The article ‘Exploring Nurses’ Knowledge and Experiences Related to Trauma-Informed Care’ focuses on a relatively new field in nursing. As Stokes et al. (2017) observe, the role of nurses is expanding in the modern healthcare setting. It is critical for nurses to understand their role effectively and to ensure that they have the right skills and experience that can enable them to deliver the expected results. Trauma-informed care is an area that is increasingly gaining attention in the field of nursing. As Stokes et al. (2017, p. 2) observe that TIC “is built on an appreciation of, and responsiveness to, the consequences of trauma, and it requires individuals and organizations to provide services and care that offer a sense of safety for both patients and providers.” An individual who has gone through a traumatic experience may have lasting effects from the incident.
Managing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be challenging, especially when the patient experiences regular episodes of a nervous breakdown (Polit & Beck, 2020). Nurses are often equipped with unique skills that enable them to offer care to such patients. The care may be offered in a hospital setting, a mental facility, or a care home. Nurses must be informed about the history of the patient for them to know the best approach to caring for them. The article being reviewed assesses the level of knowledge and experience that nurses have in trauma-informed care.
Qualitative Research Critique
In this qualitative research review, it was necessary to analyze each of the components of the article. As Polit and Beck (2020) observe, a standard research article should have an introduction, a review of the literature, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion sections. Each of these components plays a critical role in such a report. This section will critique the article based on these standard components.
The article has a detailed background section. This section provided detailed information about the current knowledge on trauma-informed care. The authors of this article have thoroughly assessed this issue. It acknowledges that the problem of limited information about this issue does not just affect the nurses. Patients are the worst-affected group. Most often, people do not realize that extreme stress is a medical condition that should be effectively managed. As such, when providing basic information about the history of their condition, they often omit cases of trauma they experienced and significantly affected them, but failed to classify such cases as a medical condition. The psychiatrist and other medical doctors who need to address the problem are equally affected by the lack of information. In this analysis, they note that trauma-informed care is a relatively new concept among nurses and other medical professionals (Stokes et al., 2017). As such, when taking a medical history of patients, it is uncommon for a nurse to interrogate the patient to ascertain if they have gone through a traumatic experience.
A literature review in a research article provides a detailed analysis of findings that other scholars have made. This chapter provides background information and enables a researcher to understand existing gaps. It not only enables a researcher to avoid duplicating already existing information but also defines the path that they should take in the investigation (Polit & Beck, 2020). This section is uniquely missing in this article. The researcher has fused background information with a literature review. The introduction section is relatively long and provides information that other scholars have written about this topic. It may not justify the failure of these authors to set aside a section to discuss the findings of other scholars in this and other related fields. One can easily assume that they never conducted enough secondary research to gather sufficient secondary data. This is a weakness in the report that future researchers should avoid.
The methodology section is relatively detailed and simple. The authors used a qualitative descriptive study. The research design they used was appropriate based on the nature of the investigation they were conducting. It allowed them to use open-ended questions which were appropriate in conducting a detailed investigation on the issue. Respondents were able to use their own words to explain specific issues that enabled the researchers to develop themes. The section provides the recruitment strategy, participant characteristics that defined the inclusion criteria, and data collection method. This section also explains the data analysis method, issues of validity and reliability, and ethical considerations. The information provided in this section is sufficient and easy to understand, which is essential in defining effective research (Polit & Beck, 2020). One can easily understand how they arrived at a specific conclusion in the study.
This section in a report presents finings made from the analysis of data, especially the primary data. The article by Stokes et al. (2017) has a detailed presentation of the results that were found in the analysis. They have presented the results in form of themes for ease of understanding the concepts presented. Each of these themes is supported by direct quotes or paraphrased information obtained from the participants. Some of the themes presented in the article include Conceptualizing Trauma and TIC, Nursing Care and Trauma, Context of TIC, and Dynamics of the Nurse: Patient Relationship in the Face of Trauma (Stokes et al., 2017). The approach used is simple but effective. The researchers assess the current state of the issue, identify existing gaps, then propose possible solutions that can be used to effectively address the problem. This section is satisfactory.
The section is meant to integrate information obtained from the review of the literature in chapter 2 and the analysis of primary data in chapter 4 of a report. The article has a discussion section. The others did a good job of integrating information from the two main sources. It discusses findings made from primary sources and supports the finding with information from secondary sources. Just like in the previous chapter, there is a discussion of the current state of knowledge, existing gaps on the topic, and how to address the gaps. It goes further to discuss how limited information about trauma-informed care can be addressed. In this section, the researcher also discusses the limitations. It helps users to understand the extent to which they can infer the information presented in the report. The paper also explains the steps that the authors took to address each of the weaknesses to enhance the validity of the report.
The conclusion section is essential in any formal report. It provided a summary of findings and a critical understanding of the issue under investigation based on facts collected from different sources. It enables the reader to understand the view of the author(s) toward an issue and the new concept that has been developed. Although the conclusion provided in this article is relatively short, it makes it possible to understand findings that have been made and the current state of knowledge on the issue that was investigated. The authors concluded that trauma-informed care is critical yet nurses are hardly aware of the concept. Awareness creation is critical in enabling nurses to understand the new concept and how to implement it in their respective workplaces.
I have critically reviewed this article and I believed it is highly informative. Although it lacks a detailed review of the literature, as explained in the section above, the researchers have done a good job in researching this new field. As a practicing nurse, I understand the sensitive nature of handling a patient with a history of trauma. The main challenge is that some of these patients do not even understand the nature of their condition, making it challenging to offer them the type of care that they deserve. In this personal reflection section, it is necessary to use the following questions to help explain the significance of the study:
How does the article contribute to your understanding of research?
