Tell us a little bit about yourself and your improvement journey.
I believe research is closely aligned with the quality movement in a quest to provide the best care and outcomes for our patients.
I am a Registered Nurse and have worked in the NHS for 32 years this year (2021) which is surreal. Those years have predominantly been within Nursing and mostly in a research role. My passion for research really started with having an inquisitive sense of wanting to know who, what and why; asking these questions in any subject or topic is something I’ve been interested in from an early age. I didn’t do so well at school but found the self-motivation, drive and tenacity to achieve what I wanted to do and become a nurse. It took me a little longer to achieve my goals but I did get there.
I believe research is closely aligned with the quality movement, as part of the quest to provide the best care and outcomes for our patients. This may involve anything relating to the investigation into the best treatments and pathways for our patients, with the least side effects. It is developed for the right people at the right time in the most cost-effective way – this is not the cheapest way, but the most cost effective; there’s a difference between the two.
I’m proud to have worked and cared for patients on numerous cancer research studies over the years within my Trust. We have answered a significant amount of important clinical questions and have impacted on the clinical management of multiple diseases and treatment journeys. I have now made the transition from Research Nurse to Nurse Researcher. In 2020, I also began a PhD journey.
I particularly have an interest in safety, quality, health management and policy and yes, the who, what and why questions remain very pertinent in these areas.
What first attracted you to Q?
My present job is tasked with connecting nursing, midwives, health visitors and AHP colleagues with research. It is evident that not everyone is drawn to or aspires to be a ground-breaking researcher. However, as health care professionals we all have a duty of care and furthermore we need to give assurances by the nature of our professional registration and training, that we keep our skills and knowledge up to date. We can only do this through participation in research and by aspiring to provide good quality care and services.
The Q community is a hub of likeminded individuals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, areas of expertise and knowledge who are willing to share and support.
Quality is a very well used word within health care but is only really validated through an evidence base which is underpinned by research principles. We as health professionals are in an ideal place to generate questions which we need to answer. It’s an ongoing process, not a one-stop shop. Reading a good peer-reviewed article is connecting to quality care, being able to critically analyse the article and decide whether the research is relevant or not is a research skill. It enables good quality knowledge gained and disseminated. Participating in quality initiatives and projects is connecting with research and preparing us with transferable skills.
The Q community is a hub of likeminded individuals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, areas of expertise and knowledge who are willing to share and support. I think this is such a fabulous opportunity and resource to seek advice, mentorship and continually develop one’s self in lots of different areas, which many of us won’t have fully explored yet.
What are you hoping to get out of Q?
Relationships are important and symbiotic within health care. I’m hoping to reach out, network, learn and offer my support, skills and enthusiasm as appropriate. I’m probably a little shy in reaching out and joining in but will have a word with myself to get out of my comfort zone. After all, nothing ventured; nothing gained.
There’s so much going on within the Q community it’s difficult to keep up with the pace and can be a little overwhelming. I’m definitely going to enlist in the Randomised Coffee Trials. I have already accessed some of the webinars and often access and share the reports available. There are lots of opportunities ahead which I’m looking forward to accessing and taking advantage of. Thank you to Q for welcoming me into your community.