When I started the inquiry process, I thought I knew the subject well. It turned out I was wrong. I ended up having to make extensive changes to my inquiry question as I developed the topic. To start I had to change the main issue and make it more specific; the inquiry process was too effective, and my choice of focus too general. I ended up with an excessive amount of information. Therefore, I changed the topic from medical errors in a hospital to be more specific to induced labor. This topic was still too general, and I was getting frustrated going through all the available information to make sure I had a solid, up-to-date research. I decided to restrict my topic even more. To this end, I selected the consequences of the induction of labour that injured the foetus.
When I searched this topic, I discovered there are specific guidelines governing the procedures that hospitals must follow before, during and after induced labour. Hospitals use other tests and procedures to determine if induced labour is necessary and advisable in any given circumstance, so I did yet another search. After I ran it, I realized I still had too much information for the size paper I needed to write. This meant my topic was still too general; I had to go back and search for a new topic and new keywords. This was not something I expected, and certainly not something I wanted to do. However, because I wanted to do my best I had to start again.
This time I looked at all of my earlier searches. I grouped together the different subjects that came up with each group of search words. I looked for topics that included research keywords that pulled up general guidelines from official sources and specific research from academic sources. Now I finally realized how effective this research method was and that I needed to use a very specific subject.
Finally, I found my topic; what are the negative consequences brought about by the wrong IOL to the foetus? That, however was only the start, I still had to determine the mode of enquiry and decide whether I should use qualitative enquiry, quantitative enquiry or a combination of the two. This meant I had to evaluate exactly the improper use of IOL affects the health of the patients, the need to ensure the rate of induction, the perinatal mortality rate the rate of death and the adverse neonatal outcome before hospital discharge. I knew I had to evaluate all these factors in order to support the argument considered and proven in the paper.
The “search in” function also helped me to find the most authoritative sources. This feature let me search through the British Medical Journal for studies that I knew were reliable due to their affiliation with such a well-respected source of information. This procedure was invaluable for determining the credibility of my sources. There were some studies that were mentioned other on topic articles. By finding using this determinant I was able to go back through the thousands of links that my key words and phrases pull up and find just the right article, from an impeccable source.
Of course, finding the information is just the start, then I had to organize and store it so it could be called up easily and cited correctly as I wrote, to do that I needed to be able to recall information using a variety of criteria. For example I needed to call up a particular item when I wrote about how the standards for a particular determinant for treatment was judged today and also how it would have been utilized in the past prior to the institution of new standards. This meant I needed to access my information not just by content, but also by date written in order to show how standards had developed over time. To that end, I stored the information on my computer and referenced it by information fields. It became accessible in much the same way paper index cards might have been utilized in the past, but far more effective.
I now know that I must start with a precise end in mind and immediately proceed to refining the search process to limit the number of on topic articles from credible sources. I know that I can use the “search in” function to determine if authoritative research exists, when it was written, by whom and under what conditions. I can also use this tool to find both qualitative and quantitative research on the same specific topic. I also can to respect the necessity for effective self-management. I need to take the time to evaluate my criteria at the outset, not just looking at the content but also examining information for its credibility as well.
I very pleased to have learned this type of strategy. I feel more self-confident then I had ever felt in the past. I think having more confidence is the biggest difference in my thinking from the beginning of this course to the end.