Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The lived experience of registered nurses caring for patient living with HIV/AIDS in Broward County, Florida: A phenomenological inquiry
by Wright, Archimore Alexander, Ph.D., Barry University, 2016, 315; 10257646
Abstract (Summary)

Background: Vulnerability, opportunistic infections, and infection-related illnesses, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), progressively overwhelms the human immune system resulting in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to slowly and non-discriminately spread continentally with dramatic consequences on the life expectancy of anyone who develops this pervasive illness/disease. The virus, HIV is well documented and is commonly transmitted through risky behaviors of human contact, and if left unattended and untreated, leaves a path of destruction and devastation of monumental proportions. HIV/AIDS dramatically leads to long struggles and concerns for human rights and end-of-life (EOL) care.

Purpose: The purpose of this research study was to gain an in-depth epistemology of registered nurses lived experiences in caring for people living with HIV/AIDS in Broward County, Florida. Philosophical Underpinnings: The philosophical underpinnings that directed this study were buried in the interpretivistic paradigm to investigate the meaning of a particular sample of registered nurses using a qualitative research approach.

Method: This study employed a descriptive/interpretive paradigm navigated by Max van Manen’s phenomenological method. Purposive and snow-ball sampling were utilized by the researcher to recruit registered nurses (RNs) for the study. Data collection was acquired using digital voice recorders to conduct semi-structured face-to-face interviews with a maximum of 12 elected participants.

Results: Four major related themes were conclusive from the findings of the study, as unknowing, incapacitating, dejecting, and nurturing, and five sub-themes of swimming in deep waters, exasperating, dreading occupational exposures, feeling of emptiness, and emotional and physical support through this phenomenological descriptive/interpretive exploration. These themes and sub-themes showcased registered nurses experience in providing care to patients living with HIV/AIDS in Broward County, Florida. Margaret Newman’s (1978) grand theory of Health as Expanding Consciousness was the theoretical framework applied to the themes/sub-themes for further understanding.

Conclusion: This phenomenological research inquiry coupled with Max van Manen descriptive/interpretive methodology exhibited the complexity registered nurses endure when providing care to patients living with HIV/AIDS in Broward County, Florida. The results of the study emphasized the quintessence of nurse’s experiences by illuminating the fear of the unknown dealing with the disease HIV/AIDS, in which they displayed courage, resilience, empathy, and nurturing while caring for this fragile population. The experiences described in this study by the participants caring for patients living with HIV/AIDS in Broward, County Florida, highlighted the numerous effects of the disease on healthcare and nurses alike. There is a necessity for a comprehensive approach to make it possible to provide appropriate nursing care that can also address the new threat of HIV infection in Broward County, which has developed rapidly than expected. Participant’s enthusiasm in sharing their life world experience on caring for patients living with HIV/AIDS culminate the general purpose of this phenomenological study.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chin, Claudette R.
Commitee: Beason, Ferrona A., Colin, Jessie M.
School: Barry University
Department: College of Health Sciences
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-B 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Descriptive/interpretive, HIV/AIDS, Lived experience, Phenomenology, Qualitative, Registered nurses
Publication Number: 10257646
ISBN: 978-1-369-60625-6
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