Georgia’s research secondment

Georgia Moffatt, now a Quality Improvement Advisor at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, tells us about her research secondment and how it affected her skills and clinical work.

I have been a Mental Health Nurse since 2010, starting in a Perinatal Mother and Baby unit, then across a number of complex care wards, a Community Team, and then as a manager in an Assessment and Liaison Team.

During this time, I got involved in Quality Improvement (QI) projects and I was intrigued to understand the differences and similarities between QI and research.

When the research secondment was advertised, I looked through the catalogue of projects and identified one that would be both of interest to me and where the skills learnt could be transferred to my clinical role as I was seeing clients with such wide-ranging diagnoses, both physical and mental health related. I also felt the skills I would learn could be used to progress some of the QI projects further and develop improvement work.

My research secondment focused on how online CBT helped to reduce pain, fatigue and incontinence in people with inflammatory bowel disease, such as IBD, Crohns and ulcerative colitis. I was based with the Health Psychology team working with Professor Rona Moss-Morris and Professor Christine Norton.

Developing my skills

It was a daunting experience walking into an environment where I felt I had very little knowledge or skills needed; however, the team were very supportive. They understood that I was not a researcher by background but wanted to learn and develop my skills and gain an understanding of the different steps taken when carrying out a research study.

I used my clinical skills and got involved in some preparation and facilitation work such as the initial phone call to participants that were involved in the pilot study. This was to go through their ‘vicious cycle’ in more detail to ensure they understood how each part of the cycle linked together in order to get the most from the online programme.

This helped develop my clinical skills, such as my understanding of CBT and I also gained an in-depth knowledge of IBD. I was given the opportunity to take part in transcript analysis, write standards of procedures and crisis management plans and was able to attend PPI (patient and public involvement) conferences and forums along with project team meetings.

Since finishing my research secondment, I have moved into the Quality Improvement team; I feel the skills I learnt are being used in such a positive way as I can identify the difference between research and QI, understand when focus groups would be useful and the difference between types of data collections. It’s also helped me understand how data can be presented and analysed and this part is really useful in improvement science.

In terms of my future career goals, I’d like to continue in quality improvement and gain further knowledge and expertise in this area. I am always looking for new opportunities to develop my skills or learn new ones and I feel the field I am in now offers that.

I would definitely encourage other nurses to apply for the research secondment, it provided a good understanding of the way we approach and talk about evidence-based practice.

Tags: Training & capacity development - Staff News -

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 30 Mar 2020, 15:07 PM

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