Tuesday, 13 February 2018

My experience (so far) of a clinical-academic research role

Thank you to Millie Heelan (@heelan_phd) for producing the latest ResNetSLT blog post.

In October 2016 I took up an opportunity of a clinical doctoral research fellowship.

This involves four years of funding to work two days a week as part of an adult acute SLT team and three days a week conducting a PhD study.

Further information on conducting a clinical doctoral research fellowship can be found here.

This opportunity has been a great learning curve to date, embracing the academic world, research methods and meeting an inspiring range of people interested in changing future practice for our patients.

One thing that is very important when conducting a PhD, as well as in clinical practice, is keeping up to date and knowledgeable about research happening in your area. Here are a few ideas to remain current within your field:
  1. Get in touch with your trust library service. They are experts in creating the right search terms. They will help to successfully find publications to help answer your clinical/research questions. Most also run courses on critical appraisal too.
  2. Sign up to database alerts such as google scholar. You can allow relevant publications to be sent straight to your inbox based on the search terms you choose.
  3. Use Twitter and find key people to follow in your field. They will post links to research papers and links to others who are working on similar topics. Sometimes you find out about projects before anything has been published.
Follow @ClinAcSLT and @ResNetSLT for updates from fellow SLTs. Are there any other ways of keeping up to date with literature that you use?

Please comment below or Tweet us at @ResNetSLT.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Tweetchat: Thinking together - What makes Communities of Practice work?

The first #ResNetSLT Tweetchat of 2018 took place on Wednesday, 31st January.

The chat was based around the paper 'Thinking together: What makes Communities of Practice work?' and was hosted by Sally Pratten (@salpratten) and Lucy Benjamin (@lucybenjaminSLT).

The paper discusses the development of 'Communities of Practice' (CoPs) of healthcare practitioners, and how these work effectively. Two case studies of communities of practice were considered - one thriving and high achieving, and the other less successful. The pre-chat questions can be viewed here.

The chat drew 37 participants from Gloucestershire, Bristol, London, Surrey and the North West of England. The hour sped by, with a very lively discussion of the highly topical chosen paper about CoP.

The first and last questions seemed to elicit the most discussions - people seemed to be more engrossed in discussion during questions two and three and actually naturally seemed to move on to these without much prompting.

There was an overall consensus on a number of points:
  • The importance of social media in widening access to CoPs
  • Difficulty in how you define spontaneous CoPs and how you label them
  • General impression that structured/organised CoPs could be the start of more spontaneous interactions and community building
You can find the link to the full transcript here and our Twitter stats here. There were 275 tweets in total during the hour, with a 'reach' to almost 300,000 linked Twitter accounts. A fab start to our year!

During the chat a lot of people confirmed that they related to both ResNetSLT and Clinical Academics in SLT as meaningful personal Communities of Practice.

These groups have both recently started to generate this sense of community through Twitter, but are currently developing other additional platforms and processes for communication and information sharing.

Save the date in your diary now for our next chat on February 28th to hear everyone's comments on the paper about clinical-academic roles.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Happy New Year from the 2018 ResNetSLT Action Group

Thank you to Sophie Chalmers (@SChalmersSLT) for producing our first blog post of the year:

We start the year by bringing you 'ResNetSLT Wednesdays', providing regular updates for research news you will definitely not want to miss.

With a dedicated group of 23 members, we have exciting plans for 2018 with monthly 'Tweetchats' discussing a range of interesting papers related to implementing the evidence-base in clinical practice.

Join the chat on Twitter on the last Wednesday of every month 7.30-8.30pm UK time. We'll be posting some questions in advance each month, with the link to the paper, plus a summary posted afterwards on our blog site.

You can also keep up to date with our additional news blogs every second Wednesday of the month. And hopefully we'll start to see some comments being added in response – please feel free to join in.

Have you made your New Year's Resolutions?

Personally, I do not usually set myself New Year's resolutions however 2018 is going to be quite different: to be the active 'tweeter'!

I have used Twitter on a professional level to follow Twitter discussions, clinicians, academics and SLT services. I begrudgingly admit however that I have been quite the 'passive' tweeter, often observing from afar and retweeting comments that resonate with me.

I have however observed the fast-paced, lively conversations that develop on Twitter allowing the speech and language therapy community to collaborate and discuss topics pertinent to our practice.

Sound familiar? What better way than to use ResNetSLT Wednesdays as an interactive platform to become more 'hands on' and involved in conversations about how clinicians can implement research into clinical practice.

It's fine to just 'listen in' to the Tweetchats, but it would be great if you'll say 'hello' and let us know you're there – especially if you're joining for the first time.

And don't be shy to ask a question - it's a really great chance to find out what other people think, and what they do to engage more in research in their own practice.

As a member of the new Action Group I'm excited for the year ahead of ResNetSLT Wednesdays to hear other peoples' thoughts about implementing research into clinical practice, expand my knowledge and perhaps pick up some tips on the way.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

NEW ResNetSLT Action Group

In August 2017 we published an invitation for volunteers to join us to form a new ResNetSLT Action Group.

We were delighted with the response and now look forward to a very active year ahead in 2018 - the new team will help us to refresh the way we can provide relevant research resources, activities and advice.

We will restart our monthly Twitter discussion forum (book your diary now for last Wednesday of every month 7.30pm – 8.30pm UK time).

We'll post a regular summary of our Twitter chats here on the blogsite, so everyone can keep updated even if you're not (yet!) on Twitter. And in addition we have planned to have monthly features and news items on our blogsite (second Wednesday of the month).

