Improving nursing practices through research
Published on 6 August 2023
As an Assistant Director of Nursing (Research), Dr Siti Zubaidah Mordiffi is focused on finding new ways to enhance nursing care and improve patient outcomes.
When Dr Siti first started her nursing career over 38 years ago, she thought nurses were limited to simply "carrying out the doctors' instructions" and providing excellent patient care.
Today, however, the nursing profession has evolved significantly – and so has her perceptions towards the profession.
“Modern-day nurses are empowered to take the lead in providing care to patients,” explained Dr Siti, who is an Assistant Director of Nursing (Research) at National University Hospital (NUH).
“Today, we see nurse-led care provided by our Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs), Nurse Clinicians and specialty nurses. Nurses also govern their own practice and make policy changes based on evidence.
“Even in our so-called ‘day-to-day jobs’, there are a lot of things that nurses must do when taking care of a patient. We need to constantly assess the evidence, critically evaluate it, anticipate potential issues, and put in place appropriate interventions to ensure that our patients receive the care that they require.”
Indeed, Dr Siti is one such nurse who has taken on a less conventional career path by venturing into the nursing research track, where she seeks evidence-driven methods that can positively impact and enhance nursing care.
She elaborated, “One of my research focus is on patient falls assessment and intervention. We want to help nurses identify patients who are at risk of potential falls, so that they can put in place a series of interventions to minimise the risk.
Dr Siti’s work also covers other areas such as pressure injuries care, nasogastric tube management, and a 'silent night' project that is aimed at reducing noise pollution to promote better rest and recuperation for patients.
Dr Siti emphasised that research plays a key role in ensuring that any proposed improvements to clinical practice is safe – for both patients and nurses – before implementation.
“So, while we explore new ways of doing things in clinical practice, we also need to ensure it is evaluated thoroughly. This is to ensure that it not only improves patient outcomes, but also does not cause unintended complications or harm,” she said.
While acknowledging that the journey on the nursing research track can be challenging, Dr Siti firmly believes that the rewards more than justify the hard work.
That is why she advocates patience for nurses who decide to pursue the research track.
“Perseverance is key – you will likely meet roadblocks along the way, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed,” Dr Siti advised. “Always have the end goal in mind before you start your research. Having said that, you must also be open-minded, because your initial assumptions might be challenged.
“Finally, while it's true that research involves a lot of hard work, don't let that deter you from pursuing this track. The journey may be demanding, but the sense of fulfilment and reward upon reaching your research goals is incredibly gratifying.”
In consultation with Dr Siti Zubaidah Mordiffi, Assistant Director of Nursing (Research), NUHVisit our new NUHS Nursing Career Site where you can learn all about the vast opportunities to excel, innovate, lead, teach, and advance your nursing career.