Author: Yip, Ka Huen
Title: The experiences of nurses caring for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities in special schools
Advisors: Lee, Regina (SN)
Degree: DHSc
Year: 2018
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Mental retardation -- Nursing
School nursing
Children with mental disabilities -- Care
Youth with mental disabilities -- Care
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: xiii, 279 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Through an interpretive phenomenology approach, this study attempts to reveal the meaning of the roles of being school nurses. The purpose of this qualitative study is to gain a better understanding of the daily tasks performed by school nurses caring for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities in special schools. The researcher explores school nurses' experiences based on their perceptions and descriptions, as well as what they have contributed to optimize the health and development of children and adolescents with special health needs. A qualitative approach was used, with twenty-five Chinese school nurses recruited for in-depth interviews lasting from 60 to 120 minutes between March 2013 and March 2015. The collection and analysis became integrated and coefficient to each other, in that the researcher started off by entering the text and began the interpretation using the hermeneutic circle (Boell & Cecez-Kecmanovic, 2010). The interview scripts were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Supplementary information from field notes was also included to enable the researcher to gain a better understanding of the school nurses' experiences caring for their students with special health needs.
Data were collected utilizing different forms of reflection as suggested by the Heideggerian approach (1962). Data management was facilitated through the use of coding notes, memos, diagrams and the software programme NVivo. The researcher identified an essence, "Striving for unexpected abilities with disabilities", which emerged from the study data, and which reflected the school nurses' perceptions and relationships in meeting the health needs of their students. The following themes were constructed: (a) you do what you do, not what you are expected to do, (b) struggling to differentiate ab-normalcy from normalcy, (c) others enable when we are unable, and (d) balancing work with setbacks. These four themes were identified from categorizing data findings and linked to the essence of "Striving for unexpected abilities with disabilities". School nurses in Hong Kong today act as the gatekeepers of the future health of children in school communities. This study set out to contribute significantly to the understanding of caring values and provide a basis for reviewing the interventions, roles, and resources of school nurses that are unique to those caring for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities in special health needs in Hong Kong. It was revealed that there was a need for standard school nursing practices that will be suitable for school nursing in Hong Kong. The findings also indicated that through multidisciplinary collaboration among school nurses, health professionals, and school staff, nursing interventions could be provided to students in a timely manner to facilitate early treatment. Continuous updating of professional nursing and school nursing practice is an important aspect to enhance the competency of the role of school nursing for upkeeping and improving the provision of optimal care for children and adolescents with special health needs.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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