Rebecca Jedwab

PhD topic: Nursing

Rebecca's PhD journey

Rebecca Jedwab’s area of expertise and research is in nurses’ wellbeing and how implementing new technology in an acute healthcare setting affects both nurses and their work.

What was your PhD research project about?

I am a critical care registered nurse and my specialty is cardiothoracic surgery, which is heart and lung surgery patients. At the hospital I work in they're putting in an electronic medical record, which is a computer system throughout our whole healthcare organisation. I knew it was coming so it was a good opportunity to do a project before and after it was implemented. I wanted to look at nurses' wellbeing and see if there was going to be any changes. My project is about measuring nurses' motivation, engagement and wellbeing before and after we put in an electronic medical record system.

The best aspect of doing a PhD is the support from not only my supervisors, but the school and other students. I love the attitude of Deakin. Everyone is recognised and everyone is allowed to study what they want to study.

Rebecca Jedwab

What motivated you to pursue research in your chosen area?

I’ve been a nurse for 10 years now, but I started getting into research when I was finishing my masters. I've always been passionate about questioning practices and trying to make sure we're doing the right things for our patients, as well as for each other as nursing staff. I finished my masters and then I worked casually at Deakin doing some teaching and research assistance. It helped me realise that research was not just a potential option I could pursue after my masters, but something that I really loved.

What future aspirations do you have for your research?

I'm hoping that it can be a good starting point for the bigger conversation of how to keep nurses in nursing and, most importantly, to provide good patient outcomes. We need to help nurses want to stay, but also to be healthy and safe when they're doing their work.

In terms of impact, I'm still thinking organisation-wide at the moment. Even if we can use my research as a starting point for other conversations that would be really good. Hopefully it can lead to something that helps nurses everywhere.

What has been the best aspect of doing a PhD at Deakin?

The best aspect of doing a PhD is the support from not only my supervisors, but the school and other students. I love the attitude of Deakin. Everyone is recognised and everyone is allowed to study what they want to study. Deakin has partnerships with all the big hospital groups in Melbourne, like Monash health, which is my healthcare organisation. It just made sense to continue with them as they had the expertise I needed. I didn't really consider anywhere else, to be honest.

What are your future career ambitions?

My plan is to work as a nurse, and I would love to continue doing research in the area of nurses' wellbeing.

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