Exploring consumer views of care provided by the Macmillan nurse using the critical incident technique


Ann Bergen Lecturer Department of Nursing Studies King's College London Cornwall House Annex Waterloo Road London SE1 8TX, England


This study focuses on descriptive accounts of one Macmillan nurse's work, as provided by key individuals coming into contact with this specialist professional service Twenty respondents (eight patients, five carers, five district nurses and two general practitioners) were interviewed using a variation of the critical incident technique Data were analysed in terms of meaningful observed events (critical happenings) that were perceived as effective or ineffective with respect to the delivery of high-quality nursing care Some variations were found between groups of respondents in their perception of the nurse's role However, there was a general emphasis on the possession of specialist knowledge of terminal cancer care and the positive impact of interventions to both the patient and to lay and professional carers The critical incident technique was found to be a valuable method for eliciting detailed accounts of the work of the nurse in this specialized field of practice