Academics’ abstracts accepted for International Networking for Education in Healthcare conference

Academic staff from Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences have fought off stiff competition to showcase their innovative work at the 26th International Networking for Education in Healthcare (NET2015) conference.

Hywel Thomas, Sarah Tait and Jill JohnThe conference, which takes place from Tuesday 8 until Thursday 10 September 2015, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, is the leading international annual event for healthcare educators, practitioners, researchers and students.

Pictured (left - right) are Hywel Thomas, Sarah Tait and Jill John.

Associate Professor Dr Tessa Watts’ presentation will feature a symposium of three papers and an international collaboration with the University of South Australia, with a shared focus on doctoral preparation in health care.

Sarah Tait and Hywel Thomas, Lecturers in Mental Health Nursing in the College’s Department of Nursing, have both had abstracts accepted for theme papers relating to the innovative educational work they are undertaking in the areas of student experience and engagement and student support respectively.

And Jill John, Programme Coordinator and Senior Lecturer for undergraduate Children's Nursing, will also give a poster presentation at the conference, in relation to the College’s admission process for undergraduate nursing.

Symposium: research and international collaboration

Associate Professor Dr Tessa Watts, Associate Dean in the College, has been invited to present a symposium of three papers and an international collaboration with the University of South Australia.  The authors of the symposium ‘Future-proofing doctoral education in health care: An analysis of the PhD by published works’ are Dr Tessa Watts, with Dr Tom Laws, Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia; and Ruth Davies, Associate Professor in the College.

Published works are integral to the PhD award of many Northern European universities. Yet with the exception of a small body of work, mainly Australian, little attention has been afforded to this genre of PhD route. 

Nevertheless, this route to the PhD award offers significant advantages to students, supervisors, institutions and professional disciplines and practice. Accordingly, this symposium seeks to critically explore the doctoral route of PhD by published works in health care education.

Theme presentation: educational innovations and enhancement

Hywel Thomas’ presentation reports the findings of a pilot study to investigate the use and effectiveness of Skype© as means of sustaining connections and promoting support for first year mental health nursing students during clinical placements.

The authors of the paper ‘Sustaining connections during practice placements: Supporting first year nursing students using Skype©’ – bringing together academics, a Nursing student and University support staff – are Hywel Thomas, Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing; Tessa Watts, Associate Dean; Nursing student Lauren Piercy; Elen Davies and Craig Thomas both from the University’s Information and Support Systems (ISS) team.

The project adopted a participatory action research approach, offering an opportunity for academics and students to work collaboratively on issues of significance, develop and share good practices, highlight areas of concern and consider ways in which such concerns might be addressed.

The project presented nursing students with a unique opportunity to actively engage in the design, implementation and writing up of a research project, the organisation and evaluation of an event and the dissemination of research findings.

Theme presentation: Student-led conference

Sarah Tait’s presentation will focus on reporting a student-led conference, Voices Against Stigma, which was hosted by the College’s Department of Nursing during this year’s national Mental Health Awareness Week in May. 

The conference was open to second year health science students, from all nursing fields as well as midwifery and social work students, and addressed the University’s key strategic aims to enhance the student experience and to improve graduate employability skills, as well as supporting and enhancing existing partnerships with the University’s key stakeholders in the NHS, related to quality improvement work.

Mrs Tait’s presentation, which will be presented under one of this year’s conference themes, Student Experience and Engagement, is entitled ‘A Student led conference: Voices Against Stigma: Raising Awareness of Mental Health’.  It will reveal a breakdown of the planning and preparation of the day, as well as the content and a comprehensive evaluation of the conference. 

Poster presentation: admission process

Jill John, Programme Coordinator, Admission Tutor and Senior Lecturer for undergraduate Children's Nursing, has also been selected to give a poster presentation in relation to the College’s admission process for undergraduate nursing.

Mrs John’s poster identifies and evaluates the process of changing the College of Human and Health Sciences’ undergraduate selection process for nursing programmes to a value based approach and the journey since commencing this in 2013 for all three fields of undergraduate nursing.

The poster includes personal evaluations from service users, carers, practitioners and current students as well as lecturing staff, all of whom have been involved in the selection process.

Showcasing innovative engagement and excellent research

Professor Ceri Phillips, Head of the College of Human and Health Sciences, said: “This highly prestigious conference in health care education allows delegates to share research, innovative work, novel ideas and thinking, and best practice with colleagues from the UK and overseas.

“I’d like to extend my warmest congratulations to colleagues on their success in having their work selected for presentation at this event to an international audience, showcasing some of the innovative engagement and excellent research work we are undertaking here in the College.”


For more information on Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences and its programmes visit http://www.swansea.ac.uk/humanandhealthsciences/