Monday, 7 September 2015

My Nuffield Foundation research placement

Over the summer the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC) at the University of Hertfordshire hosted five Nuffield Foundation research placement students. Below is a guest post from Chelsea reflecting on her time in the department and the independent research she conducted...

Throughout the summer, I have been taking part in a Nuffield research placement at the University of Hertfordshire.

My project focused on investigating the nutritional information dietitians across England are using with their patients who have type 2 diabetes. This involved reviewing and implementing a previously piloted electronic survey via Survey monkey. In order to achieve my aims, I carried out field work such as meeting with a community pharmacist, who shared her views on the lack of a platform between dietitians and pharmacists. I also liaised with dietitians and staff at the university who were very supportive in reviewing my modified survey and making helpful suggestions and improvements. After 21 days, the online survey was closed and the findings analysed. The key trends were spotted and comparisons made.

It was a great opportunity to be able to get a placement on the Nuffield research scheme, as it provided me with experience through a hands on approach. I got an opportunity to carry out an entire study from start to finish whilst contributing to national research on a topic that affects 1 in 17 adults in the UK (Diabetes UK). I worked alongside professionals who have been noticed internationally for their research. Not only did the placement provide me with an insight into the field of research (an aspect of healthcare which I had never previously considered), but it also provided me with experience in a working environment. The placement at the university also equipped me with skills that would be useful when going into university such as a literature searching session on external electronic devices.

During my time at the University of Hertfordshire, I worked in the Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC).The centre was very welcoming of me in my first week and have continuously shown that support throughout my placement. I even had the opportunity of attending their annual picnic where I had a chance to find out more about the work carried out in CRIPACC, as well as to meet a lay person who has previously worked with CRIPACC. Overall my experience here was truly insightful.

This research placement has really encouraged me to continue to pursue a career in the field of science and has shown me the variety of avenues available for me if I continue to work hard.


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