About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nursing & Information Literacy

Yesterday we had an interesting workshop on researching information and how to find what you want. Since I've been a student for a few years now, I've already attended similar workshops and I thought it would be boring to go again. My prof, however, told us: Even if you've already been to an information literacy workshop, I highly suggest you attend this one.

Part of the attraction was that it's integrated with a research paper for my Discipline of Nursing class. The assignment is to pick a historical article from the year you were born or earlier, addressing some facet of the nursing discipline. Then research what's going on with that issue today. The nice part is I don't have to write a full paper - just the introduction and first paragraph, and include the reference list.

So the night before last, I attempted to get into the databases provided by my school library. I particularly wanted the Canadian Nurse journal, seeing as that would be probably the most relevant source. To my dismay, almost all of the databases only have full text from 1999 to present. Not very handy for my historical article! I spent a few hours digging around and found an article dated 1984. Not what I'd call "historical" (that means I'm historical!) but it just barely met the year qualifications. The title is "Do Nursing Educators Promote Burnout?" and it addresses nursing instructors setting impossible standards for students in the workplace. I figure there should be plenty of research on burnout!

We brought our articles into the workshop and we learned about using boolean operators to expand and narrow searches. I knew about most of them, i.e. '"Canadian nurs*" NOT Ontario AND "licensed practical"', but some were new. Did you know you can use parentheses? Cool! You can pretty much do your whole search in one go:

Nurs* AND (student OR undergrad) AND (instructor OR teacher OR professor OR educator) AND (burnout OR "compassion fatigue" OR exhaust*)

Plug that in to a search engine and, theoretically, you should come up with a subject that combines nurses, students, teachers, and burnout. Theoretically. It's pretty specific and it might exclude some otherwise-relevant information. But still! Parentheses!

We also saw a video with some scary statistics:

So, yeah. I like researching. I think the big obstacle for working nurses is probably finding the time to actually research! You can easily blow a few hours absorbed in the depths of Google or some article database, sidetracked from your original topic of interest. I don't know how likely it is that you say "Ok, I'll be back in half an hour, I just want to look up the latest evidence-based research regarding care of pressure ulcers".


Anyway, information literacy, I has it. Now to actually use it... can't I do that after midterms? *whines*

Anatomy, Physiology, Discipline of Nursing, and Foundations in Health - midterms next week, in that order. I guess they wanted to squeeze them in before Thanksgiving, awesome! I'm up to my eyeballs in reading and studying. I'm focusing on Anatomy and Physiology because those ones are rote memorization, where Discipline and Foundations are a little more, shall we say, fluffy. 

If you haven't checked out my sidebar, www.studystack.com is completely fantastic for making speedy flash cards and exporting them. I have them on my iPod Touch and whenever I'm standing around, I look through a few. Also, and this is flippin' sweet for Mac users, this link provides a small AppleScript file that allows you to highlight text, go to Services, and choose to have the text converted into speech (using "Alex", if you have Leopard), and then it gets imported into your iTunes Audiobooks. Since I have some books with online text, I have converted my readings into "speakings" - makes it a lot easier to get the readings done when you just have to lay down and stare at the ceiling!

That's my spiel for today. Happy studying, fellow students!


cellar_door said...

I will now be using parentheses in all my searches...conincidently I have an assignment due in december on exactly this stuff! So very useful, thankyou!

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