Cambridge-based nurses, midwives and allied health professionals are carrying out innovative clinical academic research to improve care for patients and their families.
Professor Christi Deaton, of the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH), highlighted the work being carried out at a research conference and showcase (April 28). The event aimed to share information about current projects and encourage more health professionals to combine their clinical expertise with research.
Christi, who is the Florence Nightingale Foundation Professor of Clinical Nursing Research, said:
“In years gone by, nursing practice was primarily based on tradition and the experience of senior members of staff – “Matron Knows Best” – without anyone questioning whether this worked. By questioning clinical practice and carrying out research, we can determine what works and generate evidence that can change practice for the better.
“This conference emphasised the importance of research in making a difference to patient care to potential, recent and experienced researchers.
“We are committed to developing clinical academic nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. This involves encouraging potential researchers and then supporting them to develop research knowledge and skills, as well as their clinical expertise.”
More than 100 people took part in the conference at the School of Clinical Medicine, which included presentations and a poster showcase competition where delegates could explain more about their research.
We had posters from 41 locally-based projects including from the University of Cambridge, CUH, Papworth Hospital, University of East Anglia and Anglia Ruskin University. These covered a huge range of research, from supporting parents whose child has had a major trauma, to managing breathlessness in patients with lung disease.
– Professor Christi Deaton, Florence Nightingale Foundation Professor of Clinical Nursing Research
Runner-up in the poster competition was Andrea Edwards, of the Rosie Hospital, for her research into the auditory response in pre-term infants.
Andrea, a neonatal neurosciences research nurse, is observing how everyday noises in the neonatal intensive care unit affect pre-term babies. Regular sleep-wake cycles are essential for brain development but the immature auditory system of preterm infants cannot readily filter unwanted sounds.
The overall winners were from the Department of Medicine for the Elderly’s physiotherapy group, who are carrying out research into improving the care of frail and elderly patients. This research includes how cognitive impairment, frailty and increased physiotherapy can affect the length of hospital stays and recovery.
The research team includes: Rebecca Dixon, Patricia Costello, Jenny Adamson, Carol Cunningham, Georgina Embleton, Roman Romero-Ortuno, Peter Hartley, Nathalie Gibbins, Jasmine Luckett, Kerry Alexander, Eimear Conroy, Joseph Lang, Tim Luddington and Amanda Saunders.
See more about Professor Deaton’s Clinical Nursing Research Group at the Primary Care Unit, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge