In my previous blog post, I alluded to how I have a lot going on both in and out of university at the moment. I think it is time to take a moment and explain what I meant by that, since it is going to have an effect on the way in which I will continue with my research project. In this blog post, I write about a new undertaking on my part and how this will impact the more familiar work I have written about before.
The New Bits
Since starting my research project, I have met a range of healthcare professionals with different roles and responsibilities, as well as members of the public who can benefit from the services provided by these professionals. I have also been evaluating my personal values and what I want to do with my life.
It's taken me a while to put the puzzle pieces together, but I am now considering pursuing a career in healthcare after I complete my doctorate, and have chosen to take on a part-time job as a care assistant to gain valuable experience in this sector. This week I have been completing my induction at a local care home that provide residential, nursing, and dementia care.
Although not directly linked to my research, I will have the opportunity to improve my understanding of how dementia can affect different people in my new role. This isn't my only motivation to take on this part time job, though; I have a strong desire to help people and want to learn if healthcare really is a suitable career option for myself.
The care assistant role offers me a chance to grow personally and professionally, and I have already learned about the fifteen standards expected of healthcare and social workers as part of my induction. I will enjoy using my skills to support residents with their care, and am grateful for the opportunities to continue my professional development in a supportive and caring environment.
The Familiar Bits
It's back to research next week, though, and the change of pace also applies to my research project. I met with my supervisors last week to review my progress, and we decided to postpone the start of the next study by a month in order to take more time to get the details and development right before starting data collection.
With the added challenge of balancing a full-time research project with a part-time job, I think I want to slow down a little with day-to-day work. That doesn't mean I am going to be doing less for the research project, rather, I want to take a more focused approach to studying; instead of doing lots of different things over a long period of time, which can be difficult to manage every day, I want to start working on one specific activity for a shorter amount of time and only move on to the next task when I am finished. This will require appropriate planning and much discipline, and I am certain this new way of working will be good for the project overall.
There's lots to do and also lots to enjoy, so wish me luck as I embark on this new chapter of my doctorate!