in terms of time and resources. Qualitative research design will be used to provide a better understanding of negligence in the hospital settings and how it can be prevented and avoided (Munhall, 2012).
The research questions to answer in this study will include:
• Why and how negligence occurs in the hospital settings
• How negligence affects patients
• How negligence affect nurses
• What victims of negligence can do
• What nurses can do to avoid negligence
Negligence in the hospital setting refers to failing to do something that a careful of reasonably prudent person would do in the given situation. Nurses have the duty to provide care to their patients without putting them in a situation that could harm them. Negligence in the hospital setting can occur through failing to follow the standards of primary care, failing to assess or monitor a patient, failing to advocate for a patient’s needs, or failure to use medical equipment and in a safe and reasonable manner. The rise in the number of negligence issues in the hospital setting is mainly due to shortage of nurses and hospital downsizing, delegation, early discharge, technology advances, better informed consumers, expanded legal definitions of liability, among other reasons (Vaughn, 2012). Negligence has negative effects on the physical and mental health conditions of a patient as it jeopardizes their wellness and right to receive health care. A nurse can be sued for negligence if he or she has the duty to administer standard care to a patient and he or she does not provide this type of care (Mizrahi, & Davis, 2008).
Participants
This research project will provide the relevant information needed to enable nurses to avoid negligence and be more proficient in providing care. In addition, it will enable nurses avoid liabilities and being sued for negligence. It also sheds light on the right of patients and liabilities of nurses while providing care hence it makes consumers more assertive. While this research is expected to yield findings that can be useful in improving health care provision in a hospital setting, health care professionals rarely utilize research findings to guide their decision in caring for patient. One participant risk that can be identified in this type of research is discomfort in relaying emotional experiences. However, the research will enable participants to disclose only the information they are comfortable with and the research will use good clinical judgement to manage each interview (Vaughn, 2013).
Participants
Participants will involve three groups made up of patients and patient advocates. The total number of participants will be 80 and will be draw from different locations. The first group of participants that will be involved in the research project will include those who have received nursing care in the hospital setting within the past three months. The participants will be required to recall their experiences and any cases of negligence. The next group will include health professionals who have the duty to provide standard care to patients, negligence and the third group will be nurses who act as patient’s advocates. Participants in group one will be asked about their experiences at the hospital setting particularly on how they received patient care. Observation will also be made on these participants as they receive patient care in the hospital setting. The next group of participants will be interviewed about their role and duty to patients in providing health care while the third group of participants will be interviewed about ways of preventing negligence in the hospital setting.
The relationship between the researcher and participants will be strictly professional in order to allow participants to give free and voluntary consent to participate in the study. No researcher will have a close and personal relationship with the participants so as to eliminate any aspect or bias. This will ensure that participation in the research will not impair future relationships between the researchers and participants. The researchers will uphold honesty and integrity while conducting the research on participants so as not to place participants in compromising situations (Lo, 2010).
In order to recruit participants for the research, the research will develop advertisements, posters and flyers to the public for those willing to participate in the study. There will also be eligibility criteria for those willing to participate in the study. For patients wishing to participate in the study, they should be at least 18 years old and should have received patient care in within the past three months or is undergoing patient care. For nurses and patient advocates to participate, they should be registered nurses and practicing professionals. Both males and females will participate in the study but they will not be required to give their names, age and similar personal information that would lead to their identification. All participants will be given a number code or they can devise their own code in order to ensure anonymity.
In order to ensure anonymity, the research will require all participants to fill a consent form that will show that they willingly gave out their information. The research will also ensure that the participants are able to understand the concept of the research before participating. The research is going to ensure that everyone invited to participate in the research is not influenced or coerced to participate. A voluntary consent will be obtained only when the subject is able to clearly understand the essential information given in the consent form (Vaughn, 2013).
Confidentiality/Privacy
The research project will be guided by ethical principles including respect for persons, beneficence and justice. The research will also protect and uphold the basic human rights related to conducting research studies including right to anonymity and confidentiality, right to self-determination, right to fair treatment and also protection from discomfort and harm. The information obtained from participants in this study will be directly collected from participants through interviews and observation. The research will involve punctual interviews that will only be terminated during the agreed time. The participant will be accorded the right to determine the extent to which his or her information will be shared with or withheld from others (Australian Government. National Health and Medical Research Council, 2014).
In order to adhere to the principle of beneficence, the research will secure the wellbeing of the participants. The information gathered from participants will be used to analyse cases of negligence in the hospital settings and their extent. In addition, the information will be used to identify consumer and nurse awareness of negligence issues. It will also be used to analyse ways in which nurses can avoid negligence (Consumers Health Forum of Australia, 2013). The information used in the research will be in coded form such that the participants remain anonymous. At no point in time will the information be used against the will of the participants (Martin, 2006).
The only people that will have access to participant information will be the research supervisors and they will not be able to share the information with other parties. In addition, the information will be collected in such a way that even the research supervisors will not be able to link a participant with his or her own information. Once the information is collected, it will be stored in paper copy and computer file and no recordings will take place. The research team will also be changing certain information in a way that participants will not be recognized (Nissen, 2006). Once the research is over, the identifiers will be removed so as to ensure the security of the information. The information in paper copy shall be stored in unidentifiable form so that participants will not be easily identified (Brody, 2002).
The published results of the research will be under the ownership of the final report publisher. The report publisher will have the right to impose conditions on anyone willing to use the report or publish some of the information and results. The final report publisher will demonstrate integrity throughout the process of compiling and publishing the report and ensure that the findings are valid and trustworthy. In addition, the publisher will have the duty to own the complete documentation of the research process and enable a trustworthy audit (Australian Government. National Health and Medical Research Council, 2014).
Conclusion
The research project will involve a research on preventing negligence in hospital settings and how nurses can avoid negligence. The research deign used will be qualitative design and method as it will provide qualitative information on the concept. The main methods will be interview, observation and review of documents and previous research. Interviews and observation will be conducted on the participants while information from previous research will be used to provide more data and evidence to draw conclusions. The research will be conducted using high ethical and scientific standards according to the NEAF standards while minimizing harm to participants.
The research project will analyse issues of negligence in the hospital settings and the results obtained can be used to improve health care provision by recommending ways of avoiding negligence. It will provide healthcare professionals with relevant information regarding negligence and how to avoid it. In addition, it will increase awareness on consumers and make them more assertive on their rights will receiving care. It will also highlight the duties of health care professionals and particularly nurses while providing health care in hospital settings. These benefits are worthy of urgent pursuit through this research project and show that research in health care should be a concern to all health care professionals.
While this research sheds more light into negligence in the hospital settings and how nurses can avoid it, further research needs to be conducted on why health care professionals engage in negligence. This is essential as it will provide an understanding on circumstances leading to negligence and how they can be avoided.

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