Suggested Interpretation of Example

Read the suggested interpretation below and see how it matches your own interpretation of the interview extract. Are there broad similarities or major differences. What might account for this? It might be related to the different socialisation of health and social care professions, or it might be linked to paradigms. Make some notes to yourself and check out some of the other parts of this site.

In this extract of the text, the interviewee is talking about how he manages his diabetes in hospital. The interviewer is trying to find out who is involved and who takes the lead in various activities associated with diabetes management. Words in bold indicate codes.

A major theme of this part of the talk could be ‘Left to get on with it’. S talks about testing his capillary blood glucose himself using hospital equipment and materials. These are not the same as those he usually uses, but he makes no reference to how he adjusted to this or whether nurses went through the process using the new equipment and materials.

S talks about how he manages his condition at home and the input he received to manage his diabetes himself from a specialist community nurse. He has developed autonomy in managing his condition at home, and he perceives that this is acknowledged by the ward nurses and as he manages it well he is left to his own devices. He comments on the visit from the hospital based diabetes nurse and her assessment of his capabilities, and the back up that is available from ward nurses should he need it.

S has a clear idea about what he needs to be able to do in order to return home - stand and move. He anticipates problems in his rehabilitation and identifies the physiotherapist as the first point of contact to resolve any issues. However, although he mentions the named nurse as a possible source of help to resolve issues, he talks more about the ward sister, using students as intermediaries. Here S seems to be acknowledging traditional hierarchies of power and authority within the nursing team despite attempts to develop different ways of organising care. Being able to talk to nurses is based on their perceived friendliness and availability, students fit this category while sisters do not.

We might want to start following up these categories and the theme in subsequent interviews with patients on the ward. These could be augmented by interviews with the nurses, students and health care assistants to gain their perspective on managing diabetes care on the ward. We could also interview therapy staff - physio and occupational, for their experience of working with patients and managing their anxities about discharge. In order to gain a deeper understanding, and also to maintain rigour - we might consider some observation. This could take the form of non-participant - following particular patients, or participant - working as a carer in the ward. All of these different forms of data would allow us to build up a rich contextual picture of managing diabetes in an in-patient setting and allow us to highlight area for practice improvement.