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Quantitative and qualitative research

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Determining which type of method to use depends on the property of the subject matter as well as the objective for the research. When using quantitative research method data is controlled, the data is usually objective, numerically, and statistically based. Qualitative research is a systematic approach to understanding essential phenomena within a given context. It depends on the interpretations of individual experience. Advantages of quantitative research

Allows the researcher to measure and analyze data
Can test hypothesis in experiments
Allows detailed study
Disadvantage of quantitative research
Context of the study is ignored
Larger sample must be studied for accurate results
Doesn’t study things in their natural setting
Advantages of qualitative research
Study things in their natural settings
Context and social meaning are included
Disadvantage of qualitative research
Researcher may interpret the research result based on own biased belief, this skews the data. Time consuming

Since both research approaches has its own strength and limitations, using both in the same study help strength the result of the study. The disadvantage of incorporating the two research styles would be the challenge to implementing mixed methods of design. For instance the need to collect and analyze qualitative data can force researchers to reduce sample size, which can limit the kinds of statistical procedures that might be used (University of Nebraska, 2007).


University of Nebraska, (2007). Merging qualitative and quantitative data in mixed methods research: how to and why not. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1012&context=icwdmeea

Nursing research is used to study different situations in nursing practice. There are a number of problems in nursing, I think, that need some research to find a solution. A problem area I like to discuss is a staffing issue, nurse to patient ratio. Often nurses voice their concern over patient load and how it is affecting their ability to provide quality patient care. But in many places it is still not addressed. Some hospitals have mandatory nurse to patient staffing ratio, while many implement their own rule. Although it is not easy to address the staffing problem it is very important to take the first step in finding solution to this problem because patient outcome depend on it.”

Hospitals with low nurse staffing levels tend to have higher rates of poor patient outcomes such as pneumonia, shock, cardiac arrest, and urinary tract infections, according to research funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and others” ( US department of health and human services [HHS], 2004). Some facilities go by how many patients a nurse should take care of despite acuity. It is clear that higher acuity patients add more work load to the nurse. Better patient outcome is related to the nursing care provided. For example we encourage our patients to use incentive spirometer (Is) in order to prevent pneumonia. If the nurse is busy with workload and the priority at the moment is taking care of another very sick patient, that nurse won’t have the time and the chance to teach her/his patients the use of IS and encourage them to use it, this leads to the risk of developing pneumonia.

This is just one example; there are many practices that need patient education and reminder so that the patients perfume it. Getting up and walking after most surgeries is encouraged, but if the nurse doesn’t have enough time to help the patient this would become the last priority. All this steps lead to poor patient outcome and developing complications from their primary diagnosis leading to more hospital stay and increased cost. Studying the benefits of adequate nursing staff in enhancing better patient outcome and minimizing cost and applying it into practice is very important. Many studies are done on this issue but implementing the suggestions to adequately staff nursing personnel is still unresolved issue in many places.

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