Thursday, December 1, 2011

Karen Smith Studies at Joanna Briggs Institute, Australia

Ashland University College of Nursing faculty member Karen Smith recently completed a systematic review course at the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) of Evidence Based Practice (EBP).  The JBI is located in Adelaide, South Australia and is known for being the "pioneer" of EBP.  Evidence based practice is demonstrated by taking research from the "bench" to the "bedside" and implementing change that impacts patient care and promotes positive patient outcomes.  This trip was part of Karen's doctoral training through Texas Christian University (TCU).  Karen, as well as five of her colleagues and two of her professors attended the week long Comprehensive Systematic Review Course at JBI.

Karen explained that when researching a topic or a question, there is a specific methodology that must be followed.  To do a systematic review, you must first find a topic that needs exploration. Secondly, you turn to the literature to see what has already been written relating to the topic to assist in answering the question. After reviewing all of your findings to ensure credibility, the next step is to correlate and synthesize your findings. Lastly, you present your findings through a systematic approach providing a summary of the question or topic and a recommendation for further research.  This process can take anywhere from 6 months to a year. The goal is to publish your findings so that others can benefit from a comprehensive approach to the synthesis of the literature.

During Karen's 14 day adventure in Australia, she also attended a three day international conference hosted by JBI.  Karen said, "It was humbling to see how other countries struggle to address outcomes that we in the United States have perfected many years ago. We are truly blessed to be living in a modern country with technology and rich resources to achieve quality outcomes".

  During her visit to Australia she was also able to do some sight seeing! Karen saw kangaroo,  wombat, and a koala. "The knowledge I gained is vast, the friendships I made priceless, and the ability to lead change through innovative nurse practice changing!"