Archive for January, 2013

This week has been a true representation of how varied a PhD experience can be, especially one like mine which has a number of different threads  being (carefully…) woven together.  The brief overview of my schedule below should give some insight into how all the topics within my research are currently being explored in parallel, turning me into something akin to a plate-spinner….plates

Monday: (Snow Day) Chapter writing for Thesis on the topic of Hand Hygiene Compliance; Factors Affecting Compliance (especially Intensity  of Patient Care, Ward Context and Patient Type) and Issues of Measurement of Hand Hygiene Compliance (which links with the work for my Study 1, which explores how Hand Hygiene is Audited at an NHS Acute Trust).

Tuesday: (Rescheduled from in-situ study day), instead Paper writing on the topic of Electronic Monitoring Technologies and Hand Hygiene, discussing  their Fit-For-Purpose rating according to established guidelines. This links in with the work for my Study 2, which explores the potential for Technology within the Audit Process at an NHS Acute Trust. Also had good Twitterchat and received support (and Thesis!) from great source of knowledge in Infection Prevention – Microbiology expert Jon Otter.

Wednesday: Very interesting meeting with Engineering company to hear all about Hand Hygiene system which can provide data to Healthcare Professionals about their Hand Hygiene compliance against scientifically sound ‘benchmarks’ (expected compliance rates) based on WHO 5 Moments. So much potential to explore….  Also an opportunity for exciting, motivating and woefully short catch-up with Claire Kilpatrick,  already working on outputs from that session!

Thursday: (Today) Back to collecting data in-situ for Study 3, looking at the effect of Human Behaviour on Hand Hygiene, and then back to writing the Thesis Chapter draft…

Tomorrow I shall be collecting more data, and then next week I am attending a networking event at my University, aiming to bring together Health Research from all departments and schools. Health @ Warwick3should be an interesting and vibrant day, and I am looking forward to sharing my “Why Do You Wash You Hands” poster from IFIC, to give a flavour of the work I have been doing over the past 3 or so years.  I’ll probably Tweet from the day, so if you’re there/interested, make sure you keep an eye out for @CHD05!

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So it snowed…..!!

Yes, a few days into my Observational Study investigating the effect of Human Behaviour on Hand Hygiene (see here for more details) and it snowed.

And not just a dusting – for those of you out of the Country and thus perhaps oblivious to the recent wall-to-wall media coverage of the weather (including an impromptu BBC News Special on Friday…), there was more than enough snow this time to cause the usual mixture of traffic chaos, school closures, snowball frenzies and high-speed sledging. Plus the annual addition of ‘treacherous’ into every headline.

For me, this snow resulted in 2 key things. 

Firstly, the weekend was thus filled with some epic outdoor activities, with the snow on both Friday and Sunday making everywhere very still and beautiful, especially for a warming walk along the local canal on Sunday morning….


Secondly, after more snow overnight, it meant that today (Monday) I had to ‘pause’ collecting data until later in the week – as the cars here….they were going nowhere!  An optimistic first attempt at movement early this morning was abandoned, which was probably for the best bearing in mind reports overnight of blocked roads surrounding our area – however not to be defeated a pre-lunchtime walk to the shop has resulted in the purchase of a Snow Shovel….   Granted the snow has had one last bite back, and the handle is now snapped in half…but the cars can now be seen properly, and later today the test of the snow/ice/slope/traction will commence.  Research will always occur, despite of the conditions….


Help digging my car out….

Car 2

White car in snow….


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Yesterday, 10th January, I passed a big landmark in my research, when I finished the final stage of the interview transcriptions for Study 1 and 2.  It feels great!

This process has involved a number of stages, initial recordings of the first wave of interviews, which were then transcribed verbatim to form a Coding Schedule, and then further cycles of new interviews being recorded and transcribed, new themes being discovered, further interviews, further transcriptions, and then revisiting the earlier scripts to re-code based on new emergent themes.  Yesterday I added the final 2 interviews to the ‘pool’, and so can now begin the final full sweep of analysis, using both the initial Deductive and then emergent Inductive Coding Schedules which have been developed as the research has evolved – and I have to say it is very exciting… 

Having personally conducted and transcribed all 18 Interview sessions (including 3 group interview sessions), I feel like I ‘know’ the data well, however it will be good to see it as a whole, to see which themes emerge as ‘strong’ across more Participants, and which appear to come from individuals, and of course, to see if there is a difference based on which area the Participants come from.

I start Study 3 next week, which is partially based on the existing major themes to have emerged from the earlier analysis of this data, so it will be very useful to have it so fresh in my mind when I am back on the wards come Tuesday….

Will keep you posted – and full results will be available by June 2013 – submission time!!!

Getting there...!

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So this is 2013.  The year I will submit my PhD.

7 words that are rather easy to write. It’s the other 70,000 that make up the dissertation that pose the tricky bit….   Over Christmas and New Year, in between the standard giving, receiving, eating and being merry, and not-so-standard but absolute top quality use of NHS services, I had the big old think about what to do next as discussed previously – and came down hard on the side of carrying the research forward.  Always the decision in my heart, it was just the head that needed the additional encouragement, knowing how hard it can be to get research funding and positions, however well-intentioned, planned and necessary future research may be.  Yet despite all this, I decided that I want to try. I have to try. I need to try.  I have had so much interest and encouragement in this topic, from both those working in the field, and those who experience Healthcare from the ‘other side’, that it seems a waste not to try to take it forwards, to see just what we could do next.

So I emailed (a very, very long email….) my champion Claire (Kilpatrick) – Infection Prevention and Hand Hygiene Legend – on Christmas Eve, as you do, and received the most wonderful and encouraging email back within days, which has swept me through the first dark week of January, and literally dragged me out of bed and back to the computer. I have so many future plans, but need the discipline to write-up this work before I can go any further, and that is where the encouragement of others comes in. And it’s brilliant!  Hopefully I will be able to meet up with Claire soon and chat over some ideas, but before that I have promised (to myself) that I will commit another few thousand words to draft, and produce the article abstract which has been haunting me for about a month now. PLAN!

I also had a great email of encouragement from NursingTimes, after contacting them re: writing an article for them about the work we’ve been doing at my Case Study Site. I think it would be great to share this with the Nursing Community, and they’ve been really supportive, and also added that Hand Hygiene will be a topic they want to look at a lot this year – which is great for everyone. Another nod of encouragement!  I must also add a note to a great IPC Healthcare Professional@Mimsiebel at this point who always gives me lots of motivation for my work via Twitter, and has added her voice to the encouragement for an NT article – thank you!

Finally I also have a meeting with the Chief Nurse at the Case Study site later this month to update him on my research, and explore potential areas for future work. As a fellow academic as well as clinical expert I am very much looking forward to gaining insight from both ‘sides’ of his expertise, and am really excited to hear his views on ideas for ways in which we could translate this research into practical, measurable, and Patient Safety conscious practice.

The plan, therefore, is now to write this week – and then start the practical aspect of Study 3 on-site next week – which I will blog about once it is up and running. Got an email through about IFIC applications at the back-end of last week too, and that has given me a massive boost of encouragement….definitely, definitely want to be presenting my work in Buenos Aires in October!


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