Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy [to the] School of Nursing and Midwifery, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.
This thesis presents a Grounded Theory study of nurses‟ perceptions of quality nursing care in the Dementia Specific Care Unit. Dementia is a progressive, degenerative neurological disease with currently, no cure (World Health Organization WHO), 2017b). Currently, more than 24 million people globally live with dementia and this figure is forecast to rise to 135.5 million by 2050 (Backhaus, Verbeek, van Rossum, Capezuti, and Hamers, 2014; McGilton et al., 2016; Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018). Registered Nurses, Nurse managers, educators, researchers, healthcare organisations and policymakers appear to have differing views of just what constitutes quality nursing care in the Dementia Specific Care Unit, with no clear definition apparent (V. Parker et al., 2019). Understanding how Registered Nurses perceive quality nursing care in the Dementia Specific Care Unit is important and will provide valuable information about nursing practice in this environment for nurses and decision makers. This Grounded Theory study aimed to understand the Registered Nurses‟ perception of quality nursing care in Dementia Specific Care Units. The study involved interviewing nine Registered Nurses working in Dementia Specific Care Units in Queensland, Australia. Data was collected during semi-structured interviews and then analysed using the constant comparative method, in line with Grounded Theory methodology (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). The data revealed the complexity of delivering quality nursing care in Dementia Specific Care Units and the challenges nurses faced daily in the delivery of that care. The themes identified from the data are Caring at the Coalface, Labour of Love and The Business of Dementia Healthcare. The theory generated from this study is: Nurses perceive quality nursing care in the Dementia Specific Care Unit to be care that is person centred, timely, skilled, supported and rewarding
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