Health Sciences

Peta Dury, PhD in Nursing, Lecturer

Peta Dury

"I was just 19 when I successfully completed a Diploma of Applied Science (Nursing) at the Catholic College of Education, Sydney. The Catholic College of Education Sydney in New South Wales was amalgamated with three other Catholic tertiary institutions in eastern Australia in 1991 to become the Australian Catholic University. Since that time I have successfully completed, at the Australian Catholic University, a Bachelor of Nursing and I am now enrolled in my final year of a PhD program.

"For my PhD project I am currently conducting a process analysis alongside a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Funded randomised controlled trial called QASC. All a bit of a mouth full! The aim of the QASC trial was to evaluate the effect of a behaviour change intervention to improve the management of fever, sugar and swallow following acute stroke. The results of the QASC trial indicated a 16% improvement in patient outcomes which is more than any mediation trialled following stroke. The results of the QASC trial have been published in the Lancet and were broadcast on the ABC news earlier this year.

"My role alongside the QASC trial was to investigate why the intervention worked and predominantly explored clinician behaviour change. The results of my study have been presented at both International and National conferences. I have also presented at the annual Australian Catholic University 3 minute thesis competition where I was awarded 3rd prize in 2010 and 2nd prize in 2011. Support is crucial when conducting a large trial, such as mine. I was fortunate to receive a three year stipend from the Australian Catholic University and a 6 month scholarship from The National Centre for Clinical Outcomes Research, Australia (NaCCOR), a collaborative research centre comprised of partnerships between ACU, Catholic Health Australia and private and public hospitals in multiple Australian states.

"NaCCOR brings together healthcare partners across states to work collaboratively on a range of research projects that aim to improve clinical outcomes for patients and clients.

The Australian Catholic University offers a unique experience for PhD nursing students. It offers flexibility, state of the art research facilities (NaCCOR) and well respected internationally renowned PhD supervisors.

"Many thanks to my supervisor Professor Sandy Middleton. I am now a Lecturer at the Australian Catholic University. I have been awarded multiple teaching development grants, The Carrick Award for the development of the Virtual Health Environment and, I was awarded Lecturer of the Year in 2010. I look forward to supervising future PhD students."