I'm Rebekah Bercovici, and I am currently working as a research administrative assistant in the Strengthening Transitions in Care (STIC) Lab at IWK Health.
I recently graduated from St. Francis Xavier University, with a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Health. Initially, my pursuit of a health-oriented career seemed strictly biomedical in nature. However, over the course of my four-year studies, I came to understand that healthcare delivery encompasses much more. It requires consideration of the multifaceted non-medical factors collectively referred to as the social determinants of health.
My journey at the STIC Lab began as a Quality and Patient Safety Research Chair Summer student in 2023. It was during this studentship that I gained a firsthand appreciation of the often-overlooked underpinnings of healthcare delivery and health system improvement. In these past few months, my primary focus has been a scoping review on interventions used to evaluate safety culture in the operating room. Safety culture, a seemingly simple concept, has proven to be intricate and pivotal in caring for patients. My involvement in this quality improvement and patient safety project has broadened my perspective on healthcare research, and highlighted the profound impact research has on enhancing the safety and quality of care.
Much like the interdisciplinary nature of my undergraduate degree, the collaboration within the lab involves an integration of individuals with diverse academic backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. It vividly exemplifies how bringing together various disciplines within a healthcare team fosters a dynamic exchange of knowledge, leading to improvements in patient outcomes, healthcare innovations, and delivery.
As I reflect on my summer studentship in the STIC Lab, I am struck by the invaluable learning experience it has provided. Throughout this period, I gained essential research skills, such as article screening and data extraction, while also learning essential work skills including scheduling meetings, meeting notes/updates, sending motivational emails, and fostering effective collaboration.
Undoubtedly, there were moments when I felt like I was stepping outside my comfort zone. Many concepts and tasks were unfamiliar to me and even presenting my work to the team during our monthly lab meeting was intimidating. However, it's in such moments that the unwavering support and guidance from everyone in the lab shone the brightest. Their encouragement and assistance not only helped me grow but also boosted my confidence in my abilities. Working on this review has not only expanded my knowledge but has also introduced me to an array of incredibly talented individuals.
I am immensely honored to have been a summer student in the STIC lab. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Janet Curran, who has been my guiding mentor throughout this journey. Observing her unwavering passion and dedication to her work has been truly inspiring, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn from her. I am so excited to continue my research journey this coming year and collaborate with such a talented and dedicated group of individuals!