Today is #ThesisThursday on Twitter, part of the activities celebrating International Open Access Week.
We asked our guest blogger Julia Terry to tell us about her recently completed Swansea University PhD.
What was the most important or overarching finding of your research?
My thesis focused on exploring talk about mental health nursing. I interviewed mental health service users, nurses and nursing students. In today’s healthcare climate we expect to see more practice that involves patients/service users in nursing processes. In Wales this is legislated for in mental health settings. However, my main finding was that there was limited talk about service user involvement in nursing processes and that involvement does not appear feature as a main part of mental health nurses’ professional identity. Generally, service user involvement was spoken about very little, with service users voicing dissatisfaction with the limited time nurses spent with them, and nurses describing their roles as mostly task focussed.
What was the most surprising thing that you discovered; was there anything odd or unexpected?
It was surprising that nursing students said they had little understanding about service user involvement in nursing processes and had seen few good examples in practice. However, whilst these results were surprising, other studies in the UK have also found limited service user involvement in mental health care planning and that their expectations from nurses have not always been met.
What was the biggest challenge that you encountered during your PhD, and did it change the direction of your research?
The biggest challenge was the part-time nature of my PhD. I was very well supported and encouraged all the way through my journey. It was essential that I kept up my organisation and time management skills in order that I remained on track.
Have you any words of wisdom for any researchers who might be embarking on a similar programme of research?
Keeping a research log from the beginning is a good idea. I kept short notes on my progress all the way through and even took these in to my Viva exam. It means you have everything in one place, and can track your progress easily.
Read Julia’s thesis in our repository, Cronfa.
Title: Talking about mental health nursing: a qualitative analysis of nurses’ and service users’ accounts
Supervisors: Professor Michael Coffey & Dr Jeanette Hewitt
posted by Caroline Rauter