From Wales to New South Wales – EONS grants help nurses become research leaders
Dr Jane Davies received an EONS Research Travel Grant which enabled her to extend the reach of her doctoral studies from her workplace at the School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, South Wales, all the way to New South Wales, Australia, in May 2017.
The award of a research travel grant from the European Oncology Nursing Society enabled me to travel to the University of New South Wales to work with colleagues at the Kids Cancer Centre in Randwick, an Eastern suburb of Sydney. I worked with Professor Claire Wakefield and her team in the Behavioural Sciences Unit which is part of the centre. The research undertaken by this team had commonality with my own work in the area of adolescent and young adult cancer experience, providing a useful ‘fit’ for the enhancement of knowledge and potential future collaboration. A number of agreed objectives were put in place which helped to provide a clear focus the visit:
- Familiarisation with the organisation, structure, staff and current research being undertaken in the Kids Cancer Centre.
- Undertake a presentation/seminar with staff relating to recent research findings from my PhD study.
- Attend where possible any appropriate and relevant seminars or presentations taking place in the Kids Cancer Centre.
- Organise visits to other relevant centres locally and meet with groups working in similar areas. E.g. Can Teen (a leading Australian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer organisation).
- Discuss the possibility of a joint publication relating to the experience of adolescent and young adults with cancer
- Explore the possibility of undertaking a joint project in the future.
The team in Sydney were extremely supportive and enabled me to meet my objectives. I attended a number of seminars and meetings in the hospital and university and was able to discuss current projects and gain an insight into the aims of work in progress. One such experience was a weekly hospital seminar known as the grand rounds where different speakers presented their work.
I was also given the opportunity to share my own research findings from my PhD with the whole group in the Behavioural Sciences Unit. This provided a fascinating discussion, where I was able to enter into a useful dialogue relating in particular to the case study design which I used in my study. The presentation also reinforced the need to produce further work in an area where there is still much to learn.
I was able to meet a number of healthcare professionals who were linked to the Behavioural Sciences Unit. These included specialist and consultant nurses and oncologists who worked closely with the research team. This proved to be a very valuable experience as I was able to learn more about the way in which cancer care is delivered to adolescents and young adults within the Australian healthcare system. Notably, I was invited to Can Teen, a leading organisation in Australia providing support for adolescents and young adults with cancer. I presented my PhD findings to Can Teen staff and was very fortunate to meet Professor Brad Zebrack whose work I had read and used extensively in my own research.
I was extremely fortunate to be able to spend time with an excellent team and associated colleagues in Sydney. Professor Claire Wakefield was exemplary in her support for me both whilst I was there and since the visit. She instils a genuine passion in those that work with her and is producing some very worthy research which will help to further develop the evidence base in this under researched field. I was able to engage in a wide range of activities, which enhanced my knowledge and enabled me to reflect on the transferability of this new information in my own practice. I, along with colleagues from my own institution, am currently collaborating with members of the Australian team in developing a paper which considers some of the key issues relating to interviewing young people with cancer. I hope to continue to develop this collaboration in the future as new opportunities arise in the field of AYA cancer.
Many thanks to all those that I met who were so generous with their time and happy to share their expertise. I would strongly encourage others to apply for this opportunity. It enabled me to meet new colleagues, share and disseminate my work and embark on collaborations which I hope will continue to develop.
Jane Davies is Senior Lecturer and RCBC Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, South Wales
Why not develop your career with the help of an EONS grant? Find out more at www.cancernurse.eu/awardsgrants/grants.html