It is officially the last semester of my senior year here at Plymouth State University and I am currently plagued with having to make a decision regarding what I am going to do for my research article and applied project. There are so many issues surrounding the field of Patient Advocacy but I am struggling to pinpoint exactly what topic I want to explore more of and what I can DO for the applied portion. I did some brainstorming and came up with three different topics, some that I love more than others, but I am still perplexed as to what option would be the best for me. Here are my ideas:
Research Article: Mental health issues in college students on the rise, exploring the college student mental health crisis that is happening in America today.
Applied Project: Create a mini-documentary focusing on this issue as it pertains to the Plymouth State student body. This will help bring awareness to campus regarding mental health issues, talk about stigma, outline resources, and allow students and professors to speak out.
So, how does this relate to my field? This research and applied project will allow me to be the voice of students on campus, inspire hope, educate, and provide resources, which is exactly what a patient advocate does. It combines psychology, social work, and health, which is all incorporated into my field of study. Although, there will be many challenges that I am concerned about regarding this project – for one, how am I going to execute the video? It is going to take a lot of time and resources to put it all together. I am going to need to outline a plan for the video in itself, recruit participants, request access to equipment in the library, and probably so much more that I am not even thinking about yet. This idea is probably the one that I am most excited about, but also the most concerned about regarding if I am even capable of pulling it off.
Research Article: Hospice and palliative care – what even is it? Distinguishes between acute care and hospice care, as one of the issues currently facing healthcare is drawing the line between the two and defining what is appropriate care for hospice patients and when someone should be entered into hospice.
Applied Project: Conduct several interviews of individuals who work in hospice care or who have experience working with hospice patients – create an informational website regarding my own personal experiences and research findings.
This idea relates to my field in an obvious way, as it once again connects health, psychology, nursing, and social work – all components of my major. In addition, after leaving Plymouth State I am interested in specializing in Hospice and Palliative Social Work, therefore, doing this research will not only be informational for myself but for other people in the healthcare field. Also, I have personal experience working with hospice patients so I can give my own insight on the topic and share my own stories, after all, it was a hospice patient that helped me fall in love with the healthcare field in the first place. The challenges that would arise from this project would include finding people knowledgeable on the topic that are willing to do an interview. Overall, this research would definitely be interesting, informative, and exciting to explore.
My last idea is probably the one that I have looked into the least, as it is one that came to me fairly recently.
Research Article: The negative effects that the media has on body image and the development of mental health disorders. Explores all of the issues surrounding the media’s war on body positivity, and in general, all of the challenges every day that individuals face regarding body negativity.
Applied Project: Attend all (or most) of the events surrounding “LOVE YOUR BODY” week at Plymouth State, volunteer for many of the projects surrounding the events, documenting through photos and sharing my experiences along the way, as well as collecting interviews regarding the topic. Create a body positive website to display all of this information.
This idea relates to my field as it once again connects health, psychology, and social work. This topic would be an interesting one to explore, and it would be a rewarding journey to attend and volunteer at these events regarding body positivity and create a website full of resources and encouragement. Although, “LOVE YOUR BODY” week is kicking off this Friday, I have already been asked to volunteer for some of the events throughout the week so I don’t think it would be a challenge to participate in the events and document my experiences… but, I would have to make a decision regarding my topic ASAP.
Overall, I am excited about all three of these ideas, but I have no idea which one I want to execute!