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PhD opportunity exploring healthcare workers’ experiences & ethical dilemmas faced during the COVID-19 Pandemic through arts-based practice

6,000 nurses and midwives were recently asked why they had left the profession. …The main reason given was too much pressure leading to stress and poor mental health. This was before #COVID__19

It is now clear that we need to move beyond the narrative of heroes and remember that NHS workers are human.

Something needs to change… and that is #WhyWeDoResearch

🎓…. have you always dreamed about doing your PhD? We have an exciting PAID studentship opportunity for you!

Start your exciting ​#PhD journey with myself & Professor Louise Moody 🎓

“Exploring healthcare workers’ experiences & ethical dilemmas faced during the COVID-19 Pandemic through arts-based practice”

group of doctors walking on hospital hallway

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship within the multi-disciplinary ‘Well-being and the Arts’ theme within the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities.

The British Medical Association and Health Foundation have drawn attention to the impact the COVID19 pandemic is, and will continue to have in a variety of ways on NHS staff. The specific focus of this PhD research will be the difficult, ethical decisions healthcare workers have had to make when managing patients during the pandemic. Some examples of this include who to prioritise for treatment, whether to treat if PPE is unavailable, whether to return to NHS roles for those who have left the profession, and the need to separate patients from loved ones.

The project will explore the challenges and emotional impacts experienced by health care workers in relation to ethical decision making. The successful candidate will respond to these experiences through arts-practise as well as developing evidence-based recommendations for the support needs of staff.

The project is anticipated to involve the following activities:
– A scoping review of the literature
– Qualitative research to explore ethical dilemmas and the associated emotional impact using social media
– Arts-based practice to represent and communicate healthcare worker experiences
– Formation of recommendations regarding the support needs of healthcare workers

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

man in white dress shirt wearing blue face mask

Entry criteria for applicants to PHD

• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
PLUS
the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

For more information and to apply, CLICK HERE

white Explore flag

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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1 in 20 pregnancies affected by hypermobile #EhlersDanlosSyndrome & Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders

If you’re interested in childbearing with hypermobile #EhlersDanlos syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders our new article is out now…

👉 Understanding hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders in the context of childbearing: An international qualitative study

Co-authors include Gemma Pearce & Emma Reinhold 🙌🏻

🎓💓

Hypermobile #EhlersDanlos Syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) have profound and life-threatening consequences in childbearing, and it is now estimated that hEDS/HSD affect 6 million (4.6%) pregnancies globally per year..rounded up, this equates to almost 1 in 20 pregnancies!

 

grayscale photo of woman wearing ring

What did participants describe?

  • A worsening of symptoms during pregnancy
  • Postnatal complications
  • Ineffective anaesthesia
  • Long latent phases of labour quickly developing into rapidly progressing active labours and births (precipitate labour/precipitate birth)
  • Maternity staff panicked by unexpected outcomes
  • Healthcare professionals  lacking  knowledge and understanding
  • Poor maternity care resulting in a disengagement from services
  • Birth Trauma
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • An avoidance of future childbearing
  • Difficulties in holding, caring for, bonding with and breastfeeding their babies

Image may contain: text that says "Understanding hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders in the context of childbearing: An international qualitative study"

person in white pants showing left hand

The blog page for this work can be accessed here

How can you help?

  • maternity tool has been co-create to support both professionals and pregnant people in decision making. It is freely available for download and wider use

download maternity tool

hEDSTogether.com is also available to keep everyone up to date with this work via @hEDStogether

If you are using this tool to create an impact in the world, please tell us about it via the contact pages hosted at hEDSTogether.com.

Thanks to everyone who participated in and supported this research!…Let’s keep putting our #hEDSTogether via research!

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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Exploring the narratives and experiences of Healthcare staff working through the COVID-19 Pandemic – Could you contribute?

