Spare time Doctoral student

I started my Doctorate in Professional Practice October 2014, this has to be related to my area of work as a Lecturer in Nursing . This is a taught doctorate, so I have 4 modules to pass before I progress into the research project component of the course. I receive 1 day a fortnight from my employer Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland for this. The rest of the studying happens in my spare time. I have to laugh spare time I feel like I have NO spare time every minute is used up meeting the demands of lifeI am married to Douglas and have three children, Stuart, the oldest, is 20  years old, still at home and in his 4th year of studying Mechanical Engineering. My middle one, Cameron is 14 years old and youngest Mairi is 13 years, they are both in high school; so that is fun, two teenagers! I live approx. 150 miles from where I grew up, none of my family I grew up with live close by, but in my heart we are very close. I grew up in a large extended family, the youngest of five children, with three of my four of my older brothers married before I was born. I have loads of nieces & nephews who feel like brothers and sisters, great nieces and nephews I hold very dear and two extremely precious great great nephews. Why am I sharing all of this? Well, because this is who I am!
My proposed research is all about person centred care, in order to deliver this the 1st step is always getting to know who a person is. My family grounds me in who I am.  Apart from my great friends, the next big part of who I am is my job. I feel privileged to influence the next generation of my profession, as a lecturer in nursing. I love teaching eager 1st years, keen 2nd years and desperate to qualify 3rd years. I also enjoy supporting international exchanges to and from Spain, where I have family. I am involved to proposing future exchanges to Canada, where also have family!

My proposed research grew from a personal family experience of dissatisfaction with healthcare, this became my research seed. I really thought I knew person centred care and trusted the loyal NHS to provide this. I had contributed to the NHS as a nurse from 1987 – 2010, before moving into nurse education. However, when my oldest brother was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in 2010, his truncated care journey to his demise, left me ashamed of both my profession and the health service I believed would deliver to meet our family expectations, but repeatedly failed; especially when my brother was in acute care.   I really wanted to complain, but my brother challenged me to do something that would make a difference instead of moaning. He really believed a negative could be turned into a positive. Some have criticised my personal motivation, saying it is too emotive. Others appear to understand that this will keep me going when I am struggling or want to give up. So this became my doctorate focus, the essence of person centred care for older people in acute, from patient,families and staff perspectives.

So, as part of my module 3 of my Doctorate in Professional Practice I need to prepare an impact plan. This plan must include how I plan to use social media to create a wider impact with my research. Today, has been all about just getting that all started. Well, not entirely ALL about impact, social media. My life has been happening too! So I walked my chocolate lab up my favourite hill, so kick start my Saturday. I had planned to be in university all day to study, but working until 8pm last night made me feel I had to have a day off today. BUT the doctorate plans feel like they seep into every waking and some sleeping minutes! Actually walking in the fields, frees my thoughts and lets me think about all this doctorate malarkey much more clearly. As, usual though, other “life” of collecting kids papers for delivery, washing, tidying ect. all interrupt this thinking. I have managed to get my head kind of around twitter today, followed 80 people/organisations and am at last starting to see why twitter will help me in this long and winding journey towards being Doctor Katrina!

Tomorrow I will go into University, reading Pat Thomson’s blogs on how to get started with your thesis made me realise, home when everyone is up is not my best space to study. In Uni, either in the sports centre café or the library, works so much better for me. For now I need to go get ready to drop Stuart,at a Kevin Bridges concert, then go to a race night with my husband and teenagers, to raise funds for Cameron’s swimming club. I think I deserve a wine tonight!


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