Paper Topic-- Clueless. Please read!

  1. I am having the most difficult time trying to decide on a paper topic... (I am working on completing my pre-reqs for nursing school, this is for my english class). I am supposed to choose something that has to do with nursing...whether it be a disease, medicine, current issue, whatever. There are too many choices. I was thinking of doing MRSA, but there aren't very many books on the topic (2 in all of my college region network), and the journal articles are way over my head, and not very interetsing-- focusing more on the structure of the bacteria. Then I thought of researching medical marijuana and its uses for cancer symptoms, aids, and other conditions. That's my current topic unless I can find something else.

    I don't know why this is so difficult. There are too many options, and I'm not in the nursing program yet so to be honest, I'm clueless about many aspects of nursing.

    I was wondering if anyone could suggest something interesting to research? Maybe if a nurse reads this, and has encountered or dealt with something in the nursing field...? Many many thanks. I am not trying to be a slacker, I just don't want to get stuck with a dull topic, or worse, a topic that has very few sources. Please help this novice out!!
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    About futurern123

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 69; Likes: 10

    7 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    How about the broader topic of hospital-acquired infections? That should give you more options as far as sources.
  4. by   Daytonite
    hi, lynn85!

    you are looking in the wrong places for information. there is gobs of information for the lay public online. you're just not getting into the right resources. here's one for you:

    medline plus http://www.medlineplus.gov/

    this is an extensive public education online resource supported by our u.s. government. if you use the search box to search for a specific disease (like mrsa) what you will get is a return of links to websites of information for the public. the site also has a number of interactive videos and now some actual video-taped procedures people can view. it just so happens that someone else was looking for help with a care plan on mrsa last evening and i found these links. you might want to check them out (i did not include the more complicated ones):

    http://mrsa-survivors.org/index.html - mrsa survivor's network. site includes symptoms and a fact sheet.

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html - information for the public about mrsa from the cdc

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/s...nfections.html - a page of links to more specific information about mrsa conditions on the medline plus site

    http://www.symptoms101.com/med/archi...05/05/msra.php - symptoms of mrsa

    welcome to allnurses!
  5. by   futurern123
    Thanks for the help-- I will try both of your suggestions.
  6. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Quote from lynn85
    I am having the most difficult time trying to decide on a paper topic... (I am working on completing my pre-reqs for nursing school, this is for my english class). I am supposed to choose something that has to do with nursing...whether it be a disease, medicine, current issue, whatever. There are too many choices. I was thinking of doing MRSA, but there aren't very many books on the topic (2 in all of my college region network), and the journal articles are way over my head, and not very interetsing-- focusing more on the structure of the bacteria. Then I thought of researching medical marijuana and its uses for cancer symptoms, aids, and other conditions. That's my current topic unless I can find something else.

    I don't know why this is so difficult. There are too many options, and I'm not in the nursing program yet so to be honest, I'm clueless about many aspects of nursing.

    I was wondering if anyone could suggest something interesting to research? Maybe if a nurse reads this, and has encountered or dealt with something in the nursing field...? Many many thanks. I am not trying to be a slacker, I just don't want to get stuck with a dull topic, or worse, a topic that has very few sources. Please help this novice out!!

    Are you more interested in behavioral/psycho social? Like, why nurses choose nursing, what causes burnout, staffing's effect on nursing, legislation that helps/harms nurses, legal aspects of nursing/ insurance, etc?

    The purpose of the paper is probably to test your organizational, research, and writing skills than it is about a particular area. But I have always found that the writing and research come SO EASILY if it is a topic I am VERY interested in finding out about. :mortarboard:
  7. by   1Tulip
    THE ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT WRITING A SUCCESSFUL PAPER is to limit your topic. You must narrowly focus your discussion.

    If this is an English Comp class, I'm assuming this is a writing exercise. If it's a writing exercise, the point is to communicate in a readable, engaging and informative manner. Writing something someone wants to read, or having read it, will remember what you wrote.

    Let's say this is an essay. Pick a topic, any topic. Hospital acquired infections, for example. Tell the story of one person who went to the hospital to get well, but then got sicker, had to go home on long term antibiotics, lost days at work etc. You might make this a composite person based upon some statistics you research. You use that humanizing element to make the dry statisitics come alive, and make the reader wonder "gee, could that happen to me?"

    This is just an example, but the principle is limit your essay to one compelling concept that you can develope in 3 or 4 paragraphs. Do NOT imagine that good writing is measured by how many factoids you can fit on a page.

    If this is a larger term paper, the notion remains the same. You have a broader point to make, and you develop 2 or 3 related facts that lead to the conclusion you want to draw. (Maybe "Nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections are a 21st Century plague"... you tell the story of your composite patient, you point out that this happens to X% of hospitalized patients, extrapolate to longer hospital stays, use of broader and broader spectrum antibiotics, aging populations with weaker immune systems etc. etc.) But the principle remains the same... A single compelling idea that you are driving toward and taking your reader with you.

    Good luck with your pre-reqs!
  8. by   llg
    If it were me, I'd be writing on some historical event or some nursing-related social issue. For example ...

    1. The pandemic influenza epidemic of 1918. There is lots of material on that -- and it would be very interesting in light of the current talk about a similar flu strain developing now (the "bird flu"). The stories from 1918 are horrendous.

    2. The role of nurses in any of our previous wars. Pick a war: nurses were involved. It makes for fascintating reading and will help you to develop a strong sense of pride for your chosen profession.

    3. The lives of some famous nursing leaders from history -- e.g. Florence Nightengale, Clara Barton, Margaret Sanger, Dorothea Dix, Lillian Wald, Lavinia Dock, etc. While some people may "roll their eyes" at the thought that these "old ladies" have something of relevance to teach us today, their lives were/are inspiring and they have a lot to teach us.

    I suggest you use the opportunity to explore a topic that is a little off the beaten path -- one that is NOT something you are likely to focus on as you actually learn the skills of nursing.
  9. by   kukukajoo
    how about body mechanics in Nursing and how Texas just implemented the law and all that is being done now compared to say 20 years ago. Lots of info out there on that!

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