Lady Fortune

I have absolutely no intention to be disrespectful and I fear that my English skills is my shortcoming. Despite of this, I feel an urge of sharing my thoughts and I will try to express myself carefully.

It turns out, that in my research area there is a huge gap. I found peer-reviewed articles from the early 1990 were they (the researchers) literally went to the patients and asked them how it was to undergo a colonoscopy and how they (the patients) perceived it. Since then… not much has happened in the field. A handful of articles, but not many, have included the patient in studies about their (the patients) experiences of the gastrointestinal procedure. Remarkable! How is this gap even possible in the year of 2017? Now I feel like I am disrespectful… I’m not! Astonished, yes I admit… The need of efforts and considerations of how to bridge the gap of knowledge is most important.

At first I blamed the doctors, and that this chasm was caused by deficient knowledge or perhaps, lack of acceptance for descriptive qualitative research methods. This assumption of mine is unfair, unclear and not pertinent to discuss further. Dear doctors, I beg your pardon!

Nurses are familiar with different research traditions and are used to move between quantitative, mixed-methods and qualitative methodology.

Now I hold my own sisters, the nurses, responsible for it… or actually, I don’t. Who am I to have complains? I haven’t played a part in a lot of research have I? A lot of excellent endoscopic nursing research has been conducted in areas such as; documentation, communication, decontamination, screening, sedation, bowel preparation and so on…

Nevertheless, “someone” forgot to ask the patients about there experiences.

It turns out, I feel like Lady Fortune and I believe that my qualitative research skills can come in handy now when I’m about to do this thesis. Future contributory research should focus on designing qualitative studies, with conscientiously described methodology, that present patient-derived data, in order to further increase the knowledge about what patients’ experiences during colonoscopy (Brown et al, 2015; Tierney et al, 2016).

References
Brown S, Bevan R, Rubin G, Nixon C, Dunn S, Panter S, Rees CJ, (2015) Patient-derived measures of GI endoscopy: a meta-narrative review of the literature. Gastrointest Endosc, 81(5), 1130-1140.

Tierney M, Bevan R, Rees CJ, Trebble TM, (2016) What do patients want from their endoscopy experience? The importance of measuring and understanding patient attitudes to their care. Frontline Gastroenterol, 7(3), 191-198.

Photo: Pixabay

A siren call

The first course that I participate in, as a PhD student, is a course in psychometric, and it will last the whole semester. I have to travel approximately 1,5 hour to get there since it’s located in another part of the county I live in. I wake up at five o’clock and try to go to bed early (before I fall asleep standing…). I have to say, it is such a positive experience. All the participants are friendly and they seems to be competent in their areas. Not to mention our teachers, who are immensely skilled! I feel blessed to get the opportunity to take part in this course of study.

Yesterday we talked about validity and reliability and today, in the morning, our focus was factor analysis. After lunch we started to practice what we’ve been lectured about. Basically, we sat in front of computers trying to estimate different psychometric tests. It was hard but also lots of fun!

Now and again, during these two days I have felt the urge of laughter, not knowing what to think, what to do or say… Occasionally, I’ve been completely lost. Still, in the middle of this misleading trip of psychometric chaos, I’ve manage to redirect myself, past latent variables and dichotomous items toward the water surface. And guess what I found deep down in the ocean? I found a theory who called for me like a siren from the Greek mythology. Don’t think the siren is a dangerous creature but presumably precarious and definitely challenging. The theory that I discovered is called “Item response theory” (IRT) and these videos will cradle me to sleep tonight… Zzzzz…

Photo: Pixabay

Dangerously tangled

Right now, I aim to enhance my PhD project plan and in this work I’m desperately seeking structure. I have lots and lots of articles (and they’re continuously increasing), on my desk, in my backpack, on the toilet, on the bedside table, even in my laundry. They’re possibly everywhere – all over the place.

Emily Sparkes have done and shared a brilliant infographic in her Twitter account, demonstrating my (and obviously others) dilemma.

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How on earth will I ever get this straight? I’ve tried to do numerous of tables in word and several excel sheets but nothing seems to give my an overview of the different pieces and how they fit (or not fit) together. My new strategy is to try mind-mapping. A few years ago I gained acquaintance with Coggle and since then I have a penchant for this excellent and free (!) tool. To structure all the articles is a hard and time consuming work but to my contentment and absolute joy, the use of different colors are now free. This makes my experience surprisingly more pleasant. Hopefully, this mind-mapping will help me unravel my article chaos. I cross my fingers!

Projektplan_Patient_satisfaction

Photo: Pixabay

Vulnerable

According to me, as a Swede, vulnerable and especially vulnerability is kind of difficult to pronounce. It´s like there´s too many vowels way back in my throat… I have to concentrate hard to get it right. The last days I´ve been concentrating hard, really hard. My first deadline was today and in agreement with my supervisors I have sent my revised project plan to them. I will get my feedback when we meet Thursday afternoon. Yesterday a feeling of fear emerged into my consciousness, fear of showing my weaknesses and flaws to three supervisors that I look up to, respect and admire. A fear that almost paralyzed my intellectual capabilities. A fear which had power of my thoughts and made me feel inferior and fragile. After a sleepless night and hours of brooding I´ve come to the conclusion that in order to improve my academic skills I have to accept the process of uncover myself to my supervisors. There will no longer be any doubts of which level my critical thinking is at. That is the price I have to pay for expose my capacity and abilities. In some ways I´m terrified to show this manifestation of competence (worst case scenario – incompetence) but I also think that I have to embrace the adeptness and just lay myself bare and show my stomach in order to get better. You know, like dogs do, totally unabashed by the position their in. Only, unlike the dogs, I´m utterly embarrassed by my posture. Nevertheless, it is what it is, no harm done – yet – I have to trust my supervisors and I am grateful for their feedback! The response will make me grow and improve. After all I´m here to germinate.

Ambition for the rest of the day: To endeavor a jaunty walk into the sunset!

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Photos: Pixabay

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