Researchers collect two types of data in their studies
- Numbers (called quantitative data)
- Words & narratives (called qualitative data)
One source of rich word or narrative (qualitative) data for answering nursing questions is nurses’ stories. Dr. Pat Benner RN, author of Novice to Expert explains two things we can do to help nurses fully tell their stories so we can learn the most from their practice.
- Listen well without interrupting
- Help nurses ‘unpack’ their stories
Check out this excellent 2:59 video of Dr. Benner’s and revolutionize how you learn about nursing from nursing stories: Preview: The use of Narratives
Critical thinking: For a study using narratives in research see Leboul et al. (2017). Palliative sedation challenging the professional competency of health care providers and staff: A qualitative focus group and personal written narrative study. [full text available thru PubMed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28399846]. 1) Do you think the authors listened and unpacked information from the focus groups & written narratives; 2) Do you think there might be a difference in the way people write narratives and verbally tell narratives? 3) How might that difference if any affect the research findings?
For more information: Check out The Power of Story by Wang & Geale (2015) at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352013215000496