“Don’t clap for me” “The health service is not staffed by heroes” and “’We are fragile, tearful, afraid, and we are human” are recent accounts voiced by healthcare workers, working through the COVID-19 pandemic (Anonymous 2020; Watson 2020).

clapping

In contrast to the common portrayal as invincible “heroes” or “saints”, it is increasingly recognised that healthcare workers (HCWs) working through the COVID-19 pandemic may be experiencing negative emotions and moral distress related to certain situations (Williamson et al. 2020). These situations may include: Being redeployed, witnessing the suffering of patients or colleagues, ethical decisions related to care, delivering bad news or making the decision to distance oneself from family or children. The wellbeing of HCWs, as well as having an impact on individuals and families, is intrinsically linked to the quality and safety of healthcare services so there is a pressing need to understand more, including how we can help (Pezaro et al. 2015; The Royal College of Physicians, 2015).

compassion-857748_1280

We know that even the smallest demonstrations of compassion can make a difference to individual HCWs: Small acts of kindness, caring language or the opportunity to be listened to for example (Clyne et al. 2018).  Williamson et al. (2020) state the importance of informal support and opportunities for discussion of events that may have caused moral distress to allow HCWs to process and make sense of events.

We are commencing a research study to explore the real narratives and experiences of HCWs working through the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as where HCWs have experienced self and workplace compassion, using an arts-based research approach which includes creative writing, storytelling & theatre. Participants will contribute to the script for a piece of audio art-work that will creatively depict the emotions and experiences of healthcare professionals contrasted against the social celebration of them as ‘heroes’ during this Covid-19 pandemic. The recording aims to both give a truthful account of the HCW narrative during this crisis, whilst also being relatable, hopeful and human. It is hoped that it will be a point of stimuli for discussion for the general public and inform the development of additional resources to help HCWs debrief and recover.

Aspects of the arts-based research process itself, such as the opportunity to make sense of experiences through creativity, reflection and commonality with other participants, have been noted as “transformative” (Beltran and Begun 2014). Lennette et al. (2019) describe this type of research as an ongoing reflective process, in which the researcher and participants collaborate to expand the meaning of each individuals’ story and find links and common themes with those of other participants.

We are recruiting a small group of 4-6 healthcare workers to explore their experiences and narratives of COVID-19, within a 1-hour online workshop, taking place at the end of June. The group of HCWs will discuss their experiences and work with a writer, Nick Walker and theatre professionals from China Plate Theatre Company to create a piece of creative writing and a script for the audio artwork, which will be exhibited at a digital exhibition for Coventry City of Culture 2021. If you wish to take part, your information will be kept anonymous & confidential. You are under no obligation to take part.

China Plate are independent contemporary theatre producers of adventurous and imaginative new work with popular appeal and a social purpose. Their mission is to challenge the way performance is made, who it’s made by and who gets to experience it. Lead artist, Nick Walker is a Coventry-based writer, producer, and director. He was co-founder of theatre company, Talking Birds whose work has been presented across the UK, Europe, and the USA. He has worked with some of the country’s leading new work theatre companies including Stan’s Cafe, Insomniac, Action Hero and Theatre Absolute. His plays and short stories are regularly featured on BBC Radio 4, including 3 series of The First King of Mars (starring Peter Capaldi), and 6 series of Annika Stranded with Nicola Walker. He has a great deal of experience in writing plays and stories that are based on conversations/workshops with people around their real-life experiences, for example, exploring stories of male suicide with Coventry Men’s Shed. His writing has successfully fictionalised these experiences and made them relevant to a wider audience without losing their essence and truthfulness.

Date/time for workshop confirmed as: Wednesday 17th June 19:30

To request a Participant Information Sheet please email Kerry Wykes: ad3078@coventry.ac.uk.

HumansNotHeroes Flyer

References

Anonymous (2020) I’m an NHS Doctor and I’ve had enough of people clapping for me. The Guardian. [Online] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/21/nhs-doctor-enough-people-clapping

Beltran, R., & Begun, S. (2014). “It is medicine”: Narratives of healing from the Aotearoa Digital Storytelling as Indigenous Media Project (ADSIMP). Psychology and Developing Societies, 26, 155-179.

Clyne, W., Pezaro, S., Deeny, K., & Kneafsey, R. (2018). Using social media to generate and collect primary data: The #ShowsWorkplaceCompassion twitter research campaign. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, 4(2), e41.

