Dissertations into Practice

Carol McCormick South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

carol.mccormick@stees.nhs.uk

Who asked?

Trust Nursing staff

What did they say?

The Trust made it a mandatory requirement for nursing staff to undertake a degree/masters qualification.  Whist performing my role teaching information literacy skills to the many members of staff who had not undertaken this type of study before it became apparent that the majority were apprehensive about the dissertation process and asked if there were any example dissertations for them to look through as this would help with demystification.

What did you do?

I decided that a central repository would not only help ease staff fears but would also be an invaluable resource to the Trust allowing dissemination of the unique research/innovations contained within them.   I was not sure at first I had the professional capacity to organise this as my manager gave me the autonomy to ‘just go with it’.  Email requests were sent to users of the library who had already passed their degrees as well as posting a request in the Staff Bulletin for staff to allow reference access to their dissertations. Any staff that came in for training and help with their dissertations were also asked if they would be willing to have a copy kept in the repository.

As staff started to see the value of this repository we received their dissertations which we printed off making them reference only access copies as well as entering them on the catalogue. As the repository grew it was publicised through the staff bulletin. Word of mouth was also a key driver in use of the repository as those who looked at the dissertations found them an invaluable resource.

How did it help?

Helped ease the fear of writing a dissertation for those new to degree work.

Provided a valuable source of research, for example, for the Trust’s ongoing work in trying to reduce DNA’s with many of the ideas being spread throughout the Trust, not just used in the Dept where the research had taken place.

It has meant that valuable research is not ‘lost’ and is used to inform best practice.