Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Nursing Honours


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Jon Mould


Urinary catheterisation remains a common procedure conducted by nurses often as a result of autonomous decision making. This research aimed to identify and describe the lived experience of nurses' decision making processes regarding the insertion and removal of urinary catheters. The research was believed to be important as there is a myriad of literature on what is best practice but very little on what is actually taking place in nursing practice. A qualitative phenomenological study design was chosen, where nurse participants were interviewed using open-ended questions. Descriptive phenomenology was the chosen method which follows in Heidegerr's tradition that allowed nurses to describe their own lived experiences (Draucker, 1999). Specifically, Colaizzi's (1978) method of thematic analysis was used to analyse the data, including his six procedural steps. The planned sample was ten registered nurses, with at least two years acute care experience. Nurses were recruited from both surgical and medical specialties at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Thematic analysis revealed much homogeny amongst the nurses with eight common themes identified, including patient assessment, consultation, evidenced based practice, catheter choice, risk of complication, autonomous decision making, patient acuity and comfort, which all indicate that the nurse participants acted holistically when making decisions for patient care. These results may provide educators and practitioners with valuable information regarding the current practices of nurses, which could lead to better education and training, and ultimately better care of patients. Describing the professional practice of nurses, especially where autonomous decision making occurs, can lead to improving the status of the profession.

Included in

Nursing Commons