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Michèle Hughes qualified as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) in the Mater Infirmorum Hospital, Belfast after which she successfully completed a three year Diploma in Nursing at Queens University, Belfast (QUB), (the first ever Nursing programme to commence in QUB). During this period Michèle nursed in the area of Cardiac Medicine progressing to Senior staff nurse ('E' Grade) working in the Cardiac Monitoring Unit (CMU).
Michèle resigned her post as Action Senior Sister ('G' grade) in a Cardiac Medical ward in order to take up full time studies at the Coleraine Campus of the University of Ulster where she successfully completed an Honours Degree in Professional Development (Nursing). She then successfully completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education Studies for Nursing at the Jordanstown Campus of the University of Ulster.
Despite being accepted onto the second year of the Master¿s in Education Michèle took up the post of College Lecturer at a College of Brunel University (Buckinghamshire and Chiltern University College). During this period Michèle successfully completed a Masters in Health Sciences and progressed to Senior Lecturer.
Michèle resigned this post in order to take up a post of Nurse Tutor in the School of Nursing in Cork University Hospital. Within a year Michèle accepted a post of College Lecturer in University College Cork where she still works.
My research interests largely focus on the educational needs of cardiovascular patients. I have also been involved in exploring the recruitment of students into Nursing and Midwifery and I remain interested in this area. However during my current research project, my interests have expanded to include the exploration of health literacy and its impact on the education of patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). I am therefore also interested in exploring the role of the health professional when dealing with health literacy in clinical practice. This will involve interdisciplinary research and the collaboration of both academic and clinical practitioners involved in direct care of patients with CVD.As part of my MSc Health Sciences and my undergraduate Hons Degree I engaged in research exploring the educational needs of patients following their first Myocardial Infarction. Both studies identified topics that were important to patients, and that at times nurses were not aware of, and this concurred with other study findings. These findings were presented at a World Congress and published in a peer reviewed journal. They have since been presented at conferences nationally. Since this period, mortality and morbidity figures for myocardial infarction have improved. The same can not be said of Heart Failure which is currently the only CVD where the incidence and morbidity figures continue to worsen.
My current study explores the level of knowledge that patients, with Heart failure, have of their condition and its self-management. I am Chief Investigator and am exploring the effect of education and counselling on these patients¿ knowledge. Data collection has been completed and preliminary findings have been very positive towards the effectiveness of the clinical staff in improving patients¿ knowledge of both their condition and self-management. The psychological and emotional benefits reported by patients attending the service also appear very positive. Once the current study is completed I hoped to both publish and present the findings in collaboration with my clinical colleagues who also became involved in this project.
Following both the collaboration of academic colleagues to explore the issue of poor health literacy and my study¿s preliminary findings, my research interests have changed slightly. I am currently interested in exploring the impact of poor health literacy on patients¿ self-management and the effectiveness of current literature used to educate patients regarding their condition and its self-management.
I have studied Health Promotion to Master¿s Level due to my interest in the subject. Consequently I have been module leader for several health promotion modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. It is a subject I very much enjoy.
I am a registered Basic Life Support (BLS) instructor so am involved in providing BLS programmes within the College and in the community. Due to my clinical background and research I have a keen interest in teaching cardiovascular nursing at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I also enjoy supervising undergraduate students¿ research proposals.