My main focus at the STIC Lab has been a systematic review on interventions for safe medication administration by nurses in acute care settings. The project is part of a broader quality and patient safety initiative, which aims to enhance the safety and quality of care provided to patients. Being involved in this project has been an incredible honour, as I truly believe it has the potential to improve patient outcomes and raise the standard of care.
One aspect that has truly blown me away during my time here is the power of interdisciplinary collaboration. The STIC Lab is a melting pot of diverse expertise, ranging from nursing to health administration, computer science, information management, and more. It’s amazing to see how this interdisciplinary approach has broadened my perspective and allowed me to appreciate the unique expertise each team member brings. Witnessing the collective brilliance at work when we bounce ideas off one another is truly incredible. Collaborating with such a talented and dedicated group has been invaluable in shaping my understanding of the complexities involved in driving positive change in healthcare.
Perhaps the most influential aspect of my time here has been the mentorship of Dr. Janet Curran. As an early-career researcher myself, her guidance has been nothing short of spectacular! Her expertise, passion, and unwavering support have guided me in developing the skills necessary to conduct rigorous research and contribute meaningfully to the field of patient safety. Truly, having someone so experienced and compassionate as a mentor is a blessing, and I’m incredibly grateful for her guidance.
This research experience has had a profound impact on me as a trainee. Not only has it deepened my appreciation for patient safety, but it has also highlighted the importance of well-designed care processes. Even though my background is in Psychology, the STIC Lab has provided me with a unique opportunity to bridge the gap and delve into critical health research. The lab’s commitment to patient safety has inspired me to become an advocate for delivering the best possible care while continuously seeking opportunities for improvement.
The STIC Lab is not just a place of research; it’s a place of growth and support. The interactions and learning opportunities here are abundant. For example, our monthly meetings are filled with discussions on intriguing articles and research findings. During these sessions, I’ve learned about the importance of incorporating sex- and gender-based approaches into research and how implementation science can facilitate the transition of scientific findings into practical applications. Funnily enough, when I first stepped into the STIC Lab I remember feeling a bit like a fish out of water. Here I was, a Psychology student diving headfirst into research on nursing and health sciences. There were moments when I found myself uttering phrases like, “Wait, what are intravenous fluids?” or “What’s the difference between a movie theatre and an operating theatre?” But rest assured, these moments of uncertainty were met with laughter, encouragement, and the gentle guidance of the STIC Lab team. If I can pass on one piece of advice: every researcher starts somewhere, and it’s okay to feel a bit lost in this world of research. The key is to embrace the journey, learn from the best, and share a few laughs along the way!
As I prepare to present my summer studentship project in August, I am filled with a profound sense of happiness and excitement. Thanks to the IWK Summer Studentship award, I’ve come to realize the potential I have to effect positive change in the health system. The experience at the STIC Lab has ignited a passion within me to continue pursuing research that aims to improve the safety and quality of care for all patients. I’m excited to continue learning from the wonderful individuals at the STIC Lab and contribute to more projects, even beyond the summer!