sarahxislam
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Hello
I was wondering if I can get some help/ideas. I’m in my final year of nursing studies and need to write up a 5,000 dissertation. Really unsure what I’m actually interested but I want to do something about improving an aspect in practice? All ideas are welcome!
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by sarahxislam)
Hello
I was wondering if I can get some help/ideas. I’m in my final year of nursing studies and need to write up a 5,000 dissertation. Really unsure what I’m actually interested but I want to do something about improving an aspect in practice? All ideas are welcome!
It's not really worth taking another person's idea as it generally won't be an area you have a particular interest in, which will really show when it comes to writing your dissertation. Choosing a topic takes quite a bit of planning but is worthwhile as you'll really have thought about it before starting.

I'd recommend making a big mind map of all of your placements so far. Some things to include:

  • Think about areas of practice that stand out to you (either good or bad). Did you see any great care or new/novel ideas? Did you see any areas where you felt improvement was needed?
  • Consider patients who stick in your mind - what was their condition? What was their treatment plan? What went well for them? What could have been done better?
  • Are there any particular diseases you took an interest in? Think about any case studies you might have completed or diseases which interested you in other assignments. While you can't reuse old work, you will have a good baseline knowledge and may have something you can build upon.

If you're interested in improvements in practice, you really want to be focusing on interventions and their impact, for example, the impact of Namaste Care on provision of palliative care, or the impact of Caring for Smiles programme on oral health of people with diabetes. You need to consider areas which can be lacking and then initiatives which have been used (not necessarily in your geographical area) and their impact. Obviously you also need to check that there is plenty of literature on these interventions so you can evaluate the evidence for them and their impact.
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sarahxislam
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
It's not really worth taking another person's idea as it generally won't be an area you have a particular interest in, which will really show when it comes to writing your dissertation. Choosing a topic takes quite a bit of planning but is worthwhile as you'll really have thought about it before starting.

I'd recommend making a big mind map of all of your placements so far. Some things to include:

  • Think about areas of practice that stand out to you (either good or bad). Did you see any great care or new/novel ideas? Did you see any areas where you felt improvement was needed?
  • Consider patients who stick in your mind - what was their condition? What was their treatment plan? What went well for them? What could have been done better?
  • Are there any particular diseases you took an interest in? Think about any case studies you might have completed or diseases which interested you in other assignments. While you can't reuse old work, you will have a good baseline knowledge and may have something you can build upon.

If you're interested in improvements in practice, you really want to be focusing on interventions and their impact, for example, the impact of Namaste Care on provision of palliative care, or the impact of Caring for Smiles programme on oral health of people with diabetes. You need to consider areas which can be lacking and then initiatives which have been used (not necessarily in your geographical area) and their impact. Obviously you also need to check that there is plenty of literature on these interventions so you can evaluate the evidence for them and their impact.
Thank you for your response really appreciate it. Yes I agree I’ll have to sit down and do a massive brainstorm of all my placements. But generally I have enjoyed it and no improvements actually jump out to me. But thinking about it the oral care. I do feel like an oral health care chart should be implemented in practice as during placements I rarely see oral care being attended to. Do you think I could consider this as an idea as practice improvement?
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by sarahxislam)
Thank you for your response really appreciate it. Yes I agree I’ll have to sit down and do a massive brainstorm of all my placements. But generally I have enjoyed it and no improvements actually jump out to me. But thinking about it the oral care. I do feel like an oral health care chart should be implemented in practice as during placements I rarely see oral care being attended to. Do you think I could consider this as an idea as practice improvement?
Rather than thinking specifically of improvements and major failings, it can be useful to think of the little things that make a difference to patients - things like dignity, respect, communication. You can also look at things which are common failures across the NHS such as infection control - within this you should be able to think of some areas which could be done better and would ultimately improve the care patients receive.

