Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Thinking about what might have been
In 1995 I started a PhD - it was an innovative and original piece of research (nature of the beast I thought!!) exploring people's experiences of their interactions with health care professionals (going to the clinic). I started the research when I was a diabetes specialist nurse - I had discovered Action Research, participatory approaches to research and the embryonic practice development literature in nursing and wanted to change the way I worked with the people coming to the diabetes clinic. I had a hunch we could do it differently but I was not sure how it might look and I was also committed to the changes being informed by people with diabetes NOT ME.
Anyway --- I did not stay in diabetes care - I moved to Higher Education in 1996 and could no longer do the action research and had to change the purpose of the study. Instead of changing my practice it had to become a more theoretical study - not one I was that happy about BUT I thought I might get practitioners to "buy in" to the findings at a later date.
I am not sure if I was just full of overzealous evangelism or stupidity but I did not ever find anyone to work with. As the years went by my commitment to the data and the findings withered as I became a mother and found little support from anyone around me in academia. So in 2004 the journey ended - no more PhD - the upside of that little excursion was discovering poetry BUT at the same time I am constantly reminded of what my informants told me and the impact going to the clinic had on their life.
I read this blog today and it all came flooding back. I had hoped to make a real difference to the way diabetes care was delivered but that didn't happen. Maybe social media can have greater impact!!