So please remember to start checking our blogsite more often – make it 'ResNetSLT Wednesday' – and let's start getting more interactive. Be one of the first post a comment on our pages to share your thoughts with us!

And thanks are due to the RCSLT Research team for all their support to our new Action Group. Keep watching for more ways that you could be involved too.

Finally, please take a few minutes to follow these accounts on Twitter:

@HazelRoddam1, @jkfillingham, @AmitSaLT, @kathbroomfield, @eliciajones, @VivaldiC, @Kate30304, @heelan_phd, @sallymorganslt, @salpratten, @victoriawad, @lucybenjaminSLT, @lucyjtalbot, @AmySlt, @SChalmersSLT, @NathanielRSwain, @sukhpreet_aujla, @avrilnicholl, @bangerasai, @AnnMooreEmProf, @KatiePWork, @KatieMonnelly, @FranFitch, @CumbriaLancsAHP.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

The NEW @ResNetSLT Twitter presence

Did you notice the launch of our NEW Twitter profile @ResNetSLT on 10th October, 2017?

We were thrilled to be invited to join @WeSpeechies for an exciting discussion hour on how Twitter has started to make an impact on our clinical practice.

Thanks to @BronwynHemsley for leading that session, and thanks to @VJoffe and City University for welcoming us.

Here's the link to the full transcript from the hour - packed with many discussion threads on what individuals have found helpful, difficult, frustrating, inspiring etc.

Throughout 2018 we're looking forward to discussing a wide range of fascinating papers with everyone

With thanks to our volunteers on the ResNetSLT Action Group for co-leading those sessions, we'll make sure all the papers are either already open access, or we'll post links from our supportive publisher contacts. We will publish the dates and papers on this site in due course.

Of course over the past year, we've found that in these fast-paced Tweetchat discussions it's not possible to follow all the interesting threads of the conversations. And the condensed nature of the Twitter exchanges means that it's not easy to develop fully articulated arguments.

So, here’s what we think - it's still a brilliant, easily accessible and equitable forum for us to exchange some views, to make speedy links to highly relevant resources and to identify people you'd like to contact later on for a more in-depth communication on the topic.

But let's complement this with sharing blogposts of slightly more extended viewpoint pieces. We'd love to hear from you – please get in touch with us by email or message @HazelRoddam1.

P.S. Are you curious about our @ResNetSLT grasshopper? This little creature lives in the field behind Hazel's house. As tiny as he is, he makes an amazingly loud noise.

It's ResNetSLT's aim to share our views to encourage evidence-based practice in our own fields of health and social care - so let's all maximise the potential of social media to help make sure our voices are heard!

Our new Twitter profile gained over 100 followers on the first day and has been growing steadily throughout the first month - help us to spread the word and keep on growing apace!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Using Twitter to help close the research-to-knowledge-to-practice gap in SLP/SLT worldwide

The ResNetSLT project will link up with @WeSpeechies on Tuesday, 10th October (10–11.00am UK time) to jointly host a Tweetchat.

@HazelRoddam1 and @BronwynHemsley will team up to lead a discussion entitled: 'Using Twitter to help close the research-to-knowledge-to-practice gap in SLP/SLT worldwide'.

Experienced SLP/SLT tweeters often report not being confident in using Twitter, or being 'the only one' in their department to embrace Twitter as a method of exchanging critical information.

In the UK, the hashtag #ResNetSLT was launched to promote increased awareness and implementation of the research evidence-base by SLP/SLT practitioners.

Through hosting themed discussions on applied clinical research papers, #ResNetSLT aims to support SLPs/SLTs to gain more confidence in understanding research design issues and the principles of evidence-based practice.

The hashtag #WeSpeechies is used to focus on a specific topic for a week, involving a different curator each week.

Both #ResNetSLT and #WeSpeechies provide opportunities for SLPs/SLTs to take up 'advanced tweeting' skills, and at the same time encourage many more SLPs/SLTs to make that leap from 'lurker' to 'tweeter'.

This week's one-hour chat will use the #ResNetSLT tag, and several tweets will also sport the #WeSpeechies tag, to ensure the conversation can be seen in both hashtag communities.

Questions will be as follows:
  • Tweeting at work is tough, and tweeting at home can be hard. How do YOU balance your 'work-life-tweeting'?
  • Does the info you find in Twitter stick? What makes you notice it? How can we better promote 'gems' of critical information?
  • What kind of thing do you discover through Twitter – and from whom - that ultimately change your practice?
  • How do you help yourself (or others) to advance in Twitter skills, get more confident, and use Twitter to make a difference?

Friday, 29 September 2017

Second #ResNetSLT@_ Rendezvous a roaring success

We hosted our exciting second #ResNetSLT_Rendezvous 'Tweet Meet' during the RCSLT conference in Glasgow at the end of September.

It was a very busy conference with over 500 delegates, and great to make lots of new connections by meeting up in front of our ResNetSLT poster. You can download a pdf of the full poster here.

Look for all the comments on our own hashtag #ResNetSLT_Rendezvous – you can find these on Google search even if you're not on Twitter.

This was the first chance to meet some of the members of our brand new ResNetSLT Action Group and we'll be posting more news about this very soon.

We took the chance to interview @WeAHPs founder Dr Joanne Fillingham (see below) – thanks Jo for your great comments and advice to us all.

We filmed these video clips in front of our #ResNetSLT poster and when you play the videos you'll hear the buzz of the RCSLT Conference all around us.

You can find lots of highlights and research news by searching for the hashtag #RCSLT2017 – the conference was trending on Twitter.

And please remember to check back for further updates coming very soon.