Between scrubs and words: a reflective journey

This week’s blog is by Laura Fregonese, a second year PhD student within the SHIP team. Laura describes her piece as “a personal reflection of a nurse, with over two decades of perioperative practice, who ventured into uncharted territory and transferred her clinical skills into building a compass from which to navigate the complex landscape of academia”. 

Read more to learn about Laura’s PhD journey so far.

On the 19th of June 2018, following an interview, I was offered a scholarship opportunity to commence a PhD with the SHIP group at GCU, and now I cannot believe that two years have flown in so fast! With my research I hope to better understand the patient experience of being hospitalised and cared for in isolation, when infected or colonised by multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs) and, at the same time, to explore their family members’ perceptions on how the care received influences their close relationships.

Over the past two years, I have realised how many aspects of my “old” job are reflected in my new academic journey. The teamwork that I knew from the operating theatre is now reflected in my academic team and their shared expertise and peer networking opportunities. A hand hygiene engagement event for children and their happy facies as they used a microscope for the first time or got a green light for correctly cleaning their hands in order to prevent the spread of infection, really inspired me and made me think of the importance of patient feedback. By constantly thinking about good quality of care, I have more deeply questioned and considered where and how this “care” should actually be learned.

So far it has been a very intense journey. I have met so many great people who have helped me and guided me, pointing me in the right direction. I have laughed a lot, and cried even more, but for me taking this road has opened up a new way to tune my nursing practice into a much wider and comprehensive approach to patient care.

During 2020, this being the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, I am still on a journey between my scrubs

and words, with a stronger nursing identity, inspired by research knowledge and by an earnest professional responsibility towards public health and each individual patient’s wellbeing.


To find out more about the SHIP Team, head on to the GCU website, read the rest of our blogs and follow us on Twitter @SHIPGCU

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