Archive for December, 2012

clutterCurrently sitting surrounded by a bizarre mix of Christmas cards, Thesis Notes, Methodology Journal papers, empty tea cups, random stray pine needles and an array of pens – some of which work, and too many of which don’t, yet never seem to get thrown away…  I guess we could conclude that I could do with a little organisation in my stocking this year…

As this is probably the last post of 2012 I thought I’d try to write a list of highlights, and things to do…because everyone likes lists, and it is such a seasonal activity.  But the problem is, I seem to spend such a lot of time making lists. Weekly lists. To Do Lists. Future Lists. Follow Up Lists. Thesis Plan Lists. Chapter Lists. Email Lists. You name it, I’ve probably got a list about it.  I have no problem doing lists. I seem to have a problem, however, with translating lists into actions…

So, instead of lists, I have simply got 2 bullet points for this post.

  1. Next year I will be submitting my PhD.
  2. Over the Christmas Break I have to decide, for good, whether my area – Hand Hygiene – has the potential for further in-depth research.

Number 1 is pretty much a given, it has to happen.  Number 2, though….I really could do with some ‘answers on a postcard’….!  I know what my answer is, I know where my results (so far) seem to point….

Will update in the New Year, and also post about Study 3 – with data collection due to begin mid-January.

Have a wonderful Christmas all – and thank you to everyone who has emailed or Tweeted (@CHD05) support and advice – much appreciated!!!



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Had a great meeting this morning at my Case Study site (an Acute Trust NHS University Hospital), where I have been finalising  the plans for Study 3 – an observational study investigating the behavioural aspects of Hand Hygiene, to add to the work I have already been doing on Hand Hygiene Auditing and the potential role for technology (for more information, see here).

The written thesis continues to grow. Slowly. Working on a review of  Hand Hygiene Literature at the moment – sample of current headings being:

History of Hand Hygiene

Importance of Hand Hygiene

                Chain of Infection

                Hands as Vectors for Pathogen Transmission

                Environment as Reservoir for Pathogens           

Hand Hygiene Compliance

                Ideal Standards

                Problems with Adherence

                Behavioural Influences on Adherence – Inherent/Elective


               Concept and Definition

               Auditing in Healthcare

               Hand Hygiene Auditing

               Problems of Hand Hygiene Auditing

 Hand Hygiene Technologies

               Purpose of existing technologies – Monitoring, Measurement, Feedback (Audit)


Fair to say there is a long way to go, but really looking forward to the final stage of ‘active’ reasearch before 5 months of solid writing, reviewing, re-writing and final submission in June 2013.  Really interested in following up the emergent themes from the work, and continuing to work with some of the amazing people who are so motivating in this field.  For now though, it’s back to the 70,000 words….


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On Wednesday I have my second Thesis Writing Group session – for which I have been preparing my ‘Background Section’…which currently goes like this…:

  • Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) – An Evolving Definition
  • Prevalence and Burden of HCAI
  • Contributory Factors to HCAI
  • Strategies to Counter HCAI
  • Thesis Overview

…with writing under the headings, I should add…. 😉

What I have tried to do is give a background to why someone would spend 4 years researching Hand Hygiene – and hopefully the content of this section will provide the groundwork to this argument, by introducing the reader to the all too pressing issue of HCAI, and bringing the focus towards the fundamental role that Hand Hygiene plays in both the Prevention and Control of such infections.

As many, if not all, fellow PhD students will have found at some point or other I’m sure – I have been battling the standard ‘stumbling’ issue of not being able to allow myself to write, for fear of it not being any good… I think we are all so used to talking about our research, discussing it, defending it, debating it – that sitting somewhere quiet and just being responsible for writing about it unchallenged is actually quite daunting…that’s when the real doubt starts to creep in….   And the best advice I keep on being given (and really, really have to listen to on a loop!!) is just write something!!! 

So that’s what I’ve done now – I’ve put pen to paper (quite literally most of the time, I do like the old-fashioned way to kick-start a writing session…), and churned out Draft 1.  And I’m not precious about it.  I’m quite sure that most, if not all, of what I’ve produced (about 4,000 words) for this draft won’t appear in the final version.  But that is fine – because now I’ve got something, I can start to get it out there for feedback, and that’s huge.

Now, it’s on to the Literature Review – a 3 parter of Hand Hygiene, Auditing, and Hand Hygiene Technologies….  Perhaps not Waterstone’s Number 1 Christmas Trilogy, but I promise, it all makes sense….  Will keep you updated 🙂

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