Pezaro, S., Clyne, W., Turner, A., Fulton, E. A., & Gerada, C. (2015). ‘Midwives overboard!’ inside their hearts are breaking, their makeup may be flaking but their smile still stays on. Women and Birth: Journal of the Australian College of Midwives, 29(3), 59-66

The Royal College of Physicians. (2015). Work and wellbeing in the NHS: Why staff health matters to patient care.

Lenette C, Brough M, Schweitzer R et al. (2019) ‘Better than a pill’: digital storytelling as a narrative process for refugee women, Media Practice and Education, 20:1, 67-86, DOI: 10.1080/25741136.2018.1464740

Williamson, V., Murphy, D., Greenberg, N (2020) COVID-19 and experiences of moral injury in front-line key workers, Occupational Medicine,  kqaa052, https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqaa052

Further reading…

Watson, C (2020) Nurses are no heroes – they’re just finally beginning to be recognised as they should. The Telegraph.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/nurses-no-heroes-just-finally-beginning-recognised-should/

http://talkingbirds.co.uk/pages/sitespecific.asp

http://saveourstories.co.uk/

 

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New Educational Tools Launched to Support Childbearing with Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders

Lactation Conference

On the 5th of May (International Day of the Midwife – #IDM2020) 2020 – The year of the nurse and the midwife, the @hEDStogether team launched new educational tools to support childbearing with hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD). Co-incidentally, May is also Ehlers Danlos Syndromes and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders awareness month. You can view the online launch of these tools along with our other @GOLDMidwifery presentations here at the GOLD Online Education Midwifery Conference 2019/2020.

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Citation: Pezaro, S., Pearce, G., & Magee, P. (2020). New Educational Tools to Support Childbearing With hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. GOLD Online Midwifery Conference. May 5th.https://www.goldlearning.com/ce-library/all-lectures/new-educational-tools-detail

The final tools comprised:

  • An i-learn module launched by the Royal College of Midwives to their members (search under the letter ‘H’ for hypermobility in the online library)
  • maternity tool freely available for download and wider use
  • An infomercial to raise awareness and mobilise knowledge in relation childbearing with hEDS/HSD

download maternity tool

We were also able to launch our own website – hEDSTogether.com and keep everyone up to date with the project via @hEDStogether

We have made these tools freely available where possible. You can visit the project page to learn moreIf you are using them to create an impact in the world, please tell us about it via the contact pages hosted at hEDSTogether.com.

Useful hashtags to follow on this topic include:

#EDSmaternity

 #hEDStogether 

#EhlersDanlosSyndrome

#myEDSchallenge

#myHSDchallenge

#EDSAwarenessMonth

#raisingawarenesstogether

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the launch and co-created these tools in partnership with us!…Let’s keep putting our #hEDSTogether via research!

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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EXPLORING PROBLEMATIC SUBSTANCE USE AMONG REGISTERED MIDWIVES – SURVEY

Due to #Coronavirus #COVID19 and this additional pressures this has placed on NHS staff, we have now closed this survey (earlier than planned). Thank you to all of those who responded. We hope to publish results as soon as we can.

recruitment poster PSU survey

There is a united level of concern for the health and wellbeing of midwives in the United Kingdom (UK), where recent research has shown that many experience work-related stress and burnout. Such experiences may lead to midwives being at particular risk of substance use/misuse. In fact, in a recent review of fitness to practise (FtP) cases, a number of those put before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) related to alcohol (n=208) and drug misuse (n=131).

Such episodes of addiction, alcohol and drug use are classed as individual health concerns. Yet, whilst they can leave a variety of healthcare professionals depleted, and both workplace safety and the safety of care compromised, relevant literature has thus far been largely dominated by the experiences and care of physicians. Consequently, researchers from Coventry University are now conducting the first nationwide study of registered midwives in relation to this issue.

