I set myself the target of blogging once a week about my doctorate journey, but the past 2 weeks have simply been too overwhelming to blog! I really felt the pressure of preparing and delivering educational material at work, in a new pre registration nursing programme, alongside the closing in deadline for my next piece of academic work. I cancelled my doctorate day last week to make sure my teaching resources were ready despite my looming doc deadline, as work was distracting me from focussing on studying. I felt less stressed as a result. However, as I look back I see that the impact of my doctorate was being put into action at work, that makes me happy!
Last Friday, I used my literature review from my doctorate alongside my personal experiences with “our Jack” to inspire the 247, 1st years to be person and family centred in delivering quality nursing care. My big brother, Jack passed away on December 8th 2012, this was the first time I have properly applied his story to a lecture. It was emotive and I make no apologies for that, but I was strong and did him proud!
It was very much linked to the evidence base, the need for more research and most importantly to how they as students can contribute to improve person and family centred care in practice. The next generation of nurses can make this difference, if me and our Jack can help them to remember to do this, then my doctorate will be worth all the blood sweat and tears! Two students and a colleague e mailed me to thank me and say how powerful the lecture was, that made my week! You might think 2 out of 247! But I am a qualitative thinker so I appreciated it.
The second half of our 2 hour lecture slot on person & family centred care was delivered by, Person Centred Care Manager in a NHS board. I was completely upstaged by Mac & Jess, her two fantastic therapets. Jude shared the successes of person and family centred care initiatives and quality improvement projects that are going on the NHS. I felt proud to be associated with this board and felt the sense of optimism from the students going on placement there. I finished my week, meeting with my line manager to review my workload to try to reduce this overwhelming stretched feeling. She was very supportive and by requesting to come out of some teaching next semester hopefully I will feel less stressed!
So, starting Sunday, as the beginning of the week, like a proper nurse(!) I began my week of study leave to get my 5000 word impact plan assignment done. I have spend each day 9 – 4 /6 ish here each day in a café in RGU, reading, taking more notes and writing. I don’t function well without a food and drink source, so libraries are not good for me. Washing, dishes, children and dog just serve as a distraction at home, so I’m best in the café! My brain and fingers are aching, I really feel like I have worked! My sense of achievement may not last, but my supervisor has a draft of my assignment for comment on and I have next Thursday & Friday to “fix” anything that needs fixing from feedback. Right now I just cannot bear to look at it any more! This concentrated student time has been very productive, draft-done, re connection with stakeholders – done, abstract for a research conference-done! I often long to “just” be a doc student, but actually it is really hard work, the amount of focus and thinking that goes into writing is truly exhausting! So, maybe my mix of work and study, hard though it is to juggle is good!
Tomorrow I will be Katrina, Mum, wife and dog walker!