3rd Philippine Nursing Research Society (PNRS) National Research Conference: Reflexivity in Nursing Practice: Journeying with Qualitative Research as a Mode of Nursing Inquiry 18-19 November 2010, Iloilo City, Philippines.
Article Type: Conference news
Subject: Health care industry (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Author: Harding, Thomas
Pub Date: 04/01/2011
Publication: Name: Nursing Praxis in New Zealand Publisher: Nursing Praxis in New Zealand Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Nursing Praxis in New Zealand ISSN: 0112-7438
Issue: Date: April, 2011 Source Volume: 27 Source Issue: 1
Topic: Computer Subject: Health care industry
Product: SIC Code: 8000 HEALTH SERVICES
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Philippines Geographic Code: 9PHIL Philippines
Accession Number: 276900998
Full Text: In November 2010 I attended the 3rd PNRS Research Conference were I had the honour to present a plenary session, 'Research and a critical poststructuralist paradigm'. Building upon the success of the previous two conferences in 2008 and 2009, this conference had an explicit aim to create a forum for exploring the world of qualitative research in nursing and health care practice for emerging nurse researchers in the Philippines.

At this interesting, wide-ranging and culturally rich event 240 delegates from throughout the Philippines were bolstered by the presence of the academic staff of the host organisation the College of Nursing, West Visayas State University. As well, a large group of fourth year undergraduate nursing students, not just from the local College of Nursing, also attended. As part of their final year they undertake a research project; many were displayed as posters and Ave gave oral presentations of their projects during one of the concurrent sessions.

On the first day of the conference the delegates were welcomed, in speech and song, and the invited keynote and plenary speakers were formally introduced. The keynote speech was delivered by Professor Fatima Castillo, who holds a Chair in Social Sciences at the University of the Philippines, Manila. Her erudite and wide-ranging introduction to qualitative research as a mode of enquiry touched upon reflexivity, gender and human rights. She highlighted the importance of context and the need for critical reflection in the research we undertake.

The major focus of this day was providing delegates with a glimpse into the world of qualitative research with presentation and discussion of critical poststructuralism, qualitative research approaches such as historiography, phenomenology and grounded theory, feminist research and critical social theory, ethnography and participatory action research. The concurrent sessions in the afternoon provided four concurrent sessions: care of women, children and adolescents; initiatives and innovations in health and nursing; community health nursing; and caring for special populations. I attended Stream C, community health nursing, as three of the speakers discussed their research among Filipino indigenous communities. It was fascinating to learn of the work being done to learn from the indigenous knowledge and healthcare practices presented. Jezyl Cempron from Cebu Normal University presented her team's study 'Botika sa Barangay' (The Pharmacy in the Village), which is an initiative to address the issue of access to affordable medicine for those living in impoverished circumstances in rural areas. The findings of this study conducted in Cebu province revealed that the health-related expenditure of the respondents was reduced and significantly there was a decrease in infant and child mortality rates post introduction of the project.

The evening began with the fellowship dinner and the opportunity to enjoy the local food and the entertainment provided by the talented West Visayas State University dance troupe who performed traditional dances. The male members dancing with coconut shells strapped to strategic parts of the body which they clashed against one another as they danced was an exciting highlight. The School of Nursing staff brought down the house with their dance routine and members of the audience also participated with song; the New Zealand contingent--of one--responded to the hospitality with a rendition of "Pokarekare ana".

Day two focused on the practicalities of the research process with presentations on data collection, ensuring rigor, postgraduate supervision, thesis advising and writing for publication. The concurrent sessions were: care of women, children and adolescents; perspectives in nursing education; caring for special populations; and student research, which I attended. The students, who worked in groups, undertook ambitious projects which included: food culture care of the indigenous people of Lambunao; the lived experience of elderly living alone; the lived experience of adolescents with cancer; and a transcendental perspective of describing experiences of first-time mothers. It was a delight to experience the enthusiasm these young nursing students have for undertaking research and for learning more about the process from others.

For me one of the highlights of the conference was the inclusion of undergraduate students and the showcasing of their work, although I was concerned about their undertaking research projects with indigenous peoples and vulnerable populations often without ethics approval or consideration of the issues with respect to colonisation and appropriation of indigenous knowledge. I discussed this with two of my Filipino colleagues who also played a major role in the organisation of the conference, Professor Jerome Babate and Dr Erlinda Palangas, President PNRS and Co-Convenor of the conference. They understood my concern and emphasised the importance of such conferences and the involvement of researchers from other countries to support them in working with emerging nurse researchers in the Philippines to develop the research culture. Nurse researchers from Aotearoa New Zealand have a lot to offer in this area and any interaction would be warmly welcomed by colleagues in the Philippines.

The day concluded with the presentation of awards for the best student and professional posters, and the best student and professional research, and farewell to all the participants. Reflecting on the experience of attending this conference, it was one of the most exciting and enjoyable conferences I have attended. It was characterised by warmth, humour, generosity and a sense of community that I have never experienced before at such an event. I was humbled by the kindness, generosity and friendship I received and touched by the mutual respect and affection between the students and staff of the host School of Nursing. Underpinning the overall success of the conference was the enthusiasm of all the participants and their desire to learn more and become actively involved in research.

Associate Professor Thomas Harding RN PhD

Deputy Head, School of Nursing (NSW & ACT)

Australian Catholic University, North Sydney, Australia
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