The article has made a significant contribution to my understanding of the research. Although the concept of trauma-informed care is not an entirely new topic to me, this article has enabled me to have a better understanding of it. Initially, I had viewed trauma-induced care as a nursing philosophy. However, this article has enabled me to understand that it is a fundamental part of nursing care (Stokes et al., 2017). I now know that it emphasizes the need for nurses to understand the holistic care for their patients and for them to develop therapeutic relations with their patients. The article has also enabled me to have a better knowledge of how to conduct research. The methodology section of the report describes specific steps that the authors took to collect and process data before concluding. It has enhanced my research skills in the field of nursing. The methods used in the article can easily be replicated in other similar studies, especially in the field of nursing.
Does the article change your views of the topic?
The article has changed my view of the topic that they investigated. Initially, I believe that it was the responsibility of patients to explain whether they have had traumatic experiences that could have affected their health. I believed that it was rude and unethical for a nurse to ask patients such questions. I believed that taking such a line of investigation may be offensive to some patients. However, this article has changed that perception. I now believe that the first step that a nurse should take when engaging a patient is to create a therapeutic relationship. The nurse should ensure that there is mutual trust with the patient and that they are willing to share sensitive information about their past. It is evident from their investigation a patients can only feel comfortable discussing their past when they are sure it will not be used against them (Stokes et al., 2017). Instead, such pieces of sensitive and personal information should be used to assist them to overcome their condition. A patient with a mental problem can only overcome their condition if the source of the problem is correctly diagnosed and an appropriate solution developed (Polit & Beck, 2020). It means that the patient has to explain the possible traumatic experiences. The nurse has the responsibility to create an environment where they can freely share such details. My view toward the topic of trauma-informed care has also changed. I no longer view TIC merely as a philosophy. I now believe that it is a part of holistic nursing care.
What do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the article?
When reviewing the article, it was evident that it had strengths and weaknesses, which can be discussed in this section of the report. One of the major strengths of this article is its use of primary data. According to Polit and Beck (2020), when conducting a study, the primary aim is always to provide new knowledge or expand the existing one. That goal can only be realized when one collects and analyzes primary data. I believe the inclusion criteria used were so strict that those who were finally selected not only had adequate knowledge of the topic under investigation but were also highly interested in enhancing their knowledge about it. A participant had to be a registered nurse, have a general level of English proficiency, have a score of the top 20th percentile on the ARTIC survey, and are currently employed as a nurse in the province of Ontario (Stokes et al., 2017). Only 18 individuals out of a large population of 248 nurses met the inclusion criteria. These participants could provide expert opinions based on their nursing knowledge and experience they have had on the job. Another strength is that the authors collected data from a specific location. As such, it is possible to identify specific biases that may arise from popular beliefs within the region and how they can be addressed. The article also explains the ethical considerations that were taken into consideration when collecting data from the participant. It was clear that the protection of participants was a priority in the study.
The study has some weaknesses that future scholars should avoid when conducting a similar investigation. The main weakness of this article is that there is no separate chapter that specifically deals with the review of the literature. As such, it is not easy to determine what other scholars had found out and how the authors of this article built upon it. There is no clear explanation of existing knowledge gaps based on a detailed review of secondary sources. Although the researchers explain that this is an area that has not been effectively explored, there is no clear attempt to explain the existing knowledge gaps.
Do the study findings appear to be trustworthy, do you have confidence in the truth value of the results?
The study findings appear to be trustworthy. The researcher provides a simple but clear explanation of the steps taken to collect and process data from the sampled respondents. The characteristics of the respondents also create confidence among readers in the truth value of the results. The authors ensured that they selected highly qualified and experienced nurses in this field to participate in the project. Although the article lacks a distinct chapter for literature review, it has used numerous secondary data to explain specific concepts and to support various claims made throughout the report. The article also has a specific section in the methodology chapter that specifically explains the trustworthiness of the report.
Does the article inspire confidence about the types of people and settings for whom the evidence is applicable?
I believe that the article does inspire confidence about the type of people and settings for whom the evidence is applicable. Trauma is a common medical problem that people encounter at different stages of their lives. However, many people tend to ignore it until such a time that it results in major depression. This research inspires confidence in the ability of nurses to assist these patients to overcome their conditions. It explains that it all depends on the ability of the nurse to develop a therapeutic relationship with the patient. I am convinced with the idea presented in this article that TIC can be applied in a wide range of nursing care such as a hospital setting and mental care institutions among other settings.
Trauma-informed care is an area of nursing care that is increasingly gaining prominence in modern healthcare settings. Nurses often encounter cases where they have to care for patients who have gone through varying levels of trauma. Although the majority of nurses are adequately trained and fully capable of handling patients with trauma, many of them have limited knowledge and experience related to trauma-informed care. The concept holds that individuals are more likely to have gone through a trauma that could have directly or indirectly affected their current health. These lasting effects of trauma need to be investigated and addressed by nurses. The knowledge about TIC empowers nurses, enabling them to diagnose the problem even when handling patients who may be unwilling to share such experiences.
Polit, D. F., & Beck, C. T. (2020). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (11th ed.). Wolters Kluwer Health.
Stokes, Y., Jacob, J., Gifford, W., Squires, J., & Vandyk, A. (2017). Exploring nurses’ knowledge and experiences related to trauma-informed care. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 4(1), 1-10.