Clinical Lecturer, Department of Nursing Science, University of Turku

 

 

 


I currently work as a clinical lecturer at the Department of Nursing Science at the University of Turku in Finland. My clinical background is in intensive care. This experience provided me with valuable insights into how we can improve health services and care processes. But I found it really difficult to change practices in my nursing role. I soon realized that I lacked the theoretical understanding of how to evaluate and improve practices. This was when I decided to build on my clinical expertise with graduate studies in nursing science.

During my master’s studies my curiosity led me to New Zealand, where I collected data from intensive care units and completed a postgraduate certificate at the University of Auckland. This provided me with an amazing opportunity to improve my understanding of different cultures, improve my English and build up courage for engaging in more complex projects, amongst other things.

At first, I focused strongly on the critical care environment. But during my doctoral training I expanded my area of interest as I started to appreciate looking at the whole process of acute care, instead of focusing on one particular unit alone, as patient care processes cross several units during care episodes.

I soon realized that my area of interest would not be advanced by one discipline alone. I found an interdisciplinary research group with researchers from health, linguistics and computer sciences. I experienced differences in how we worked and communicated. Learning to understand each other was key in successful collaboration. But this took time. I found it really helpful to take courses to understand how for example computers work and what the logic in coding is. But more importantly, central was understanding the extension of my own area of expertise: what I knew, what I needed to learn and what expertise I could find in my colleagues. The funniest thing is that the more I have learned the less I feel I know.

I have always been interested in using technology to support what I do. But only a small part of nurse researchers are into informatics. Building networks is certainly important but finding researchers with similar interests has been difficult. I have been fortunate to have really good mentors and I was happy to find the international informatics community through the NI conferences. This amazing network of wonderful people has taught me much and given me new opportunities to participate in different activities. I have for example had the opportunity to be a part of building a new group for students and emerging professionals.

To date, my research has mainly focused on the role of information in decision-making on different levels in the provision of care. I hope to contribute to developing tools to better support clinicians and health care managers in their daily work to support smooth and safe care provision. I feel privileged to be working in interdisciplinary and international teams with the most amazing people with similar interests in solving problems and in exploring, innovating, and improving clinical practice.