“Doing” a Doctorate – week 35

Published on Sunday 8th July 2018 by DJ Kirkby

344 words done on assignment number 3,  which is the last assignment for my first year of studying at doctoral level. *capers about* Yeah, yeah, I KNOW there’s still a loooooong way to go before I reach 5000 words and finish writing this assignment.  However, I didn’t think I’d make it this far so, whilst every assignment continues to terrify me, I am also pleasantly surprised to realise I may actually pass my first year and be allowed to continue on to the second (and with sanity intact, relatively speaking).

I also now have a working thesis title! What impact do virtual reality learning environments (VRLE) have on the confidence, knowledge and reasoning of healthcare students’ clinical practice and is there an associated impact on patient care? (waits for EVERYONE with more experience to rock up and tell me what they think is wrong with it).

I am feeling quite relaxed (again, relatively speaking) because I went to a two day midwifery education conference. There was a definite focus on exploring alternative education methods, and I felt quite excited to be already doing exactly that as the lead for the CILVRS Project and as part fo my doctorate.

I took part in a research project on BP for the past 8 weeks where we had to record our BP and pulse twice daily (see pic at end of post) and in the evening we had to do a session of controlled breathing. It’s intriguing that I have such a low heart rate (HR). I wonder if it is my body’s innate response / attempt to counteract the potentially adverse physiological effects of stress?  I did notice that my pulse was higher after the breathing session but that may simply be due to the fact that this was always in the evening and maybe the fact that the breathing rhythm always made me feel as if I was hyperventilating.

Week 35 in review: read week 34 by clicking here
Publishable doctorate words written – NET article submission feedback still pending. FTC18 article is finished (I hope). One poster about CILVRS pilot drafted and nearly ready for submission to the conference committee for their review and feedback pre-printing.
Doctorate assignment words written – 344 (of 5000)
Cups of tea drunk – eleventymillion, let’s be honest, this number is never going to change….I think I’m an addict
Miles run – 3M (way way waaaaay too hot for running)
Kilometers swam – 1.5K
Miles cycled – Zero ( can’t see well enough to cycle safely)
Cakes baked –  Two banana and date loaves
Crafting  done- Knitting on pause during this hot weather
Books read for pleasure – The Good Daughter, Jar of Hearts (see 2018 reading page for link to book reviews)
Books read for doctorate – Doing a Literature Review in Health and Social Care, Doing Your Literature Review – Traditional and Systematic Techniques
Movies / videos watched for doctorate – None
Articles read for doctorate VR Training Improves operating Room Performance, VR as a Tool in Education, 3D Virtual Worlds and Distance Learning, SL in HE, Immersive VR, Exploration of HE teaching in SL, Barriers and Enablers to the Use of VW in HE
Blogs read for doctorate –
Research undertaken – None this week
Meetings with doctorate supervisors – three
Meetings with ALN / LD support – Booked in dates for submission of future assignment drafts
Average level of guilt felt when trying to squeeze doctorate days in work diary – I have squeezed in a half day next week (go me!)
Overall average stress level – minimal
Average success rate – could try harder

Plan for next week:

  • Wait for eye op appointment to arrive (waiting list breach date was June 15th – now needs to be before 1st Oct or after 20th Nov as can’t fly for 4 weeks after surgery and have long haul flight to FTC18 conference)
  • Wait for husband’s referral date to new specialist to find out extent of damage caused by illness number two (he’s received a letter informing him there are currently NO appointments!)
  • Bake!!!
  • Make more progress on assignment three so I can complete final draft early due to impending massive increase in workload when I should be writing the assignment
  • Begin writing second CILVRS article
  • Read more for fun
  • Allow myself to get distracted by all things shiny and appreciate that for the future creativity and benefit it may add to my doctorate


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