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Nursing care behaviour in interprofessional learning explained by critical discourse analysis

Loke, Jennifer; Lee, Kah Wai


Dr Jennifer Loke
Lecturer / Programme Director (Dual Award in BSc in Nursing Science)

Kah Wai Lee


Aim: to demonstrate Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis as a way to understand nurse caring behaviour in asynchronous text-based interprofessional online learning within higher education. Background: asynchronous text-based learning experience of homogeneous nursing groups indicated nurse caring behaviour in a small number of studies. However, positive findings were not found in studies about interprofessional learning undertaken by nurses. Instead, nurses’ dominance which might be a result of professional boundaries was frequently reported as a barrier to interprofessional education, yet little is understood about the phenomenon. Design: a study which employed Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis was used to understand the translation of nurse caring behaviour in text-based online interprofessional learning within higher education. Data Source: the asynchronous online discussions produced by thirteen students undertaking an online interprofessional learning module at master’s level in a University in the North of England were the discourse data for analysis. Findings: By using Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis, understanding of the semiotic categories corresponding to genres, discourses and styles yielded information on nurses’ discourse in online learning. Through appreciating the subliminal way in which these three categories relate to social practices and social events, the dialectical relations between semiosis of the online text and its other elements were made explicit. In doing so, the way nurse caring behaviour in interprofessional learning were translated in an asynchronous text-based learning environment was explained. Conclusions: Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis was useful in explaining how nurse caring attributes when displayed online could result in the interprofessional learning space being used as a platform for nurses and allied healthcare professionals to co-construct power-relations. The analysis required researchers’ tacit knowledge, based on an emic (insider) position in healthcare practice and education, which is closely linked to the power-relations that is entangled in the social order and practices in healthcare. This explains why researchers outside of critical discourse analytic work would hold a strong view for an etic (outsider) perspective in discourse analysis. In this regard, one should consider triangulating critical discourse methodology with other qualitative theoretical frameworks.

Journal New developments in nursing education research
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
ISBN 9781634631143
APA6 Citation Loke, J., & Lee, K. W. Nursing care behaviour in interprofessional learning explained by critical discourse analysis
Keywords Interprofessional learning, Critical discourse analysis
Publisher URL Book details available at https://www.novapublish...oducts_id=51759&osCsid=


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