Nursing

This is a guide for GRC's nursing students.

Construct a Complex Search in Medical Databases

Medical databases give you the power to conduct very specific or complex searches.

Use special techniques combine search words in search boxes to effectively find the info you need:

Example scenario: What are some nursing considerations for pregnant women with high blood pressure?

See below for example search construction based on that scenario:

Click to enlarge image:

To start your research, type into the database the search word(s) that describe your topic. Example: “high blood pressure” 
•    Option – Use AND to connect your ideas and focus your search:
“high blood pressure” AND pregnancy
•    Option – Use quotation marks to keep a phrase together in your search:
“high blood pressure”
•    Option -  In the same box, use OR to expand your search to synonyms or related ideas:
pregnancy OR prenatal
•    Option – Use an asterisk to find word variations.
Example     nurs*     finds nurse, nurses, nursing, nurse practitioner

Video: How to Use Keywords to Form a Research Strategy

Source: "From topic to search results in two minutes! " by Holman Library is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Learn about strategizing keywords and how databases work when searching keywords.

Construct a Complex Search in Google

Google and Google Scholar also gives you the power to construct complex searches.

Use a similar same technique as constructing a search in a medical database:

Click to enlarge image:

Option – Use AND to connect your ideas and focus your search: “high blood pressure” AND pregnancy
•    Option – Use quotation marks to keep a phrase together in your search: “high blood pressure”
•    Option -  Within parenthesis, use OR to expand your search to synonyms or related ideas: pregnancy OR prenatal
•    Note – Google generally finds variants of words by default.

Nursing Research Worksheet

Try It!

Choose one topic below.  Practice constructing a search from that scenario:

SCENARIO A:

What are some nursing considerations for elderly patients who receive the flu vaccine?

SCENARIO B:

How might nurses help with depression that often affects stroke patients?

SCENARIO C:

What should nurses be aware of when treating veterans with PTSD?

SCENARIO D:

Create your own nursing scenario that interests you!

PICOT: Develop Your Research Question

STEP 1: Use the PICOT acronym to help you create a research question:

 

P = Patient/Population/Problem

Who is your patient? Identify a disease, health status, age, race, geographic region, sex, or a specific characteristic important to your question.

Example: stroke patients

= Intervention/Indicator

What do you plan to do for the patient? Identify a specific test, therapy, medication or management strategy.

Example: virtual reality, occupational therapy

= Compare/Control

What is the alternative to your plan? Examples may include: no treatment or a different type of treatment.

Example: non-VR (or option to have no comparison)

= Outcome

What outcome do you seek? Identify possible outcomes/results of the intervention such as less symptoms, no symptoms, or better quality of life...etc.

Example: rehabilitation, flexibility, mental health

= Time/Type of Study or Question (This element is optional and not always included)

What is the time frame? What study types will most likely have the information you seek? 

Example: systematic review

 

STEP 2: Search article databases using some of the concepts/words you generated from the PICO acronym: