Since I graduated with my BScN in 1999, I have been interested in the humanistic nature of nursing and health care. From previous nursing and academic experiences, I feel that our understanding of illness and health care is shaped by the interactions and experiences that we have. No two patients or two nurses will have exactly the same experience. As a person living with Type 1 diabetes since 2007 and being a patient in health care, I am very much interested in how prior life experiences shape who people are as patients; how they interact with others and how others interact with them.
This award will assist me to proceed with doctoral studies in nursing. For my research, I wish to explore how society makes sense of diabetes and how we have come to understand it. The rates of diabetes are rising exponentially in Canada and it represents a significant physical, emotional, mental, as well as economic burden to the individual as well as society. I would like to investigate how societal understandings shape interactions with others, most notably nurses. Nurses are the health professionals who spend the most time with people with diabetes and given the unique interpersonal nature of the nurse-client relationship, they have the potential to positively influence diabetes care. It is anticipated that this research will inform nurse-client relationships and ultimately enhance diabetes care.