Good and Driscoll’s (2002) article presents a clear overview of how to plan a research project within the emergency department. Emphasising the challenge of working in a pressurised and busy environment whereby administrating research needs to be timely. Below are Good and Discoll’s (2002) recommendations for conducting research, and their full article is attached as a PDF to the bottom of the page, along with some of EMERGE’s own research top tips.
Create a good research question
To create a good research question, you need to think of a topic that would be feasible to investigate, is of interest to you, and is relevant to the topic you have chosen, based upon your literature review. Following this, format the research question so that it is well defined to help focus your project and make the stages of the research process easier.
Think about who you will be working with
If you have the opportunity to choose your supervisor or who you will be collaborating with for this research project, prepare for this by identifying what your research aims are, how to achieve them, along with anticipating any ethical issues within the emergency department that they could support you with.
Think thoroughly about research protocol
Your literature review may indicate methodologies to use for your research project, however it is helpful to be reflective to identify what is an effective, efficient, ethical and logical method to answer your research question. Furthermore, ensure that your data collection is focused on what is needed to answer your research question; too much data can lose focus of your study.
Think logically about your methodology
When thinking logically about the methodological from a feasibility perspective, it is important to consider the following factors; number of researchers conducting the study required, study completion within the given time frame, and having enough financial support. This will allow your project to be thought through to reduce disruption.
Incorporate the clinical team
Team work is key to research, as clinical staff can support your project by identifying eligible patients for the project, therefore it is important to host meetings to discuss the progression of the project in order to identify a efficient way of working within the department. In turn, team work lightens the load.
If you need funding to conduct your research project, Good and Driscoll (2002) recommend looking for research prizes, commercial enterprises, and grants through charities, for example.
Complete a pilot study
Completing a pilot study can be beneficial for supporting your grant applications, identifying the direction of how your study would progress, and reinforce the suitable methodology to use.
During the study
Unforeseen issues will occur during the project and it is important to manage these by being solution focused, and remember to incorporate the team that you are working with by relaying the results found and highlighting the benefit of their participation.
Ensure your data collection is practised ethically by enforcing confidentiality of the participant’s details through keeping their information in a safe and secure location. For further information on practising confidentiality, refer to the PDF by the Academic and Clinical Central Office for Research and Development (2016) at the bottom of this page.
Writing an article
Before writing your article, Good and Driscoll (2002) recommend considering the following questions:
– What do I have to say?
– Is it worth saying?
– What is the right format?
– What is the right audience?
– What is the right journal to publish in?
Furthermore, they explain that an article generally follows the IMRaD structure which is the introduction followed by the methodology, results and discussion. Throughout the article, ensure that you are answering the research question and emphasising why it is important because ultimately, the reader wants to know how close to the research question the truth came.
EMERGE Top Tips
Here are some helpful tips from EMERGE on how to conduct research within the emergency department:
– Be pragmatic
– When developing patient materials, make sure that the material is engaging and concise
– Consider barriers for the patients to read the patient information sheet, such as the patient not having their glasses with them or being unable to speak a common language
– Speak to the patient’s doctor about whether the patient is suitable to approach before speaking to the patient
– If you need to bring equipment into the department for the study, think about how you would manage infection control; posters may need to be laminated as a requirement so that they can be easily cleaned
– Be reflective when approaching the patient initially that you are not encouraging their participation but giving them the opportunity to participate
– Be aware of what medical presentations may be suitable for your research study
– Good. A.M.T & Driscoll. P., (2002) Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine: Putting It Together [Online] Available from: http://emj.bmj.com/content/emermed/19/3/242.full.pdf [Accessed 24th February 2018] – Academic and Clinical Central Office for Research and Development., (2016) Data Protection and Confidentiality [PDF] Available from: http://accord.scot/sites/default/files/POL003%20Data%20Protection%20and%20Confidentiality%20v2%200.pdf [Accessed 24th February 2018]