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Case study: Your Path in Research - Marika’s journey

"I was inspired to become a researcher because I want to understand more about the devastating impact of sepsis"

Tell us about yourself and your work…

I am a final year PhD nursing student looking at the experiential learning of nurses to understand what constitutes early recognition of sepsis with a view of informing improvements in sepsis educational programs.

Alongside my research, I am continuing clinical work as an ITU nurse for 11.5 hours a week. Before I became a PhD researcher, I had been a nurse for 20 years.

In the PhD study, I explore forms of knowledge and skills that nurses rely on in their clinical assessment and aim to define the most relevant ways of learning knowledge. The aim is to develop hypotheses that I can ultimately quantitatively evaluate in my post-doctoral research.

Why did you want to become a researcher?

I was inspired to become a researcher because I want to understand more about the devastating impact of sepsis, which I observed through my role as an ITU nurse. I began my research journey when I attended the Adult Critical Care course. This course has reshaped my world view about knowledge and its application in practice. That shift in perspective also made me appreciate research more and ledme to develop a strong desire to pursue my career in research.

What I enjoy most about research is that it makes me think differently by engaging me in creating new knowledge. Research challenges my mind and motivates me to think of new ideas, new reasons, and new possibilities.

One of the challenges has been the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected the way I could go about conducting this research. I had to redesign the project with some level of flexibility, taking into account social distancing measures.

What advice would you give to someone setting out in research?

You need to choose an area that you are passionately interested in. Find a particular phenomenon that intrigues you; it needs to spring from something you want to find out more about.

Success then often comes about because of failed attempts - at least this has been the reality of my achievements. It is the journey, which has been well described by Samuel Beckett, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”


Find out more about the Your Path in Research campaign.