School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences
Medical and Health Sciences
Dr Julie Bradshaw, Professor Ann Bonner
Doctor of Philosophy
Marina Cousins

Research Details

Thesis Name

Understanding how nephrology nurses establish and maintain a professional relationship with people receiving haemodialysis.

Thesis Abstract

A professional and trusting relationship between nephrology nurses and patients is fundamental in facilitating effective care within the haemodialysis (HD) unit. Previous research indicates that both nurses and patients have identified that a unique relationship develops between them, and, in some instances, the relationship has been reported as being like that of an extended family. The objective of this proposed research is to understand the relationship and the strategies that nephrology nurses use to maintain a long-term professional HD nurse-patient relationship. A systematic review, which found only three previous studies in the last 10 years highlights a gap in knowledge on the nurse-patient relationship in the HD context. This study, situated in the constructivist paradigm and using grounded theory, will recruit approximately 30 HD nurses and collect data through semi-structured interviews to generate a theory to explain the social processes of this professional relationship. This study has the potential to make a significant and original contribution to nephrology nursing knowledge and professional practice.

Why my research is important/Impacts

Caring for people who are receiving HD treatment can be rewarding and fulfilling for nephrology nurses. However, it can also be emotionally and physically draining. This study seeks to generate new knowledge about the nephrology nurse-patient relationship, its impact on nurses, and the coping strategies that nurses use to manage this relationship. This study has the potential to make a significant and original contribution to knowledge, professional practice in nephrology nursing and patient-centered care. Findings may be used to inform policy to prevent compassion fatigue and burnout in nurses. Additionally, this may assist with staff retention and impact the health outcomes of patients who are receiving HD treatment.