Like any other day, I was drinking my morning coffee pondering about the world, Deep in my thoughts I was questioning why I haven’t ever had access to nurses in other fields, which led me to post this on Twitter –
I didn’t think much more of the post, but as the caffeine was just starting to kick in, I could hear in the back ground that my iPad beeped. At first I ignored it, but the beeps became more frequent, I was wondering “What is going on?” My attention was brought to the Twitter post and the reactions I was receiving.
A lovely nurse posted-
I quickly realised I started something as I’ve never experienced anything like this on a social media platform, somehow what I wrote on the post actually touched a nerve for many nurses in this discipline.
I was receiving so many comments from both Nurse Researchers and Research Nurses, I was starting to understand that within nursing we are all valuable within our key roles. It is essential to grow and translate learnings from each other for the advancement of our profession, but it seems this is lacking at times.
Here is what I learnt from this wonderful experience-
Nurse Researcher and Research Nurse, there is a difference !!
I was getting the names and roles mixed up and basically wrong, here are the definitions-
- Nurse Researchers- participate in nurse-led research (Twitter- @JosLatour1)
- Nurses Researchers conduct or study various aspects of health, illness or health care systems. By designing and implementing studies, with scientific evidence it guides all health care professionals practices by making quality decisions.
- Research Nurses- help doctors and others in their research (Twitter- @JosLatour1)
- Research Nurses may organise, oversee or assist in clinical trials, often involving new medications or treatment methods. Of course, clinical, ethical, legislative and regulatory challenges may be encountered when managing clinical test subjects.
2. Interactions via Twitter
I found the nurse researchers and research nurses interacting with my tweets were all passionate and had so much positive energy. They recognised each others efforts, were warm and extremely supportive towards one another- personally I found it amazing to witness as the chats were occurring.
I’m finding Twitter offers a platform where whatever field/discipline you work in as a nurse, you will find others in your niche and in turn there is an opportunity to build a network that resonates with you.
An emphasis was placed that all research is a team effort (Twitter- @stricklykaren)
Collaboration occurs with other researchers working in partnership with research institutions, universities and healthcare organisations.
Collaboration was mirrored on Twitter, various nurses were inviting and willing to share, educate and value feedback. Also, see the Tweet below as the message is an opportunity to learn from one another –
4. Impact Of Research
In the past I haven’t really put much thought into the reach of research within nursing, but everything we do in practice from taking bloods, inserting an IV cannula, basic skin care, advanced interventions and so much more. Basically, all and any practices involve scientific evidence of research, which in turn helps health professionals adopt new clinical interventions and improves existing processes in workplaces.
Some Benefits of Research are-
- Advances in new therapeutics, diagnostics or disease prevention
- Evidence-based improvements to health care practices or healthcare systems
- Consistency of care that health professionals provide, from training & education
- Reduction in health risk factors or improvements to health related behaviours of individuals/communities
- Improves patient participation in care, improvements to the social well-being, equality or social inclusion of individuals/communities
- Improved policy/procedures & government policy (sourced from www.nhmrc.gov.au 2020)
Some of the nurse research/research nurses portrayed a positive experience in clinical areas especially these in areas such as emergency, intensive care, anaesthetic, neonatal areas, mental health, primary health and older persons health.
I found nurses in some areas of research had sentiments where they felt invisible, as though as they are quietly working behind the scenes and their work was not recognised. Maybe, as expressed in the original Twitter post, I didn’t understand the power of not seeing them as present, it was a simple statement that resonated deeply.
Nurse researchers and research nurses are not removed from the same occupational stressors as other fields of nursing such as poor work-life balance, workload issues, poor support and resources, they face many similar challenges too for example burn out.
Exposure to research
I have thought about why I haven’t been exposed to these nurses in the past, as I am now understanding that research is a fundamental part of nursing within the dynamics of both clinical knowledge and clinical practice. Research as a whole ensures care is actually necessary, care is effective and reduce any possible harmful treatments.
In some areas nurse researchers do provide education to ward nurses that have never been exposed to research or clinical trials (Twitter @iamSam_au).
I was lucky to engage with all the wonderful nurses on social media, but I will search for these nurses physically and find out what research is occuring around my work place.
During the Twitter chats, I stopped for a moment and thought about the pathways of pursuing a career in this field. Also, I wondered about the amount of work it would take to start the research process from conducting a research study, collect/analyse of scientific evidence and more. I am now beginning to understand that nurse researchers and research nurses are not just about writing journals, their skill set is immense and more emphasis needs to be put on their roles.
The fields of research is vast and translate to practices that all nurses are impacted by through the quality of care and outcomes of patients that are being cared for. The impact of research is far reaching across all health systems of both health and social care, policy and academia. Research helps nursing as a profession leap forward and that saves lives.
The interactions I had was a great learning and it was amazing for me to connect and engage on such a platform as Twitter, I hope the role and work of Nurse Researchers and Research Nurses grows through awareness and more recognition is given to them.
(Book, pen & magnifying glass pic by @joa0Silas- Upsplash)