Sue Jenkins is Acting Senior Lecturer in the Department of Anaesthetics, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine. The ‘Acting’ part of her title means that she is building her University and National professional profile to become a Senior Lecturer. On a day to day basis this role includes managing a postgraduate team of academics that deliver interprofessional, e-learning, postgraduate MSc level courses and modules and she is course leader for the primary and community care based pain management courses and modules. Sue joined the department in 1996. Her original role was as a Research Nurse, co-ordinating clinical trials and during this time she started assisting Dr Ann Taylor, on the first MSc Pain Management in the world.
“I was offered a role as a teaching assistant for Ann and during that period, undertook the MSc Pain Management. Following graduation, I was promoted to Lecturer (through the Cardiff University promotion process) and also completed the PGCert in Healthcare Professionals Education. Since 1996, I’ve been involved in the development of other postgraduate MSc level healthcare programmes. These include the MSc in Critical Care, MSc in Advanced Surgical Practice and more recently, I lead on the development of the primary care pain management module and MSc level programmes. I’ve been heavily involved in the validation of new courses .”
Sue has been in the department for almost 20 years. So what’s the secret to her working attitude?
“I’m willing to take on a challenge and I’m a completer. I like to get projects completed and finished. There have been a lot of projects and innovations in terms of how we’ve developed our courses. Healthcare is constantly evolving and we try to keep up with these changes and the educational market, in terms of what’s important for healthcare professionals to learn. It also means working closely as a team.’
In 2008, Sue validated the MSc in Pain Management programme to become purely e-learning. This enabled the introduction of new and novel methods to deliver course content as well as introducing new assessment methods. After employing Karl Luke, our e-learning technologist to facilitate this process, the new platform was developed and now includes tools such as blogs and wikis for student assessments.
“Up until 2008, everything was assessed through written assignments, which students reported as being restricting in terms what was presented within them (lack of breadth and depth and reflection to clinical practice – which has to be demonstrated at MSc level). They also provided less opportunity to support students whilst they learn. This introduction of blog assessments have show that instead of just having 4,500 written words, you now have an assessment which includes, tables, figures, diagrams and also hyperlinks to other online resources, enabling, them to present a lot more information and allowing the written words to be used for analysis, synthesis and reflection. They also enable the lecturers to access ‘work in progress’ to assess and guide the students in their learning and understanding, during a module.”
Sue co-ordinated and was part of the team who set up http://paincommunitycentre.org – a free pain management website for healthcare professionals. This builds on her long standing experience with and innovation in the digital realm.
But it’s not just e-learning that Sue is interested in. More recently, she has collaborated on a piece of qualitative research with Fran Toye, Senior Qualitative Researcher, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford. The project was based around an evidence based film that Fran Toye et al (2013) developed, based on the findings of a meta-ethnography of patients’ experiences, on living with chronic pain.
“A script was written based on the main findings of the meta-ethnography and made into a film called ‘Struggling To Be Me’ (available on You tube). The film was introduced as part of module content, for the Foundation Module in Primary Care Pain Management and I held online video focus groups of students to discuss the content of the film. These were recorded and transcribed. At the moment, we are in the process of evaluating the transcriptions and we have just submitted a piece of research on the project to the British Journal of Pain.”
This year, Sue has become a member of the British Pain Society Education Special Interest Group (SIG) committee, and a member of the Primary Care SIG. She has also had an article published in the British Journal of Pain and is currently examining other areas of the postgraduate education that is delivered here in the department, to submit further articles for publication. She is also part of a team going to South Africa in August, to run a ‘Train the trainer’ on education in pain management, for Mundipharma.