|Interior of Library|
Ruth spoke about how many of the staff who utilise the service are often not in the hospital, but our in the community, so much of her work is remote. The Library provides current awareness bulletins of new research, in over 70 topics including bibliotherapy, therapy for eating disorders and also electro-convulsive therapy.
Much of her work focuses on assisting with literature searches, processing Inter-Library loan requests and in staff training. One thing she has had to do is become much more aware of the importance of planning her search, as the research evidence is often a key part of diagnosis and treatment, as can be seen from the diagram below:
|The role of the Library in combination with patient assessment and clinical expertise|
Ruth found the organisational culture to be the biggest difference between the university library and the NHS. At the University she was seen more as a teacher, whereas there are very sharply defined roles in the NHS. However, at Prospect, she is more likely to be directly incorporated into groups and work closely alongside healthcare professionals. The library is smaller at Prospect, so she gets more variety in her work, and the spread is different. Ruth does more 1-2-1 sessions, whereas at the University, she was more likely to see groups. She is invited to meetings more at the NHS. Due to the fact that many staff work in the community, much of her work at Prospect is done online via the Internet. This does however, mirror the spread of online learning in the higher education sector. Another important difference was that there was less autonomy in the NHS than in the University library.
Ruth identified several similarities between the two roles that she has worked in, which sided her successful transition. These were the need for good information skills, the need to develop user search skills, being embedded into a team or department and the different levels of experience that users have with research.
Ruth’s top tips for those considering a sectoral switch:
- 1- Identify your transferable skills
- 2- Read up on the subject you wish to support, and be aware of the library/information issues
- 3- Go for it! You won’t get the role if you don’t apply!
|Exterior of Prospect Park Hospital|