Clinical Knowledge Development of Nurses in an Operational Environment


Name: Maggie Richard


Organization: The Henry Jackson Foundation

Performance Site: National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD; Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC

Year Published: 2003

Abstract Status: Initial


The goal of this research is to gather first person experience near accounts of experiential learning of nurses caring for the wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This interview data will be analyzed using qualitative ethnographic research methods to articulate areas of knowledge, skill, as well as areas of breakdown, lack of available knowledge, and skill or resources in the particular settings. Such front-line experiential knowledge is expensive and hard-won by the practitioners, therefore studying and capturing by example and thematic analysis issues, concerns, new knowledge it will be possible to improve system design and to better educate future combat nurses who will be able to draw on the experiential learning of their colleagues. Combat situations present many novel situations that require innovation and knowledge development. Articulating this front line knowledge development will assist in future design of systems, and in training future health care personnel. Experiential learning and continuous learning in the field is hampered in high demand high stress situations when there is little systematic effort to gain access to the knowledge of the front-line workers. This project seeks to address this problem by capturing experiential learning from front-line caregivers that may be used for teaching future combat nurses, for system design, and uncovering potential areas of need research for combat health care. Many of the lessons learned will serve for many different disaster situations and will be useful to the general society as well as military health care. The project seeks to address three research aims: 1. To capture experiential learning regarding medical and nursing care during combat operations in order to evaluate and extend this knowledge. 2. To provide narratives of combat practice that could assist in the design and teaching of combat health care. 3. To create a collection of narratives around practice topics or issues that are identified that can be published as a learning resource for nurses.