A little bit of help goes such a long way: experiences of a student research intern initiative

Smyth, Wendy, and Hayes, Megan (2014) A little bit of help goes such a long way: experiences of a student research intern initiative. Annals of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, 15 (3). p. 59.

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Background/Aims: Imagine having a nursing student intern for six weeks to progress a stalled research project. What would the benefits be to the research team, research unit, clinical unit, and student? How could the research unit provide the necessary guidance and instruction? What were reasonable expectations for such an initiative, and could you plan the experience to exceed everyone's expectations? This presentation addresses those questions.

Methods: Nursing and midwifery students at a northern Australian university were invited to apply for one of two inaugural summer scholarships. Our nursing research unit, located in the local hospital, proposed that a student could contribute to a clinical research project for which data had already been collected. We received an enthusiastic student who was methodical, willing to ask questions and willing to learn about undertaking nursing research in a busy clinical environment. The unit had previously mentored novice nurse researchers, but never a nursing student who had just completed her first undergraduate year. We structured the six weeks in order to maximize the benefits to all.

Results: The student successfully learnt how to use a statistical computer package, enter the data, liaise with the clinical nurses when checking the data, establish a bibliographic database, update the literature review and draft the manuscript ready for publication.

Conclusion: We were able to provide additional writing experiences and the student participated in committee meetings and other educational experiences. Owing to the success of this initiative, we will have another project 'in the pipeline' should the scholarships be offered again next summer.

Item ID: 35908
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1448-4706
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Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2014 04:42
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920299 Health and Support Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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