Having just completed my Undergraduate degree in Psychology, I have embarked on a summer Research Assistant position working with the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) here at Bournemouth University. I will be working closely with an expert team within the research centre – Dr. Michele Board, Dr. Jane Murphy, Dr. Michelle Heward, and Ashley Spriggs, who have all dedicated their careers to this particular field.
Our current project focusses on ‘Dementia Education Through Simulation’ (DEALTS), a dementia care training program for healthcare professionals, which has previously been delivered in a ‘train the trainer’ format to healthcare trusts. The current program, DEALTS 2, aims to build upon the previous DEALTS, and provide an up to date evidence-based framework. This updated program signifies the importance of empathy and humanised care when training, which aligns closely with Tier 2 .The current training program utilises simulations including videos, case-studies, and role-play to help increase relatability to the patient.
My role within this project is to support the team within the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences on an evaluation of DEALTS 2. Initially I am expected to analyse the feedback questionnaires taken from the DEALTS 2 sessions. Other responsibilities include helping Dr. Michelle Heward deliver a presentation at the BU Humanising Caring, Health and Wellbeing Conference, 29th – 30th June. You can register for a place at https://humanisation.eventbrite.co.uk
I will also be conducting a literature review, and help out at one of the DEALTS 2 training sessions. This will enable the foundations for the team to eventually create an up to date evaluative research paper on DEALTS 2.
So far, I am excited by the responsibilities given and organised work structure. Not to mention feeling incredibly welcomed by the team, which has lead me feeling immersed in this project. After having previous experience with research assistant roles, this project has so far exceeded my expectations in terms of my roles and responsibilities. I feel excited enthusiastic for the scope of opportunities this project could bring.
I intend to report my experience at the end of my work placement, and hopefully will finish with some significant data to report, and greater insight into DEALTS 2. I look forward to what the next four weeks may bring!