Oral care could be a good idea however you need to make sure that your dissertation topic is nursing focused - make sure it's clearly from a nursing perspective rather than a dentist or dental nurse. Lots of students picking topics like this stray too far into another degree's discipline so you need to be very careful when planning and writing.
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sarahxislam
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
Rather than thinking specifically of improvements and major failings, it can be useful to think of the little things that make a difference to patients - things like dignity, respect, communication. You can also look at things which are common failures across the NHS such as infection control - within this you should be able to think of some areas which could be done better and would ultimately improve the care patients receive.

Oral care could be a good idea however you need to make sure that your dissertation topic is nursing focused - make sure it's clearly from a nursing perspective rather than a dentist or dental nurse. Lots of students picking topics like this stray too far into another degree's discipline so you need to be very careful when planning and writing
Very true. In regards to communication, communication barrier how could we improve that in nursing though as I do see this as a problem in practice as I’ve experienced that and struggled to understand what they are trying to say?

Or how about this “how can health services improve student nurses experience in practice” being a student nurse and going to various placements can be daunting at first as I’ve experienced and many others that they do not feel welcomed during placement due to staffing levels of course and having so much things to do but nevertheless that does not give them a right to make students feel not valued. In this topic I was thinking about talking about the lack of staffing level due to brexit too perhaps?
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by sarahxislam)
Very true. In regards to communication, communication barrier how could we improve that in nursing though as I do see this as a problem in practice as I’ve experienced that and struggled to understand what they are trying to say?

Or how about this “how can health services improve student nurses experience in practice” being a student nurse and going to various placements can be daunting at first as I’ve experienced and many others that they do not feel welcomed during placement due to staffing levels of course and having so much things to do but nevertheless that does not give them a right to make students feel not valued. In this topic I was thinking about talking about the lack of staffing level due to brexit too perhaps?
So rather than looking at communication as a whole, try to think about specific groups of patients where communication may be more difficult (e.g. refugees where a translator is used - what are the barriers to this? Are translators always available? Are nurses trained in using translation services? You could look at something like the Mental Welfare Commission's guidance on this https://www.mwcscot.org.uk/sites/def...it_feb2018.pdf).

You've mentioned quite a few different questions there - the key here is picking something you have a genuine interest in but making sure your topic isn't too broad. Improving the experience of student nurses is a huge scope and something you'd struggle to cover in just 5000 words. A question like 'which interventions are effective in improving the mental health of nursing students' is much more focused and will be easier to find literature for. You've defined the population, a specific area of improvement and then clarified that you're not just looking at the mental health of students in general, but the efficacy of different interventions you find in the literature. For staffing, you could do a very qualitative question and go for something like 'what is the impact of supernumerary status on nursing student experience'. Use your journal searches such as CINAHL when defining your question so you can make sure you have sufficient relevant material to reference - for these searches I used 'interventions AND mental health AND nursing students' and 'supernumerary AND nursing student' and got a good range of results.

I'd be wary of talking about something as current as Brexit - firstly you'd be speculating based on something that hasn't happened yet, and secondly there is always a time delay in terms of research being done, written up and published so you may find you have very limited literature to work from.
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sarahxislam
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As this is a service improvement project, if I was to chose the idea along 'which interventions are effective in improving the mental health of nursing students' what sort of things could I discuss within this in a 5000 word count. Also any tips on how I can get a high grade?
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by sarahxislam)
As this is a service improvement project, if I was to chose the idea along 'which interventions are effective in improving the mental health of nursing students' what sort of things could I discuss within this in a 5000 word count. Also any tips on how I can get a high grade?
You would need to see what literature was out there (for example by doing a CINAHL search as I mentioned above) to get an idea of the different interventions. You could pick out a couple of studies and look at them in more depth in terms of the quality of the research (number of participants, where was it carried out, is it generalisable?, is there any obvious bias?) and what they could mean for practice.

It's also important to look at policy/guidelines, whether this is from a university, the NMC, the RCN or from a body like a charity - what do they recommend?

You can also, after looking at the research, try to identify areas where the research is lacking and make suggestions for future research.
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