Over the course of my fourth and final semester, I have been working with a group of four other students on an evidenced based poster project, affectionately known as the “PICO” project. The assignment is a requirement for NURS 487, so the five of us are not the only nursing students wrestling with it. We are tasked with developing a research question, identifying high-quality research articles that help answer this question and, finally, developing a poster (a real, live, shiny, foam-mounted 36” x 48” poster – none of those tri-fold cardboard display boards from your science fair days) that we will present at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital just across the street on May 5th. The “PICO” name comes from the problem (p), intervention (i), comparison (c), and outcome (o) format of the research question.
Our group set out to investigate “the effect of bedside shift report on patient satisfaction as compared to other forms of beside report.” (Are you lost yet? Eyes glazed over? Allow me to explain.) At the end of each shift, nurses hand off care of their patients to the oncoming shift. Usually, shifts change every eight or twelve hours and the information that is passed from the off-going shift to the oncoming shift is called “report.” What constitutes “bedside report” is a little less clear. In most of the articles we reviewed, bedside report means that both nurses stand in the patient’s room, often next to the patient’s bed (hence “bedside”) as they give report, which allows the patient to say good bye to the off-going nurse, meet the oncoming nurse, and communicate information to both nurses.
The PICO assignment has been an exercise in details and diplomacy. We’ve had to look critically and dozens (hundreds? Thousands? Millions?) of research articles to identify those that are both high enough quality and answer our PICO question. Diplomacy comes into play as we negotiate among our group of five rather harried nursing students who are juggling vastly different schedules because of the way our final senior practicum hours are scheduled. All five of us are paired with different preceptors in different health care settings and as such our schedules rarely overlap.
It has certainly been a learning experience as we recall information from our first semester NURS 320: Nursing Research course and apply it to the current assignment. All in all, I’m very much looking forward to presenting our findings in just under a month.