I have been fortunate enough to be granted something I have really longed for- some might think I am crazy, stupid or just plain ignorant of what I am getting myself into. It’s probably a combination of the above in all honesty. I am having numerous moments of late where I am questioning my sanity and my ability to achieve all I am setting out to do.
The HEEM Clinical Academic Scholar is only into its second year in the East Midlands of England. About ten years ago one of the health visions was to implement more Allied Health Clinical academics in which nurses, and physios, for example, would be supported to undertake more research with a primary goal of remaining in a clinical setting. This instead of, as many do when they embark on more research, moving into a full time research or academic position. This sums up my philosophy of being a Physiotherapist, and I have always strived to get this balance right, but have always struggled when trying to maintain a full time clinical job. So now I have been granted 48 days of protected time, some taught days focusing on research skills and processes going forwards, and a mentor to assist me with my journey in writing a PhD proposal. (Sadly) I cannot wait to do get involved in more research, and have already been trying to publish an audit of the extended scope service within which I already work. So some time to support me in this next venture will be greatly appreciated.
What will it be on you ask?
I plan to look into pain neuroscience education for chronic (long term) low back pain. This chap wrote a really informative blog on some of the common issues I hope to overcome in my study, whilst educating patients about their pain to hopefully give them a better outcome from spinal surgery. I plan to research the literature on pain neuroscience education, a lot which had been done by fellow South African Adriaan Louw (click here to learn more about his work) and whose work I hope to replicate in my study.
It’s all very exciting and slightly nerve wracking but I’ll keep you posted about the developments. Let’s call it an adventure of a different sort.. An adventure of the mind?