Making sense of it: a neuro-interactional model of meaning emergence in critically ill ventilated patients

Authors

  • Paula T Lusardi PhD RN CCRN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor and Co-coordinator of the Acute/Critical Care Advanced Practice Nurse Track, Graduate School of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
      Professor P T Lusardi Graduate School of the Nursing, University of Massachusetts Medical Center 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 USA
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  • Donna Schwartz-Barcott PhD RN

    1. Professor of Nursing, Director of Graduate Studies in Nursing, College of Nursing, White Hall, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA
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Professor P T Lusardi Graduate School of the Nursing, University of Massachusetts Medical Center 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655 USA

Abstract

Emphasis on meaning underpins a current thrust of knowledge development in nursing, especially in the client domain Examination of meaning in the interactional context and through varying levels of consciousness has not been examined Initially, an integrated model was developed deductively from philosophical, theoretical and research-oriented sources This model was meant as a guide to begin examining how patients with varying levels of consciousness make sense of their intensive care unit experience Over a 10-month period of fieldwork, this author observed patients twice daily through their intensive care unit stay to capture the nature and content of thinking processes The resulting neuro-interactional model describes patients' thinking processes and scope of meaning as a function of levels of consciousness as well as factors which affect thinking and meaning Theory, research and practice implications are presented

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