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Library Research Support Assists Nurse with Evidence-Based Practices

For over 23 years, Tami Day has worked for the University of Missouri’s Health Care system receiving all her education from the MU’s Sinclair School of Nursing and utilizing the library a lot over the years.

Tami appreciates how helpful the librarians have been throughout her nursing education. Back when Tami first started nursing school, she’d find journals and make copies of the articles; now she can find articles online and email them out. “That has been a huge game changer in the 25 years I’ve been at the university,” she said. “Back then I’d physically go to the library and find the books, now you’re just a few clicks away from the information you want.”

A few years ago, Tami went back to school to work on her master’s degree. This program focused on evidence-based practice with an emphasis on approaches to clinical care and taking clinical problems to design improvement projects. Tami relies heavily on the librarians and their research skills. For Tami, Taira Meadowcroft, information services librarian at the Health Sciences Library, became an invaluable resource. Tami first met Taira when Taira was assigned to the Positive Individual Proactive Support (PIPS) program. Taira provided research support to the PIPs to help improve the quality of health in the hospital.

Taira Meadowcroft

Since Taira was providing support to the PIPS, Tami asked Taira for help in her master’s program as most of those projects would help Tami’s work in the hospital. For example, Tami said she can email Taira the topic of a project and ask for the highest level of evidence. In one instance, Taira sent Tami 23 articles within one hour. It would have taken Tami several hours to find the same information.

When Taira receives a request to find literature, she spends a good amount of time educating herself on the topic in order find the best evidence. ”A librarian should be one of the first steps before starting a project. Seeing what information is out there is important when deciding if and how to pursue that project,” said Taira. “It’s easier and more efficient to have a librarian do a search and it frees up your time.”

Tami and Taira’s working relationship continues to evolve and now Taira is supporting Tami with her doctoral program and in her new role as coordinator of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice. As coordinator, she’s working to make University Hospital a Magnet designated hospital through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Achieving this designation would place MU Health Care in an elite group of hospitals, resulting in better patient outcomes and less nursing turn over through evidence-based practice.

”Nurses are busy people and searching for literature is just one more thing you are asked to do, but it’s important for the overall health of the patients,” said Taira. “My favorite part of my job is that I can help contribute to the health of patients, working behind the scenes to find the best evidence, while nurses tend to a patient’s bed side.” Taira’s searches are also assisting in the goal of the Magnet designation.

Written by Christina Mascarenas