Why did you apply for the FNF Scholarship?
I have always been driven to achieve higher qualifications and progress in my career. So when I moved to the UK from Nepal in 2009, I was keen to convert my nursing diploma into becoming a registered nurse. I qualified as a registered nurse in 2012. After this, I still felt the desire to further my qualifications so I looked for opportunities to gain a degree. That’s when I came across the FNF scholarship.
Tell us about the research project you undertook.
I was funded to complete 2 modules as part of my degree course. The first one was research on ‘evidence based practice’ looking into whether steristrips are the best dressing to use on skin tears in the elderly. This was the first piece of research that I had conducted in the UK so it was quite difficult to begin with. Unfortunately further research is still needed in this area to make any conclusions.
The second piece of research that I undertook had fantastic results. I looked into improving the quality of nurse communications in care homes. I introduced a communication tool called the ‘SBAR’. The aim of the research was to improve the way our nurses communicate with other groups of clinicians, particularly doctors.
We have posters up throughout the home, which help to remind us about the SBAR format and we have improved a document that we fax to doctors. I also presented my work at a recent ‘Clinical Managers /Deputy managers Day’. I had a lot of support from my manager, collegues , my family and also from Sue Roberts, the professor and project managers.
What was the highlight of your scholarship?
I think my highlight was running the project. From having no experience in researching articles and carrying out research to actually getting onto the scholarship and implementing my findings was a huge achievement. Receiving my certificate at the presentation in December was also amazing.
What would you say the value of projects carried out through the FNF are?
The value is really high. For example, if I hadn’t completed this scholarship I wouldn’t have been able to study for my Bsc degree or conduct a research project. By conducting the research, I was able to share findings with my colleagues and others. You can help to find a solution to any problem that is happening at work and ultimately it helps the care of our residents we look after in the homes and the patients we look after in hospital. I would encourage any nurses who are interested in the scholarship or would like to carry of further research to apply.
Do you have any plans now that you have finished the scholarship?
My next plan is to complete a Masters degree in nursing. For this I am hoping to apply for the FNF scholarship again when applications open in February. I have been based at my care home for seven years, so I have worked in palliative care, EOL care and I work as a Clinical Manager. I have seen lots of things and thought of many ideas, although I haven’t yet decided what to focus on.
I graduate in June 2017 and hope to have my parents visit from Nepal to celebrate the occasion with me. I am also currently converting my assignment into an article which I hope to publish in the British Journal of Nursing.
Overall, I would like to be in a better position to promote patient safety and improve nursing standards.
Is there a particular piece of advice you would offer someone who is considering applying for the scholarship?
Just be genuine, true to yourself and show interest and dedication. If you are interested in something and you are really passionate about it, then you will achieve. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from. I was told by the professor at the scholarship that since she started, I was the only person who had converted an overseas diploma into a degree by getting the scholarship.
Are/were there any immediate benefits from the scholarship?
When I evaluated my project, the main area I focused on was the faxes that we send to GPs containing patient information. Prior to my study, there were a high number of faxes being sent back (1 in every 2) due to inadequate information. Now we use the SBAR tool and our success rates are much higher (1 in every 25 are returned). The issue with so many returning was that we were delaying the patient care, as the GP was unable to make an immediate decision.
Another immediate benefit is that our nurses are more confident in raising issues with multidisciplinary teams. My own confidence has also improved.
What are the long term benefits of completing a FNF Scholarship?
You make great connections. I know that if I ever need help or guidance that I can contact Professor Robb, my classmates, my colleagues, Richard Adams and other links for support.
You can read an abstract of Jyoti’s research here: Improving Quality in Nurse Communication in Care Homes: Introduction of SBAR (Situation Background Assessment Recommendation) – a tool to catalyze change.
If you are interested in the Florence Nightingale Foundation scholarship, take a look at the website to find our more.