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Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare Professionals’

Finally uploading the link to my IFIC Poster  – things have been a bit hectic since my last post, and whilst things are still very much ‘potentially interesting’ they are also very much intense!  Here I’ve split the week up into 3 chunks, the Successes, the Highs and the Lows (not too gloomy though!)….and then finish on my lingering issue of Where Next…..

Successes

This week I completed the final interview sessions for Study 1/2 – whilst it is tempting to continue collecting data along these themes, as it is enjoyable meeting new members of staff and discussing Hand Hygiene experiences and views on what could be done differently, the key (or one of them!) to successful qualitative research lies in knowing when to stop.  The legendary ‘Saturation Point’, whereby no new themes emerge from the data, is hard to categorically locate – there is always the fear that the next interview may provide something different…but you have to use your instinct, and also respect the time and resources available.

So after 6 months of data collection, using a mixture of deductive and inductive analysis, I am now confident that I can defend the process used to explore the phenomenon, and also the decision to stop at this stage.  Whilst every individual has unique experiences to share, due to differences in perceptions, memories and the very nature of life opportunities, the general themes now emerging are beginning to converge.  Thus I used the final group interview session to clarify issues I was still partially unclear on, and also to confirm some general themes that had emerged so far.  I now look forward to analysing the whole data set using the coding matrix established previously, and seeing the themes that fully emerge….

Highs

 This week I also had fun with a supplementary activity – comparing the emergent themes from my research with those which were raised during a live TwitterChat hosted by @WeNurses (see here for article). It was really interesting and encouraging to see so many other Healthcare Professionals raise the same themes as we have found at our case study site – issues such as the impact of Role Models, Habitual Hand Hygiene and the Challenges of Compliance.  It shows that the research is both relevant, and necessary!

Lows – but not all negative

This week I also said a sad goodbye to my Academic Supervisor, who has left WMG and Warwick to take up a new post as Leadership
Chair in eHealth Research at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (University of Leeds).  I have so much to thank Jeremy for, as even though I have only worked with him for 18 months, he has been instrumental in moulding my research into the project it is today, and helping me build both my skills and confidence as an early career researcher.  He has also shown a genuine interest in the topic area, despite it not being directly linked to any current research he is involved in, and thus it has taken additional time and resource for him to work on my PhD project – a fact he has never once complained about.  I cannot thank him enough for all his help and encouragement, and am delighted that we will be keeping in close contact as we both face our new future challenges.

It’s not all sad though – at our last meeting I was able to share with Jeremy my ideas for future research, and things looked good – I am very enthusiastic about his feedback and own enthusiasm.  The ‘Where Next’ question looms larger by the day then – questions such as ‘Is anyone else researching Hand Hygiene?‘, ‘Where?’, ‘In what context?‘…..

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With reflection it is fair to say that after such a glorious weekend the days that followed were always likely to seem challenging, however by any stretch of the imagination I don’t think I could have envisaged just how difficult they were to become.  By Thursday afternoon the word ‘meltdown’ was being liberally spouted from my mouth…!  

In short, I have hit a problem with the Ph.D. project.  All research has moments like this, and when I use my logical brain I can easily sit and discuss how such issues offer advantages as well as challenges, and be thankful that the study has a purposely flexible design, to cope with such eventualities. It is just when I am tired, or when I reach what I feel is a saturation point of contingency planning, I feel sometimes I would just prefer things to be straight-forward. For once.  Please. 

 To put the issue into context, my project design involves running 3 separate studies in parallel, to enable maximum efficiency when working with limited resources, most notably the time of the Healthcare Professionals involved. Thus 1 interview provides data for up to 3 study aims, without the need for additional interview sessions with the same participant.  This has worked well, and has allowed Studies 1 and 2 to progress at planned speed throughout June and July.  However, Study 3 has a segment which is reliant on findings from the interview phase, to allow for data analysis during September, and it is here that the ‘problem/challenge/crisis/meltdown’ has occurred.  The findings from the interviews has proven to be much more complex (a positive on one side) when analysed than previously thought, which prohibits the required data analysis in the form first planned.  

This dawning realisation, checked, re-checked and worked-through-on-the-white-board-and-triple-checked led to a last-minute cancellation of an interview (which I hated doing), and a brainstorming session with a very lovely fellow researcher, and we have now carved out a future plan….  Despair to excitement in the space on one afternoon, 4 colours of white-board marker, 6 cups of tea, and a walk along a canal to feed the ducks. 

I am now off for a break for a couple of weeks – very much needed – and am feeling a lot more confident about moving forwards when I come back.  I need to get back to my host NHS site, talk over the new plans with my key support links there, and with the best of luck things will be able to go ahead as I hope.  If not, I fear we may really see the donkey flip…………

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