My current Prof Doc studies have mostly related to research within Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) services. This where mental health services act proactively and provide evidence based interventions for those who may be developing a psychotic illness for the first time. Last year I was fortunate enough to obtain a Florence Nightingale Travel Scholarship; with an aim to focus on an area where a large amount of EIP research was generated (200 peer reviewed articles from one clinic). This area happened to be Melbourne, Australia.
A travel scholarship sounds great, but the prospect of wrenching yourself from your family can be very daunting, along with potentially long and uncomfortable travel, and extensive periods away from work. Ok…I realise the sob story may not be convincing but the family bit is true! Despite these worries the benefits of seeing another working clinical environment, along with meeting other researchers, is fantastic. Visiting environments where the standards are very high can not only inspire changes within the clinical setting but also inspire a new research direction by providing a novel infusion of ideas.
Melbourne has not disappointed in terms of inspiration, and I have been inundated with data. This has been in the form of observational experiences within clinical practice; inpatients, crisis teams, community teams and group settings. Along with this I have met a number of senior managers and researchers who have talked to me about their roles and research experience. This has helped me in a reflexive capacity regarding my own research and impending thesis.
I would highly recommend anyone who is formulating their research question to look beyond their local communities and expose themselves to wider influence from across the globe. It has certainly given me plenty to think about!
The only problem now is to refine this thinking and this flurry of ideas further! Ah well – perhaps I will do that in November after my final scholarship trip to Finland! It’s an arduous task…but somebody’s got to do it!
Professional Doctorate Student
School of Health Care Sciences