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Conceptions of school based youth health nursing : a phenomenographic study

Sendall, Marguerite Claire (2009) Conceptions of school based youth health nursing : a phenomenographic study. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

The School Based Youth Health Nurse Program was established in 1999 by the Queensland Government to fund school nurse positions in Queensland state high schools. Schools were required to apply for a School Based Youth Health Nurse during a five-phase recruitment process, managed by the health districts, and rolled out over four years. The only mandatory selection criterion for the position of School Based Youth Health Nurse was registration as a General Nurse and most School Based Youth Health Nurses are allocated to two state high schools. Currently, there are approximately 115 Full Time Equivalent School Based Youth Health Nurse positions across all Queensland state high schools. The literature review revealed an abundance of information about school nursing. Most of the literature came from the United Kingdom and the United States, who have a different model of school nursing to school based youth health nursing. However, there is literature to suggest school nursing is gradually moving from a disease-focused approach to a social view of health. The noticeable number of articles about, for example, drug and alcohol, mental health, and contemporary sexual health issues, is evidence of this change. Additionally, there is a significant the volume of literature about partnerships and collaboration, much of which is about health education, team teaching and how school nurses and schools do health business together. The surfacing of this literature is a good indication that school nursing is aligning with the broader national health priority areas. More particularly, the literature exposed a small but relevant and current body of research, predominantly from Queensland, about school based youth health nursing. However, there remain significant gaps in the knowledge about school based youth health nursing. In particular, there is a deficit about how School Based Youth Heath Nurses understand the experience of school based youth health nursing. This research aimed to reveal the meaning of the experience of school based youth health nursing. The research question was How do School Based Youth Health Nurses’ understand the experience of school based youth health nursing? This enquiry was instigated because the researcher, who had a positive experience of school based youth health nursing, considered it important to validate other School Based Youth Health Nurses’ experiences. Consequently, a comprehensive use of qualitative research was considered the most appropriate manner to explore this research question. Within this qualitative paradigm, the research framework consists of the epistemology of social constructionism, the theoretical perspective of interpretivism and the approach of phenomenography. After ethical approval was gained, purposeful and snowball sampling was used to recruit a sample of 16 participants. In-depth interviews, which were voluntary, confidential and anonymous, were mostly conducted in public venues and lasted from 40-75 minutes. The researcher also kept a researchers journal as another form of data collection. Data analysis was guided by Dahlgren and Fallsbergs’ (1991, p. 152) seven phases of data analysis which includes familiarization, condensation, comparison, grouping, articulating, labelling and contrasting. The most important finding in this research is the outcome space, which represents the entirety of the experience of school based youth health nursing. The outcome space consists of two components: inside the school environment and outside the school environment. Metaphorically and considered as whole-in-themselves, these two components are not discreet but intertwined with each other. The outcome space consists of eight categories. Each category of description is comprised of several sub-categories of description but as a whole, is a conception of school based youth health nursing. The eight conceptions of school based youth health nursing are: 1. The conception of school based youth health nursing as out there all by yourself. 2. The conception of school based youth health nursing as no real backup. 3. The conception of school based youth health nursing as confronted by many barriers. 4. The conception of school based youth health nursing as hectic and full-on. 5. The conception of school based youth health nursing as working together. 6. The conception of school based youth health nursing as belonging to school. 7. The conception of school based youth health nursing as treated the same as others. 8. The conception of school based youth health nursing as the reason it’s all worthwhile. These eight conceptions of school based youth health nursing are logically related and form a staged hierarchical relationship because they are not equally dependent on each other. The conceptions of school based youth health nursing are grouped according to negative, negative and positive and positive conceptions of school based youth health nursing. The conceptions of school based youth health nursing build on each other, from the bottom upwards, to reach the authorized, or the most desired, conception of school based youth health nursing. This research adds to the knowledge about school nursing in general but especially about school based youth health nursing specifically. Furthermore, this research has operational and strategic implications, highlighted in the negative conceptions of school based youth health nursing, for the School Based Youth Health Nurse Program. The researcher suggests the School Based Youth Health Nurse Program, as a priority, address the operational issues The researcher recommends a range of actions to tackle issues and problems associated with accommodation and information, consultations and referral pathways, confidentiality, health promotion and education, professional development, line management and School Based Youth Health Nurse Program support and school management and community. Strategically, the researcher proposes a variety of actions to address strategic issues, such as the School Based Youth Health Nurse Program vision, model and policy and practice framework, recruitment and retention rates and evaluation. Additionally, the researcher believes the findings of this research have the capacity to spawn a myriad of future research projects. The researcher has identified the most important areas for future research as confidentiality, information, qualifications and health outcomes.

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ID Code: 29653
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Fleming, MaryLou, Lidstone, John, & Anderson, Peter
Keywords: school nurse, school based youth health nurse, qualitative, phenomenography, in-depth interviews, categories of description, conceptions, outcome space
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 13 Jan 2010 13:11
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2013 10:37

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