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Posts Tagged ‘HPA’

The past two days saw me taking my research off to a wider audience via the Health Protection Agency annual conference which was held at the Warwick Arts Centre, located at my own University; very handy for me logistics wise…!

I had a great time, engaging in great discussions via Twitter – taking a guess at using #HPA2012 as a hashtag, as there was no official one being flagged up to start…I’m quite new to Twitter, so not sure if this is standard….but we got there in the end, and I made some wonderful contacts leading to very engaging face-to-face chats. A perfect blend of Social Media and Conference opportunity.

My Poster – The Potential Role of Technology to Improve Hand Hygiene Auditing and prevent Hospital Acquired Gastrointestinal Infections – can be seen here – and is a rather whirlwind tour of my PhD research from start to (almost) finish, with an angle focus on Clostridium Difficile (C.difficile), as the particular stream I was engaging with for this conference was Gastrointestinal Infection – however the PhD itself is not necessarily only focussing on the link between Hand Hygiene and C.difficile as a justification for the importance of the former.

Great interest was shown in all aspects of the work, with different people honing in on different aspects – some on the actual technology examples themselves, others on the topic of auditing as a whole, and many being particularly interested in the concept of “splitting” the “5 Moments” into different behavioural categories; Inherent and Elective.  This latter topic, the focus of my future work, is also featuring more heavily on my next poster, now ready for the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) conference at the beginning of October – and I am looking forward immensely to gathering more views and thoughts during those few days. And before then, it’s back to data collection and analysis…!

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The title of this post comes directly from a ‘misquote’ inspired by ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ – and was something I was thinking about when I was out on a bit of a run with the Trainers of Glory yesterday.

Having been ‘off’ running for a few weeks I had been a bit worried about making it through the event, but with the support of my lovely running buddies the day went well – even with the unscheduled ‘pit stop’ with the lovely chaps of the St John’s Ambulance – so I think the conclusion was that I am back on track with the plan for our ‘big’ challenge later in the year.  

Thus, whilst out in the Warwickshire countryside, my thoughts turned to my PhD journey; which is now into its 4th year, and has seen many twists and turns.  The 4th year is an ‘extension’ period, rather than being an originally planned 4th year, and is reflective of how time-consuming a PhD can be when things do not go to plan.  The concept of ‘loneliness’ is not a new one when discussing PhD students, the advice is plentiful as to making sure you have regular contact with peers, outside activities, contact with your department etc; however the ‘burden’ of responsibility towards your project, and in many cases those who have given their time and help to you, can make you feel isolated – solely responsible, dealing with issues that no-one else will understand or even be interested in… 

So, the PhD is definitely more of a marathon than a sprint – and what I’ve learnt with my running is that the support of others is key; and I realise that over my PhD history the hardest times have been when I have felt isolated.  The past week was very difficult, because I felt I had the weight of the world – or rather the project – on my shoulders, and that I had to try and solve all the problems, all at once, and all alone. Wrong.  Once I started to discuss the issues with some key people related to the work I was amazed at how much better I felt – it didn’t feel like admitting failure, nor did it result in complete panic/astonishment/horror in their eyes; just an understanding ear, a shoulder to lean on, and more offers of help than you could possibly imagine. 

To complete the analogy then, I’ve decided to see this past week as my ‘unscheduled pit-stop’ – and thus I am very hopeful that the outcome will be the same as Sunday, that I can now go on to complete successfully.  Time is growing short, and no-doubt there are more challenges ahead, but exciting times too – including the HPA2012 conference next week, and a number of sessions with staff at my case study site to keep me rooted in the active research….

Smooth Pit Stop – essential for success! (picture from uk.eurosport.yahoo.com)

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English: Buttercups ((Ranunculus repens) A fie...

After a great morning spent at UHCW on Friday shadowing the Hand Hygiene Audit process (thank you to my brilliant facilitator!!), the weekend of sunshine was thoroughly enjoyed – strolls down country lanes, a lazy picnic by a duck pond, and a walk through fields of buttercups and growing crops – there are few better ways to keep the energy levels up during a research project, surely…?

 And today kicked off in a similarly good theme, as I have had my Poster Abstract accepted for the Health Protection Agency (HPA) Conference which will take place in September, located here at the University of Warwick. 

My poster, entitled “The Potential Role of Technology to Improve Hand Hygiene Auditing and prevent Hospital Acquired Gastrointestinal Infections” addresses the key question –

Do current technologies measure healthcare professional Hand Hygiene compliance accurately and at appropriate moments, thus helping to reduce Hospital Acquired Gastrointestinal Infections?”

and will provide a ‘story so far’ update as to the research involving Healthcare Professionals this summer at UHCW.

Things are looking good!

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