Significant statements were identified in the text, meanings were formulated then gathered into 60 interpretive clusters.
Author: Dolores Turner
The purpose of this research was to describe the experience of chief nurses in military operations other than war. The study is significant to the profession because nurses will continue to provide care in humanitarian operations, peacekeeping missions and disaster relief efforts. Inquiry into the experience will lead to an understanding of the foundations of the global caregiving community. Hermeneutic phenomenology provided a description and thematic interpretation of the meaning of the experience. Purposeful sampling yielded thirteen participants, eleven women and two men. Duration of the deployments ranged from 3-7 months. Sites included Saudi Arabia, Oman, Panama, Cuba, Somalia, Guam, Croatia, England and Turkey. Purposes of the missions varied from peace keeping to humanitarian relief. Interviews were conducted using core questions developed as a guide. Audiotapes were transcribed and analyzed using procedures adapted from Colaizzi (1978), Van Manen (1990) and illuminated by Ray (1990). Significant statements were identified in the text, meanings were formulated then gathered into 60 interpretive clusters. Reflecting and rereading led to the emergence of the themes which constituted the fundamental structure and the essential themes. Three metathemes and the unity of meaning in the experience were identified. The fundamental structure of the experience was the deployment trajectory with five themes: preparing, arriving, living, working, and leaving. Further analysis revealed five essential themes: paradox, leadership, caring, knowing and the true military. Lifeworld existentials of space, time, body and relationship were used as guides for reflection and development of a comprehensive description of the experience. The metathemes were authenticity, imaginative awareness and pride. The unity of meaning is expressed in the metaphor, The True Military: Performing Live Theatre.