Summer is a busy time for medical librarians but it can also be a time to hone skills that have been lying dormant. This summer, as I continued to transition into a new position I realized that my evidence based practice (EBP) skills were a little rusty. What’s more, I realized that clinicians wanted more from librarians in the area of qualitative analysis than I had training in.
My library supported my attendance in the Supporting Clinical Care: An Institute in Evidence-Based Practice for Medical Librarians workshop held at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Library in Aurora, Colorado. The intensive three day course is led by faculty including Pamela Bagley, Jeff Mason, Angela Myatt, Connie Schardt, Lisa Traditi and many others. Sponsored by BMJ Best Practice and EBSCO Health the intensive workshop provides both small and large group learning on topics essential to EBP.
Overall course content is designed to be introductory which makes this workshop a good opportunity to get started in EBP or brush up on skills. The content for the course was impressive, yes homework was involved. The workshop is designed to be challenging as well as informative and fun, there is even a bit of competition in the form of an EBP Jeopardy challenge.
One of the major topic areas that I had little training in what searching for and evaluation qualitative research. The agenda for this workshop included a large group introduction to qualitative research and small group work. The small group session on qualitative research was informative as it included a review of qualitative search techniques, modified question framing tools, and practice in assessing qualitative studies. The skilled faculty led both large and small group in informative discussions about all the topics covered.
During this summer’s session I was lucky enough to meet librarian and co-author Tobin Magle. An unexpected aspect of this workshop is the community that is created so quickly. From small group to large group, participants share their expertise and skills. Networking and teamwork are encouraged throughout the workshop. It was from discussions in small group was as well as some of the team based activities that I feel I learned the most. Not only about EBP but also about ways to apply what I have learned into other aspects of librarianship.
If you are unable to make the 2016 workshop but are still interested in getting training in EBP or qualitative research, workshop instructor Connie Schardt presented two excellent MLA webinars this summer that cover the topics and provide useful information for librarians and clinicians alike.
Thanks, Emily, for summarizing your experience so well! I’ve only been in health science librarianship for about a year now so I have a lot to learn. Though my primary duties at the library involve working with basic scientists, the EBP workshop was essential to my professional development at the Health Science Library because it allows me to integrate better with the rest of the staff and put our work in a broader context.
My background is in basic science research. One difference between basic and clinical research that has always struck me is the well-defined structure of clinical research. Many of the concepts are the same (5 section paper format, controls, statistics, etc.), but the way clinical research can be divided into distinct study types is very different. I enjoyed learning about study design and hope to use these skills in my work at the library.
I had already been teaching part of a research methods class (DSAD 5502) in the School of Dental Medicine curriculum using my previous research knowledge, but going to the EBP workshop gave me a framework to hang these similarities on and present the material in a way that is more engaging to future dental professionals. For example, instead of taking the time to explain how to calculate a Chi Squared test, I emphasized how to interpret the result to improve patient care. It has also helped me to work on PICO questions during literature search consultations with College of Nursing students.
I am very grateful that the Health Sciences Library supported my participation in the workshop. This type of cross training helps me feel more engaged with our organization’s mission.