Project Team:

The aims of this study are:

  • To investigate substance use among midwives registered in the UK
  • To explore the perceptions of midwives registered in the UK in relation to midwifery impairment
  • To explore perceptions of midwives registered in the UK in relation to organisational support
  • To identify incidents of midwifery impairment
  • To explore the help seeking behaviours of midwives registered in the UK with problematic substance use (PSU)
  • To identify health risks among midwives registered in the UK with PSU

We are very grateful to the Royal College of Midwives for supporting recruitment to this study.

 

For further information, or if you have any queries, please contact me, the lead researcher, Dr Sally Pezaro (sally.pezaro@coventry.ac.uk).

Twitter handle: @SallyPezaro

We are also very grateful to UNISON for sharing this survey with their members

@unisontweets

If you would like to follow the progress of work going forward..

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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Creating Better Understandings & Care for the Birthing Transgender Community

Following my previous post on How can we support They/Them in the birth room more effectively? We have now been able partner with the Equality Network to launch our survey aiming to create better understandings and care for the birthing transgender community. Please consider completing this survey and cascading it among your midwifery networks…

Project Team:

The aims of this study are:

·         To explore experience, knowledge and attitudes in relation to transgender issues among UK maternity staff

·         To explore the confidence of maternity staff in relation to delivering maternity care to transgender people in the UK

·         To explore challenges within the provision of maternity care for transgender people from the perspective of UK maternity staff

·         To identify the educational needs and preferences of UK maternity staff in relation to the delivery of high-quality maternity care for transgender people

 

Survey currently open for maternity staff : http://bit.ly/transmaternity

Trans Education survey recruitment advert.jpg

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A Call for Research Participants: Maternity Staff & Service Users Required

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SURVEYS BELOW ARE NOW CLOSED

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED

recruitment poster hEDS womens survey

We are currently looking for people who meet the following criteria to complete an online survey in relation to their childbearing experiences:

  • Women who have been diagnosed with either hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and (hEDS), Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD), EDS type III, EDS hypermobility type, or Joint Hypermobility Syndrome
  • Those who are over the age of 18 years
  • Those who have given birth in either the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada New Zealand, or Australia since 2007

If you meet the above criteria and would like to complete this survey then

please click HERE

What is the purpose of this survey?

  •          To identify the childbearing outcomes associated with hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) or Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD)
  •          To explore experiences of maternity care among women with hEDS/HSD
  •          To evaluate the impact of recently published maternity care considerations for that childbearing the context of a hEDS/EDS diagnosis
  •          To identify ways in which maternity care could be improved for women with hEDS/ HSD.

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recruitment poster hEDS maternity staff survey

We are also looking for maternity staff  (anyone who provides clinical care to childbearing women) in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia to complete a 20 minute questionnaire about providing maternity care to women with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) and/or Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD)

If you are a maternity staff member and would like to complete this survey,

please click HERE 

Please note: To participate, you DO NOT need to have knowledge or experience of caring for women with hEDS/HSD.

If you are a maternity staff member and would like to complete this survey,

please click HERE 

ED Society site

What is the purpose of this survey?

To explore awareness and knowledge of hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) among maternity staff To explore what decisions maternity staff may make when caring for a women with hEDS/HSD To indicate how maternity staff could be supported to care for women with hEDS/HSD. A 2018 review was published which detailed maternity care considerations for women with hEDS/HSD. For participants who have read this review, this survey will also explore whether and how understanding and practice related to hEDS/HSD may have been impacted. Please note that if you have not read this review, you can still complete this survey.

Image result for online survey

Types of staff we want to hear from:

  • Consultant midwife
  • Senior midwife
  • Midwife
  • Student midwife
  • Nurse midwife
  • Maternity support worker
  • Junior obstetrician
  • Obstetric registrar
  • Consultant obstetrician
  • Junior anaesthetist
  • Consultant anaesthetist
  • Obstetric nurse
  • Physiotherapist
  • General Practitioner (GP)…etc.

If you are a maternity staff member and would like to complete this survey,

please click HERE 

@JennytheM poem

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Follow this entire project online with #EDSMaternity

@GemmaSPearce @SallyPezaro@DrEReinhold@LaurenMPurdy

We will share the results when they become available!

Thanks to everyone who has completed & shared this survey so far!

Thanks

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