So here we are in spring time, except up here in the frozen North of Scotland it remains below 10 degrees most days, with lots of rain. Maybe it is good it is raining as I would want to get even less doctorate work done if it was sunny outside!
I was highly motivated in the last week of March, as I got my 1st draft of my research proposal completed to give to my supervisors for comment before re-drafting for my last academic assignment of my doctorate in professional practice. I actually enjoyed this, to an extent, my project began to feel more alive and real. There is always this turmoil of emotions that accompanies submitting drafts, relief that you have got this far and terror that it is not good enough, usually in equally balanced measures. This draft was no different! I needed it in, as last week I wanted some Easter holiday time with my family before going to my 1st ever Royal College of Nursing International Research Conference #research2016 in Edinburgh for 3 days.
I was presenting a poster on my chosen methodology, again although I was thrilled this was counter balanced with anxiety! I was presenting my poster on day 1, which was ideal, as then I got to relax and really take in the conference. At my poster and in the concurrent sessions, I was surprised at how many people knew Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis(IPA), or wanted to know more. But I guess it was a research conference! Those talking to me thought my idea of asking patients, their families and the staff delivering care about their perception of this lived experience in acute care was a really good plan. The depth of analysis planned intrigued people new to IPA. I was interested to see IPA projects presented, to help me envisage how I could present mine, in time. I was also surprised that some eminent authors were interested in my research plans. I began to feel enthused by those around me and my creativity nurtured. The sessions I selected linked either to my research interests, teaching or self-indulgent! Highlights for me were @sevensongsfilm, where a film maker spent two years in a hospice creating a film about the amazing end of life and the palliative care that is delivered. I intend to use this in teaching Stage 1 under graduates about quality healthcare. Using poetry to develop self-resilience and academic writing moved me, as it got in touch with the emotions of nursing so well (Clancy 2016). The importance of reflecting throughout the doctorate journey has been emphasised to me already, I guess Northway (2016) was preaching to the converted, but was still worthwhile. McKinnon’s(2016) toxic vortex of the frustration in nursing linked into other presenter’s findings around how systems and processes can at times keep nurses too busy to be “with” patients. Relational care for older people in acute care practice development projects for Health Care Support Workers, inspired but frustrated me that there are such wide variations in preparation and support in reality to form relationships, care about and not just for older people while they are in acute care (Libberton 2016, Bridges et al 2016).
Hofmeyer (2016) explained her study on the need for education in under graduate nursing around self-compassion in order to be more compassionate to patients; this really links to my values on being able to sustain person centred cultures of practice. If we want healthcare professionals to get close enough to be person centred and really care, they need to feel cared about too.
However, Gary Rolfe (2016), as he has done before, struck such a firm cord with me and many others in his call for less bricks, of nursing research projects for the sake of research projects to meet REF demands; instead challenged the audience to create buildings of meaningful research in nursing practice, that actually matters and makes a difference to those who matter most, patients! That is my big hope for my research that it makes a difference where it matters most. I returned home exhausted, but truly inspired that my research is worthwhile and convinced that IPA was even more right for me than I thought before I attended.
Back to work on Monday, with masses of marking to do and a meeting planned to get feedback on my proposal draft. Lots of positivity, but also lots of revision, reading, more explanation and depth required. So I have three days annual leave, the weekend, then back to work. So planned to dedicate 2/5 days off to re drafting, hopefully that will do it! Feels good to be at the end of the taught component of this Professional Doctorate, 2/5 years but I realise it is really just the beginning of the long and winding road of a doctorate research process.
BRIDGES, J et al. 2016. Intervention studies in relational care in acute settings: content, context, and consequences. RCN International Nursing Research Conference and Exhibition 2016, Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 April 2016, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.
CLANCY, M. 2016. An exploration of poetry in nursing practice, education and research using auto ethnographic methodology. RCN International Nursing Research Conference and Exhibition 2016, Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 April 2016, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.
LIBBERTON, P. 2016.Relational capacity of nursing teams: exploring the relationship between team context, relational capacity and caring practices. RCN International Nursing Research Conference and Exhibition 2016, Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 April 2016, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.
MCKINNON, J. 2016. The Toxic Vortex: the lived experience of frustration in nursing practice. RCN International Nursing Research Conference and Exhibition 2016, Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 April 2016, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.
NORTHWAY, R. 2016. Reflexivity, qualitative research, and the PhD process. RCN International Nursing Research Conference and Exhibition 2016, Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 April 2016, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.
ROLFE, G. 2016. Fewer bricks, more builders: where next for nursing research? RCN International Nursing Research Conference and Exhibition 2016, Wednesday 6 – Friday 8 April 2016, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, Scotland.