What information counts at the moment of practice? Information practices of renal nurses

Authors

  • Ann Bonner,

    1. Ann Bonner PhD RN MRCA Associate Professor School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
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  • Annemaree Lloyd

    1. Annemaree Lloyd BA PhD ALIA Senior Lecturer School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
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A. Bonner: e-mail: abonner@csu.edu.au

Abstract

bonner a. & lloyd a. (2011) What information counts at the moment of practice? Information practices of renal nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(6), 1213–1221.

Abstract

Aims.  This article is a report of a study done to identify how renal nurses experience information about renal care and the information practices that they used to support everyday practice.

Background.  What counts as nursing knowledge remains a contested area in the discipline yet little research has been undertaken. Information practice encompasses a range of activities such as seeking, evaluation and sharing of information. The ability to make informed judgement is dependent on nurses being able to identify relevant sources of information that inform their practice and those sources of information may enable the identification of what knowledge is important to nursing practice.

Method.  The study was philosophically framed from a practice perspective and informed by Habermas and Schatzki; it employed qualitative research techniques. Using purposive sampling six registered nurses working in two regional renal units were interviewed during 2009 and data was thematically analysed.

Findings.  The information practices of renal nurses involved mapping an information landscape in which they drew on information obtained from epistemic, social and corporeal sources. They also used coupling, a process of drawing together information from a range of sources, to enable them to practice.

Conclusion.  Exploring how nurses engage with information, and the role the information plays in situating and enacting epistemic, social and corporeal knowledge into everyday nursing practice is instructive because it indicates that nurses must engage with all three modalities in order to perform effectively, efficiently and holistically in the context of patient care.

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