These activities include brainstorming activities, further reading, weblinks to external sites, and enable you to examine and relect upon the methods of both real-world studies and the methods chosen by fictional nursing and midwifery students introduced in chapter one.
Activity 1.1: Adjectives to Describe Research
Make a list of all the words and phrases that you could use to describe or explain to someone what research is (either the noun or the verb). These could be words used to describe both healthcare and non-healthcare related research.
Compare your list with ours:
study, rigorous, systematic, scientific, investigation, problem-solving, answering questions, orderly, testing, generating new knowledge, enquiry, reaffirming what is already known, finding answers, academic exercise, truth, examining, hard work, time-consuming, common-sense, scrutinising, organised, valid, reliable, sound, robust, disciplined, methodical, search, hypothesis-testing, collection of information, analysing
Make a list of the words on our list that you are unfamiliar with. Some of these are likely to be research terms and the definitions for these can be found in the glossary. These terms will also be explained in later chapters.
Activity 1.2: Definitions of Research
Look up a definition of research in a general dictionary.
Could the dictionary definition be applied to health care, nursing and midwifery research?
Activity 1.3: Engaging with Research
Read either or both of the following papers:
Hicks, C. (1996) A study of nurses’ attitudes towards research: a factor analytic approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing 23: 373–379.
Sleep, J. (1992) Research and the practice of midwifery. Journal of Advanced Nursing 17: 1465–1471.
Make a list of the reasons the author gives why nurses or midwives do not engage with research.
You will notice that both papers were published in the 1990s. Do you think the reasons the author has identified still apply today? Refer back to your response to ‘Think-point / activity 2’. Think about the nurses and midwives you have worked with recently and the research culture of the care settings where you have worked.
Activity 1.4: Nursing and Midwifery History Timeline
We have provided an overview of the history of the development of nursing and midwifery research in the UK. Develop a timeline that includes the key milestones that we have identified. You may feel that there are important factors and events that we have not included in our summary. If this is the case, add these to your timeline.
Activity 1.5: Nursing and Midwifery Professional Status
For more detailed background reading about the development of the professional status of nursing and midwifery in the United Kingdom see:
Baly, M.E. (1980) Nursing and Social Change, London: Routledge (particularly chapters 12, 13 and 14).
Borsay, A. and Hunter, B. (2012) Nursing and Midwifery in Britain since 1700, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (particularly chapters 4 and 9).
Cowell, B. and Wainwright, D. (1891) Behind the Blue Door, London: Baillière Tindall (particularly chapters 1 and 2).
If you are currently based outside the UK, the following chapter may be helpful:
Connerton, W. and D’Antonio, P. (2012) International comparisons: The nursing-midwifery interface. In Borsay, A. and Hunter, B. Nursing and Midwifery in Britain since 1700, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Activity 1.6: Meet Your Nursing and Midwife Co-Students!
Meet the class of 2016! These fictional nurses and midwives will be accompanying you on your progression through the book:
Richie is a pre-registration undergraduate student who is about to undertake a research / evidence based practice module. He is looking forward to learning about research and developing new skills.
Carl is a pre-registration undergraduate student who is about to undertake a research / evidence based practice module. He is not looking forward to the module. He has been told that research is really boring and confusing. Carl tells himself that if he can pass this module, he will not have to bother about research or evidence based practice again.
Amy is a pre-registration undergraduate student who is about to undertake a research / evidence based practice module. Amy is nervous about the module. She has been told that research is complex and confusing.
Jasmine is a post-registration Masters student who is about to undertake a research / evidence based practice module. She qualified four years ago. Although she enjoyed the research / evidence based practice component of her pre-registration programme, she is worried that she may have forgotten much of what she had previously learnt.
Charles is a post-registration Masters student who is about to undertake a research / evidence based practice module. He qualified 15 years ago. He feels excited but is also daunted at the prospect of learning about research theory.
Having met the group, how do they compare with you, your situation, thoughts and feelings? Who are you most like at this stage? If you had to summarise your situation in a couple of sentences, what would you say? It may be helpful to revisit your thoughts for ‘Think point / activity 2’.