Liveblogging the second day of the i3 conference held this week at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland. Liz Hunwick presented on The role of the NHS library in the adaptation process of internationally recruited nurses from the Philippines: information literacy, evidence-based nursing and belongingness.
There are large numbers of nurses recruited from outside the UK to work in the UK's National Health Service (NHS). There is not research on international nurses information
literacy/behaviour. Therefore this study is looking at their behaviour,
and the role of the library. The specific context of research is the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. There are local and a university-run induction/conversion programmes for nurses recruited by the hospital from other countries. Within this, there are two sessions on research and evidence based practice, but nothing specifically on information literacy.
Hunwick referred to definitions of information literacy and evidence based practice. With the latter, she used a definition which included a step at the start "cultivate a spirit of inquiry". She then talked about the role of the library and its role in evidence based practice. Reviewing the literature on nurses' information behaviour, studies have found that nurses often consult their peers, and there is a strong emphasis on convenience (with a lot of pressures on nurses' time). There are also issues to do with lack of management support, information being at the wrong level, lack of IT resources etc.
Moving on to the idea of "belongingness", Hunwick talked about Levett-Jones' (2009) model of belongingness. Belongingness and learning are linked. The elements in this model resonate with some of the research on good (e.g. inclusive environments) and bad (e.g. isolation, bullying) experiences in nursing.
Hunwick then identified some elements of Filipino culture, in particular how direct confrontation is avoided, and there is the concept of "kapwa" (respect for another person's being). Her own study is a case study with data collection methods including questionnaires, interviews, and observing statistics and logs of library use. A cohort of Filipino 61 nurses arriving at the hospital were targeted (46 of whom responded to the questionnaire part of her research). Themes which emerged from analysis included participants' concepts of IL and EBP, perceptions of the library, and the connection between educational provision and belongingness.
It emerged that the nurses' experience of libraries had been different before (with librarians less welcoming, libraries with more restricted resources). Nurses liked using the NHS library space and equipment like printers and scanners. They used Google most for online searching, and liked to use the library computers for this. The nurses were, generally, reluctant to ask for support, even from their mentors. Most nurses were familiar with the term Evidence Based Practice (EBP) but hadn't been encouraged to practice it in the Philippines.
In interviews, respondents did say how they were likely to say positive rather than negative things, so that has to be borne in mind when looking at results. However, as nurses spent longer in the UK, they became more open in their opinions.
Recommendations emerging from the study included: the vital role of mentors (not fully exploited at present), the need to develop the spirit of inquiry and the characteristics of a lifelong learner, and the need to foster librarians' behaviour and attitudes that encourage the nurses to have a feeling of belongingness.
Levett-Jones, T. and Lathlean, J. (2009). The ascent to competence conceptual framework: an outcome study of belongingness. Journal of clinical nursing, 18, 2870-2879.