THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF MENTORING

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CHAPTER 3 Research methodology

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.”
Abigail Adams

INTRODUCTION

Chapter 3 describes the research methodology. In chapter 1, the researcher described the research problem, the formulation of the research questions and the objectives of the study. This chapter describes the research design and research method that the researcher utilised in order to accomplish the aims of this study.
Research methodology is the application of all the steps, strategies and procedures that a researcher uses for gathering and analysing the raw data that emerges from an investigation in a logical and systematic way (Burns & Grove 2001:26). The selection of an appropriate research methodology or strategy is central to the research design, and is probably the single most important decision that any researcher has to make. The research methodology of this study was guided by the objectives of the study which were set out in chapter 1.

 Aim of the study

The most important aim of this study was to identify, describe and discuss the experiences of a sample of student nurses during their periods of clinical accompaniment in a particular public hospital in the Gauteng province of South Africa by means of a qualitative research design.
Welman, Kruger and Mitchell (2005:8) describe the aim of qualitative research as an effort to describe how individuals construct the social, professional and personal reality in which they find themselves. Qualitative research of this kind emphasises the relationship between the researcher and the object of a researcher’s study, and it also emphasises the value-laden nature of the enquiry.
It is a feature of qualitative research that it relies on establishing a coherent and thematic analysis of the various processes and meanings that are discernible in the data. Qualitative research does not analyse research problems in terms of quantifiable and numeric units, quantities, amounts, intensities and frequencies. It approaches its research problems in terms of an analysis of the themes and meanings that emerge from the subjective data that the researcher obtains from the participating respondents in interviews or by means of other research instruments such as questionnaires or surveys.

 Research questions and objectives

Munhall (2001:67-68) states that research questions in qualitative research should be holistic in their approach. This means that the researcher should study the human experience and realities that are part of the lives of the participants, and that the research respondents should, as far as possible, be studied in their natural professional, social or domestic environment – or whatever environment is relevant to the research question. Brink, Van Der Wal and Van Rensburg (2006:80) state that some researchers refer to questions and objectives as “questions” while other researchers regard “research questions” as being synonymous with “research problems”. It is obvious; however, that the final form of the research questions will be based on a careful analysis of the research problems that the researcher has identified. Hill and Howlett (2005:101) describe “objective information” as data that can be verified. The objectivity and reliability of qualitative research depends on the coherence of the arguments and analyses that are performed by the researcher as he or she attempts to arrive at a plausible solution to the research question.

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The context of the study

De Vos (2001:281) explains the idea of “context” as the “study of people in their habitat or natural setting [which the researcher investigates] in order to understand the dynamics of human meanings as full as possible”.
This study was carried out in of a regional public hospital situated in the Gauteng province of the Republic of South Africa. This hospital is described as a Level II regional hospital in terms of the Southern African government’s classification of hospitals. It is also been designated as a multi-disciplinary hospital that is authorised to offer clinical accompaniment to student nurses who are being trained in government-sponsored nursing training colleges, in the South African Defence Force Military College and one other approved private nursing school (college). The hospital in which the study took place has 311 beds. It also has seven ICU beds (2 of which are inactive). Other facilities at the hospital include four 30-bed medical wards, two surgical wards, one paediatric ward, a 30-bed neonatal high care unit, one maternity ward, various operating theatres, a casualty department, some polyclinic departments and various other facilities that are common to large hospitals such as a pharmaceutical dispensary, laundries and kitchens.
Student nurses are allocated to all the wards of the hospital in terms of the requirements of the various curricula that are sanctioned by the SANC and the study years in which student nurses find themselves. The periods during which student nurses have to present themselves for clinical accompaniment in this hospital are stipulated by the requirements of the SANC. Each qualifying nursing college sends its allocation lists to the nursing management department for incorporation into the macro-allocation schedule of the hospital. This process of allocation enables the nursing management and administration department to control the nurse-patient-student ratios in each of the wards and to determine the quality of exposure that they expect each student to receive. Each college employs a clinical tutor who accompanies students clinically and who takes ultimate responsibility for managing the allocation of students and the training that they will receive in terms of the SANC regulations.
The average length of stay (ALOS) for patients in this hospital ranges from between six hours (in the maternity ward) and 30 days in other wards, while the bed-occupancy rate is consistently above 90% throughout the hospital because of the enormous demands that the communities in the hospital’s population catchment area make on the services that have been provided by the hospital to all sectors of the population since 1994.

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CHAPTER 1 ORIENTATION TO THE RESEARCH
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY AND PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.3 DESCRIPTION OF THE CONTEXT
1.4 PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.5 AIM OF THE STUDY
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIVES
1.7 FRAME OF REFERENCE
1.8 DEFINITION OF KEY CONCEPTS
1.9 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.10 TRUSTWORTHINESS
1.11 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
1.12 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH
1.13 LAYOUT OF THIS STUDY
1.14 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 INTRODUCTION.
2.2 EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
2.3 LEARNING
2.4 REFLECTION
2.5 CONSTRUCTIVISM
2.6 HOW NURSING STUDENTS LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE IN CLINICAL SETTINGS
2.7 TYPES OF MENTORSHIP.
2.8 THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF MENTORING
2.9 THE APPLICATION OF EFFECTIVE GUIDELINES FOR CLINICAL ACCOMPANIMENT IN HEALTH CARE SETTINGS
2.10 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
3.3 THE RESEARCH METHOD AND PROCESS
3.4 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
3.5 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 4 DATA ANALYSIS
4.1 INTRODUCTION.
4.2 CODING
4.3 THEME 1: THE CLINICAL ENVIRONMENT
4.4 THEME 2: LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENT NURSES
4.5 THEME 3: STUDENT NURSE ACCOMPANIMENT GUIDELINES
4.6 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS, LIMITATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 INTRODUCTION.
5.2 AIMS OF THE STUDY
5.3 THE OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY.
5.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
5.5 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
5.6 SAMPLE AND SAMPLING
5.7 FINDINGS
5.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
5.9 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
5.10 CONCLUSION
LIST OF REFERENCES
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