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14 February 2013

FEST 2013 Embraces the Role of Nursing in Research

Staying true to its tradition of showcasing the latest trends in heart and lung research, this year’s FEST program includes a session highlighting the increasingly prominent role of nursing in health research. Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) Dr. Martha Mackay, Ms. Annemarie Kaan and Ms. Sandra Lauck will be presenting their research on behavioural and psychosocial factors in heart disease to FEST participants during the Heart + Lung Scientific Symposium.

“Compared to medicine, the clinician scientist is less commonly encountered in nursing,” says Dr. Mackay, a clinician scientist with an academic appointment at the UBC School of Nursing who also functions as a CNS at the Heart Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital. Yet, the field of clinical research can benefit immensely from the involvement of those with a nursing background.

CNSs focus on developing and implementing new initiatives to improve the quality of patient care. As they are heavily involved with translating recent advances into practice, Dr. Mackay explains that the involvement of CNSs and other nurses prepared at the master’s or doctoral level is becoming increasingly common and important in research.

“Nurses bring perspectives to the process of developing health interventions that may differ from the perspectives other health professionals like physicians, physiotherapists or dieticians have.”

“Like other clinicians, nurses can ask questions that arise from practice, which prove valuable as we are trying to solve problems in patient care. What’s more, CNSs like me who also function as clinician scientists are able to bring a clinical perspective to research questions, and in turn facilitate the flow of research findings back into the clinical setting.”

Dr. Mackay, whose research interest lies in sex, gender and ethnicity differences in patients that exhibit symptoms of heart attacks, is excited to be participating in FEST this year.

“FEST presents a great opportunity for us to promote the significant role that nursing plays in clinical research. I am hoping that FEST participants will be pleasantly surprised by the contributions that nursing is bringing to health research.”

You can catch Dr. Martha Mackay, Ms. Annemarie Kaan, and Ms. Sandra Lauck talking about their research during Session 4 – Another Lens: Behavioural and Psychosocial Factors in Heart Disease on Thursday, February 21 at 4pm. The full program for FEST 2013 can be found here.

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