Week 5: Qualitative Analysis Assignment

Instructions: Content Coding of Challenges of Staying in the Hospital

Content coding is one way to identify the themes or patterns found in the narrative text of qualitative research studies. The qualitative research assignment for Week 5 requires you to content code the challenges of staying in the hospital of 10 recent patients. These patients were asked to detail the issues and challenges they had with their hospital stay.

To complete this assignment, you need the three documents: the code script, the code scheme, and the code sheet. Below is a description of each of these documents.

Code Script: You will see the narrative text written by each of the 10 patients in this document. Each patient has a unique identification (ID) number. For example, 001 is the ID number of the first patient and 010 is number for the last patient. Some patients only wrote about one challenge, whereas others listed up to two or more challenges. If a patient listed two or more challenges, a “vertical bar” | is used to separate each them. Take a look at the patient whose ID number is 002. This patient’s first challenge about waiting for tests is separated from the second one by a vertical bar ( | ).

Coding Scheme: A code scheme has unique numbers linked to different types of content or themes found in narrative text. For this assignment, you will see a unique number for each different type of challenge. For example, a challenge on the amount of noise in the hospital is assigned the number “01”. Sometimes the content of narrative text cannot be categorized, because it is unclear or doesn’t make sense. For this assignment, this type of narrative text is given the code number “99”. If narrative text is not a challenge, it is given the code number “98”.

Code Sheet: This is the form that you use to enter the code scheme number for each challenge in a patient’s narrative text. The first column of the code sheet lists the patient’s unique ID number. The next column (Code 1) is used to write the number from the code scheme that best describes the content of the first challenge listed by the patient. The second column (Code 2) is for the second challenge, and the third column (Code 3) is for the last one.


Here is an example of how to code the narrative text on hospital challenges. In this example, the patient described the following challenges from their recent hospital stay:

132 My nurse wasn’t very nice and didn’t seem to care how I felt. I also missed my bed and pillow.

First, the number “132” is the unique ID number for this patient. When you code this patient’s challenges, you need to write them on the line for this ID number.


Next you will see a vertical bar | in the narrative text which means there are more than one pet peeve listed by the student.

Code Sheet Example

The first challenge is about the staff and the feeling that “no one cares”. When you review the code scheme for patient challenges, it looks like the number “17” (Feeling that “no one cares”) best describes this patient’s first challenge, so you should enter this in the “Code 1” column.

In the next challenge, the patient writes about a desire to have their own belongings which is related to code number “13” (Wants personal belongings). Enter “13” in the third column of the code sheet. Because this patient did not list a third challenge, you then leave the fourth column (Code 3) blank.

Code Sheet: Student Pet Peeve Data

ID #

Code 1

Code 2

Code 3




You are now ready to start content coding the narrative text of hospital challenges for the 10 patients in this assignment. When you are finished, submit your completed code sheet to the submission link in Week 5.

Week 5 Qualitative Data Analysis

Narrative Text on Challenges of Staying in the Hospital (Code Script)

001Hospital food is the worst! I had a really hard time getting it down. I had a lot of pain the whole time I was in the hospital, and I often had to wait a long time for medications to help with the pain.

002 It felt like I was always waiting: waiting to get testing done, waiting for medicine. Waiting is hard.

003The hospital smell really bothered me. Because of it, I also had a hard time keeping food down and sleeping.

004Staying in the hospital is hard, because you aren’t around your own stuff. I wanted my bed and my TV. I really hated waiting for the doctor to come in and talk with me about my condition.

005While I was staying in the hospital, some of my belongings went missing. I think that they were stolen. I ended up with pneumonia, and the staff did not communicate what was going on with my condition.

006I didn’t feel like the staff really cared about making me feel better. They seemed to want to get out of my room as quickly as possible.

007 I didn’t like being woken up in the night to get vitals or medicine. One time, I was given the wrong medication in the night as well.

008The nurses were very loud went a little “stir crazy,” too, just sitting around all day.

009The hardest part for me was being away from my husband and kids sleeping was really difficult there.

010 I’m not very good at waiting. The sitting around drove me a little crazy. I also had a really hard time being away from my dogs.

Week 5 Qualitative Analysis Assignment

Coding Scheme: Challenges of Staying in the Hospital


01 = Too loud (e.g., nurses, roommate, “beeping”)

02 = Food tasted bad

03 = Could not keep food down (e.g., due to sickness, medication)

04 = Problems sleeping (e.g., due to noise, being uncomfortable)

05 = Did not like being awakened (e.g., for vital checks, medication times)

06 = Pain from injury/illness


07 = Does not like “sitting around”

08 = Waiting time for medication

09 = Waiting time for testing

10 = Waiting time for doctor visits

Being Away From Home

11 = Miss family

12 = Miss animals

13 = Wants personal belongings

Staff Issues

14 = Poor communication (e.g., from doctors, nurses)

15 = Medication errors

16 = Staff did not listen to concerns

17 = Feeling that “no one cares”

Other Non-Staff Issues

18 = “Hospital smell”

19 = Hospital-acquired infection (e.g., MRSA, CAUDI)

20 = Theft of personal property

98 = Other: Patient’s written response is not a challenge or doesn’t fit coding scheme.

99 = Unable to decipher meaning of patient response

Week 5 Qualitative Data Analysis

Code Sheet: Challenges of Staying in the Hospital

ID #














After you complete the code sheet, summarize the major themes or most common challenges described by the 10 patients during their hospital stays. This should be written in paragraph format.

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