Riding the PhD waves

As a clinical SLT working on a hospital ward deadlines were set and we worked to the deadline. I say that but I worked in a mental health brain injury ward and our deadlines often provided us with a bit more time than the general medical wards or even community services I have previously worked in, where patients really didn’t stay very long at all and it was ridiculously difficult to get everything done. Still in all the places I have worked I have endeavoured to see as many patients as possible in a day, complete assessments and reports and get them out when needed. If I didn’t see a patient they would lose the opportunity for therapy and if I felt they would benefit from it, well then I would do my darndest to provide it. There was lots of rushing around, nagging to get reports done and at times a fair amount of stress. Keeping to these deadlines was good clinical practice, overstepping a deadline is generally considered poor clinical practice. It is not within an SLTs (or almost any health and social care professionals) genetic make up to provide poor clinical practice if at all humanly possible.

In comparison (and perhaps in contrast to what you may think) The majority of my PhD has been far less manic. Deadlines have been set- I have a gannt chart detailing the timing of my every move over the four years of my PhD. It feels extremely organised. I have hit most of my deadlines but really if I haven’t, I have been able to ‘make it up’ in other places i.e. I have worked on some tasks earlier than needed and made up time on others later.

Until now I haven’t really felt time bearing down on me. Perhaps this has been an illusion and the honeymoon period is over (2 years into my PhD and that would a be pretty awesome honeymoon!). However I don’t think this is the case- I am still really enjoying it. This just feels like a welcome swell- the PhD ocean is simply stirring up a little. And it’s because I am traveling toward a transition. I am about to start my pilot study.  September 2017 is the start of my NHS pilot feasibility study. And I am feverishly preparing myself for this.

Numerous aspects of the work I have been doing over the last 2 years have been leading up to and feeding into this stage of the project. I am drawing each of these pieces of work together to inform and perform for the pilot study. I am juggling the final analysis of the initial stages of my PhD to prepare the training for the pilot project. This feels like an important time. Like a crescendo. Like a peak. It’s actually fairly exhilarating!

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