I thought that perhaps that a standard APA research paper was the worst type of work I would have to complete in my BSN coursework.
I was wrong.
The Research Article Assessment is far worse.
Validity, Reliability, Quantitative, Qualitative, Probability, Non-Probability, True-Experimental, Quasi-Experimental, and a multitude of other terms relating to research design, theory, and implementation are jumbling around in the brain. At the moment, has however, I don’t think I the mass in my head could be appropriately described as a brain, as it currently feels like it is as effective as a can of pea soup in organizing ideas.
Had in not been for the fact that I adore my dear professor, I probably would have had a complete meltdown. I am telling myself that it is for my betterment. I am repeating that my critical thinking abilities will be drastically improved because I participated in the three-ring circus that is an article assessment, but I’m not convinced.
I spent hours upon hours assessing 8 pages of the most boring research article I have ever had the “joy” of viewing. Topic: Cancer Pain Knowledge. Not even cancer pain, but the knowledge of cancer pain. I could give two poops less about the patients knowledge about their pain; I want to know how well their pain is managed. And yes, I know that knowledge of pain management, experienced actual pain, and the ability to manage it go hand and hand, but this study just barely scratched the surface of the actual pain. All it did was discuss the knowledge level of the participants before, during, and after the 5-week program.
If you are feeling particularly brave, set aside a good chunk of time and dive in:
Kim, J., Dodd, M., West, C., Paul, S., Facione, N., Schumacher, K., & … Miaskowski, C. (2004). The PRO-SELF Pain Control Program improves patients’ knowledge of cancer pain management. Oncology Nursing Forum, 31(6), 1137-1143.
But please don’t say I didn’t warn you. Boring is about the nicest description I can give you of it. I could give you additional descriptive terms, but I do need to maintain an amount of professionalism here on the blogosphere.
I had to write 4 pages of descriptive boringness on this 8-page piece, and that was keeping it succinct. I’m talking as succinct as I possibly could. I know I can be a bit wordy, but truly, I trimmed the fluff on this piece, and it was still all of 4 double-spaced pages.
Last week I spoke with my instructor (not this one, actually) about the evidence based practice education project and paper I am completing for her class, and she was so excited about my ideas and approach, she offered to write me a letter of recommendation for graduate school right on the spot. I laughed. She did too; she knew that I wasn’t exactly convinced graduate school was for me, but then she said “Brittney, you know you won’t be satisfied with anything less. You’re going to change things, and research needs you.”
Bah… can I just do the research, ask the questions, and have someone else do all the documentation, make sure the quotations are corrections, punctuations are accurate, and my grammar isn’t a total mess?
Ask any of my editors; I’m a nightmare to edit.
So if anyone is interested in being a non-paid scribe, and is skilled in APA writing, I could use your help in graduate school since I likely will not be satisfied with anything less. Darn me and my lofty aspirations. Sometimes I wish I didn’t feel the need to change the world in a positive way, cause it sure can be inconvenient.