Collaborative Inquiry - Masters of Education (as a Registered Nurse)
Collaborative Inquiry is a component of practice in nursing school and as a registered professional yet we may not be aware of the defined process. This article aims to define and provide an example of what that process looks like as a nursing initiative and seeks to gain feedback to generate a greater understanding of examples and knowledge related to Collaborative Inquiry in the medical field.
Hi nurses and non-nurses, I am beginning the journey into a Master degree in Education. I am a Registered Nurse and Professor of nursing, so studying the area of Education (non-nursing) is a big learning curve for me. In an assignment for this degree, I have been asked to "Define a set of core ideas related to Collaborative Inquiry and based on course content to be shared as deemed appropriate with the identified Professional Community" so here goes nothing! Hopefully you guys can help me out with some feedback in the comments section J
What is Collaborative Inquiry?
For me, this is something I would like to co-define - speaking to the difference of Collaborative Inquiry and collaboration. As we can probably all agree, it is crucial to the role of nursing to collaborate on a daily basis. Generally, this means working with other team members toward a common goal. This isn't so different from Collaborative Inquiry, however the process is a little more defined and the outcomes measurable. In Collaborative Inquiry these are some of the key concepts:
- Collaborative inquiry is a process that allows the teacher to reflect and evaluate current teaching and outcomes with the goal of refining and improving the teaching after the process has been completed, and perhaps again and again
- The process begins with the identification of a problem, then a plan to rectify or learn more about the problem (a process), then implementation of the chosen strategy, then data collection to prove or disprove the strategy, analysis of the data, documentation to provide direction for the next steps (and possibly sharing in a community like this!), then a debrief with the team and acknowledgment of the findings.
- In teaching, this process helps to increase student success by a collaborative initiative of problem identification, implementation of new method and comparison of outcomes, however this process may be applied to nursing in similar ways.
So why would we use Collaborative Inquiry in nursing, and how is that different from collaborating? Well, there was a project I worked on at the hospital I am employed at that was related to patient fall rates. The Ministry identified that our hospital had a high rate of falls, especially compared to other hospitals. The senior management team was tasked with identifying the cause, providing additional data, and creating a strategy to reduce fall rates. As part of this team we worked together to first dissect the problem. Once we agreed on a definition of falls, and looked at statistics of falls that fell within our defined parameters, we had a firm identification of a problem. From there we looked at all of the documentation provided related to patient falls over a set amount of time as well as unit check ins with managers to confirm we understood this data correctly. We identified some key themes which we thought might have increased the likelihood of falls in this demographic and implemented approximately four strategies to see which would work and how well. We tried these strategies for a period of 1-3 months and again collected data on their effectiveness. We wrote a report highlighting the findings and recommending the successful strategies and set goals for future outcomes. We did a group and site-wide debrief to share our findings and talk about the project and hopefully encourage buy-in from other key players to ensure a successful implementation. Six months post implementation we found many of our goals had been reached but some units actually got worse. It was suggested a second focus group be done to look deeper into this (showing the Collaborative Inquiry cycle has a nature to be repetitious).
Can you name a way that you have used Collaborative Inquiry as a nurse? Or in a non-nursing role in the medical field? I'm hoping to generate a good dialogue from this post for further understanding and discussion so please comment below with anything you might be thinking.