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Blog: My first Health Services Research & Pharmacy Practice Conference experience!

I heard about the HSRPP conference from my research colleagues who were preparing oral and poster presentations for it. They recommended attending, suggesting it was great for early researchers like me. I was a little concerned that it might be a conference exclusively for experienced researchers but I needn’t have worried, the whole conference experience was amazing!

 

Keynote speakers brilliantly conveyed messages about the importance of patient experiences and patient safety in healthcare. Trigger films with patient experiences shown by Professor Sue Ziebland were very powerful. I’m sure that many of attendees reflected not only on their clinical practices but also on how their research can improve patient experiences and patient safety. I did! It was uplifting to hear from Professor Justin Waring that we have great opportunities in the future as pharmacists.

 

Two days were full of oral presentations that were divided into different streams – Pharmacy Education, Patient Experience, Health Promotion, Clinical Practice, and Consultation Skills. You could easily change rooms between the talks. The hardest part was choosing which ones to attend as you could relate to all of them. Presentations were diverse not only in topics but also in the range of methodologies. The poster presentations were just as good as the oral ones, and there was almost 100 posters! The PechaKucha (poster presenter had 1 slide and 1minute) sessions were fun and it truly convinced me to visit their posters. I joined several poster walks over two days, it was a great way to hear more about the posters and ask questions in a smaller audience.

 

The day ended with the evening’s dinner, which involved a quiz about Pharmacy and Nottingham. Our table’s team “Man Outnumbered” took 1st place!

 

On the second day you could choose from one of four workshops to attend. I went to the HRA approval process workshop. Although I’m an early career researcher, I have already learnt that obtaining ethics approval can be the hardest part of the project. I took a lot of notes, so hopefully I’ll find the process easier in the future.

 

Networking was an integral part of the conference. I know it is not easy but it is very important. I chatted with a wide range of conference attendees from early career to experienced researchers. I even talked to them about my project and received some great advice.

 

To sum up, I have picked a lot of ideas for my PhD project (e.g. planning, methods, dissemination) and made contacts with people who could help with my study in the future.

 

I am looking forward to next year’s conference in Newcastle to present early results from my PhD!

 

Kristina Medlinskiene

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