A phenomenological study on nurses' perceptions of participating in a root cause analysis process

May 2023
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The purpose of this study was to explore registered nurses' experiences of participating in a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) meeting because of their involvement in an adverse event. An RCA is the most common strategy used by organizations for adverse event investigations and nursing healthcare professionals directly involved in an adverse event may be asked to participate in the RCA. Semi-structured audio-taped interviews were held with 13 registered nurses who participated in an RCA. Ricoeur's hermeneutic phenomenology guided data analysis. Two structural elements represented the world of the nurses: 1) Learning about an RCA, and 2) Being on the other side of the RCA table. Three phenomenological themes emerged: 1) anticipatory and embodied fear, 2) To speak or not to speak, and 3) the aftermath. Nurses want to participate in RCA meetings, but desire education, and preparation on what to expect before, during, and after the RCA. Healthcare organizations must create safe and collaborative environments to empower nurses to speak up and have their voices heard during the RCA process. However, leaders must provide support for them throughout the process.

Health Sciences, Nursing