Master's Project / Thesis - What's Your Topic?

  1. Hallo all!

    I'm just curious as to what everyone is planning for their master's project/thesis? Are you going to do a project or a thesis? What's your topic? How far along are you?

    I am planning on looking at hand hygiene rates in a primary care center (which functions as a mini hospital, practically - it has two floors, a lab, radiology, and a pharmacy for goodness sake!) in Savannah. I want to see who (PCT, MD, RN, NP, XRay Tech, etc) washes their hands the most consistantly and how this number compares to a study which was completed at our local Level One Trauma Center. My goal is to work towards figuring out why hand hygiene rates are so low, even though we all know we should be doing it.
  2. Visit Christen, ANP profile page

    About Christen, ANP

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 290; Likes: 133
    Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in Critical Care, Orthopedics, Hospitalists


  3. by   Debra ACRN
    I just finished my project. It was on introducing cultural aesthetics into senior nursing student curricula. We made nichos (Mexican Folk Art boxes) to illustrate a mental health nursing concept. It was designed to increase communication between the patient and nurse using art as a media. It was really well received, although quirky. Good luck with yours.
  4. by   Christen, ANP
    Congratulations on finishing! I graduate next May, so I've got a ways to go on my project. That sounds like a very original idea and a lot of fun!
  5. by   SpiritedRN
    I would really like to hear more about your project. It sounds so very creative and fascinating.
  6. by   rach78
    I am currently working on my graduate project. I am looking at stress in acute care nurses and trying to determine if nurses who are physically active, exercising outside of work, perceive less stress in the ICUs and ERs. Particularly looking at how the physiological signs of stress, increased heart rate,etc, remain closer to baseline in nurses who are more physically fit than their counterparts.
  7. by   SpiritedRN
    That sounds like a really great study to conduct for your project. Have you had success finding research on this topic? I would be interested in looking at these factors in RNs working in other areas of nursing, outside of critical care and emergency rooms, as I believe all of us are exposed to varying stressors in our work environments.
  8. by   rach78
    There isn't alot of research comparing exercise and stress in nurses. Lots of studies showing stress, using biological markers and nurse feedback, and lots of research showing the benefits of exercise on stress, but no study comparing the two. Many other coping strategies have been looked at, social support, relaxation, etc, but none just looking at exercise. My bachelors degree is in exercise physiology and I have always been interested in the stress response and how exercise impacts that, so I thought this would be a great study to do.

    Who knows, maybe I'll get it published!
  9. by   SpiritedRN
    This is a very interesting perspective to take on this as I am really very suprised that this has been overlooked. Thanks for this idea.
  10. by   Christen, ANP
    What an interesting topic, Rach78! What do you think the outcome of your study will show?

    I started out my project wanting to look into what exactly causes nurses and healthcare professionals to make the decision to not wash their hands, but after meeting with my committee, we couldn't figure out how we would get this to work out here, and it got a bit too complicated.

    One of my committee members did a similar project to what I'm proposing in the ED and we hope to compare the results from an acute care facility to an outpatient facility. Should be interesting!
  11. by   SpiritedRN
    I find it shocking that healthcare professionals could neglect washing hands before and after being with a patient and with procedures. It is so essential to our fundamentals of nursing class and so hypervigilant these days with MRSA and the numerous germs when patients are in need of nursing care. Most hospital settings have the antimicrobial soap pumps at the doors outside the doors of each individual room as yet another visual reminder.
  12. by   Christen, ANP
    I agree, which is why it's so facinating to me that the compliance rates are so low! Most studies demonstrate < 60% compliance rate.
  13. by   rach78
    I agree with you on handwashing. I can't understand why you wouldn't want to wash your hands when leaving a patient room. I have eczema and it can get pretty bad on my hands and washing them makes it worse...sometimes it burns, but I still do it religiously. I just keep plenty of steroid cream in the pockets of my scrubs. It is an essential responsiblity of nurses to do everything possible not to transmit infections from patient to patient.
  14. by   rach78
    I think that the study will show that those who are physically active are less stressed at work. Studies have already shown that exercise increases confidence and improves a persons feeling of overall well being. It only makes sense to me that an increase in confidence and "feeling good" would help prevent or at least lessen the stress that nurses feel.

    Before returning to nursing school, I was a wellness coordinator for a hospital chain, and a lot of what we did was trying to lessen the stress for the nurses at work. However, so many of nurses were against exercising at all and believed that being on their feet for a 12 hour shift equaled exercising. While those 12 hours are demanding, it does not induce the same heart rate response (up to 60-85% of max heart rate) to achieve the stress reducing benefits of cardio exercise. I just hope my study might help some nurses who find their jobs overly stressful as a way to cope and hopefully help them lead healthier lives, cause we all know what stress can do to the body!