PHD For Pamela

Years of study and dedication have earned a clinical doctorate for Pamela Scott, a former Senior Charge Nurse in ICU, and now Clinical Nurse Manager for emergency and inpatient areas.

This resulted in better ways of communicating with the families of critically ill patients.

Pamela says she always had a passion to help relatives with the anxiety and uncertainty they experienced whilst waiting for information on a loved one who was in intensive care. She was also keen to explore what interventions were available to nursing and medical ICU staff to provide a more consistent structure to communication with families.

Her research focused on families of ICU survivors who, according to research, are at increased risk of psychological symptoms and she adapted and implemented a set of communication tools to help conduct family meetings. Their effectiveness was evaluated by prevalence of anxiety, uncertainly and family satisfaction scores.

This study was the first to examine these communication tools developed in the ICU clinical environment and was only the second intervention study to investigate uncertainty as an illness in ICU family members.

Pamela said: “Finalising a clinical doctorate during the Covid-19 pandemic added unforeseen and competing demands. I have worked as a senior nurse clinically supporting the nursing teams, and as a student, whilst maintaining a family and my two best boys –my horses. I am grateful that I have been supported by the University of Stirling and NHS Forth Valley’s Nurse Director Professor Angela Wallace and Acting Chief Nurse Louise Boyle who have encouraged and enabling me to complete this qualification.”