Archive | July, 2011

Preparing for Health and Media Symposium

17 Jul

Good morning! I have been busy over the past week preparing my presentation for the Health and Media Symposium on Thursday. I normally really enjoy preparing and presenting at conferences, but for some reason, I am particularly nervous about this one. I guess one of the reasons is that it is taking me out of my ‘infection prevention’ confort zone, with an entirely different audience. Additionally, Professor Jenny Kitzinger from Cardiff University is the key note speaker and her work has been very influencial in my PhD, so I really want to make a good impression!  I have a good time slot though – 12:00 – 12:30. This gives me time to settle and listen to the morning presentations (I always find that helps a lot).  Then I can relax in the afternoon. I am really pleased with my final presentation (a big thank you to my previous PhD supervisor, Professor Rose Barbour for her help!). Rose is also coming to the Symposium so good to have that support. I have just done a run through (to my cocker spaniel Dave – although I don’t think he was very impressed!) and I think it is a little too long.  I’ll spend some more time reducing it this morning. However, my distraction today is The Open! What a great competition so far! I am really hoping Phil Mickelson will come good today and win his first ever Open http://progolftalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/16/mickelson-has-a-real-chance-to-pull-off-improbable-open-championship-win/. Also liking Rickie Fowler (even though his dress sense is pants and he’s gone overboard with the hair straighteners!). See – completely distracted already! Bye for now 🙂

Ready, steady, go…

7 Jul

As I said in my first blog, having attended two recent symposia about social media, both at the University of Dundee (http://twitter.com/sarashinton & http://twitter.com/DundeeUniv), I was extremely inspired! It certainly changed my (mis)conceptions about social media. So here I am, signed up to twitter, LinkedIn and wordpress blog!

I have given a lot of thought about what I am going to use this blog for – I initially thought I would only use it as a resource to keep my thoughts, ideas and inspirations from my PhD and share my highs and lows. However, whilst I suspect that will be the main focus of some of my blogs (seeing as my PhD takes us most of my spare time), I will blog on a wider context. This I feel, will help me reflect on various aspects of my PhD journey and possibly be of interest to others (if anyone reads them!). I certainly have learned a great deal over the last few days from reading other blogs of a similar nature – and have been reassured that other people are too experiencing similar things (even with a little distraction from some of the snowboarding blogs I ‘accidently’ stumbled across!

Anyway – I am in my second year of a part-time PhD (as I work full time). My research is exploring risk perceptions and responses of the public, healthcare and media professionals around the healthcare associated infection Clostridium difficile. All qualitative work. Up until now, things have been great and progress has been pretty steady – reading, writing, more reading, more writing and data collecting. Unfortunately, my principle supervisor has just left to move onto pastures new (very selfish I know!!). Fortunately, I have gained two new principle supervisors, who are excellent and have very extensive research profiles. However, my problems are in relation to different views on theoretical underpinnings and methodological approaches. This, I stress will not be a bad thing (once I get my head around it!) as it has now made me go back to the literature and reconsider some of the issues I addressed earlier on in my preparation stages and critically appraise specific aspects. My theoretical underpinning was largely based around constructivist & constructionism approaches. Now I am rethinking this and delving into the world of realism, especially on the back of Paley and Lilford’s article published in the BMJ April 2011 Anyway, rather stressed at the moment, but I am sure there will be light at the end of the tunnel. If anyone reading this has thoughts around construcutivism v’s realism – please do share! I will keep you updated on progress (if indeed you are remotely interested!)

Since starting my PhD (in Feb 2010), whenever I experienced the ‘lows’ of doing a PhD, I dug out my snowboard and took to the mountains for the day – it certainly clears the cobwebs and strangely enough, it makes everything ok again. Unfortunately, one small problem – or rather one big problem – not possible in the summer! (hence my tweet a few days ago wishing for snow!)…

Right, I am going to finish this blog now with one final reflection (if you are still with me!). Indeed, as I said, I kinda like this social media thing. However, because of this blog and trying to get it all set up in some sort of order, I have done absolutely no PhD work this evening! What I should have been doing is preparing a presentation for the Health and Media Symposium in Spa Bath (21st July) http://healthandthemedia.wordpress.com/ Tomorrow night I will work extra hard! Bye for now 🙂

My first blog

6 Jul

Hello! Following attendance at a couple of recent social media symposia, I decided to create a blog – so here it is! Give me time to work out what to do and how to do it! Will be back soon…

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