I 04 SPECIAL SESSION: A Researcherís Journey with Participants and Fieldworkers

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 3:30 PM-4:45 PM
Description/Overview: As researchers we are faced with many challenges: We are challenged to produce quality research and we are measured against this; we are challenged to be productive through publication; we are challenged to obtain funding for our projects; we are challenged to ensure future researchers through supervision, and lastly we are challenged to be true scholars. In this race against challenges we might often lose sight of our initial dreams and reasons for becoming researchers. The outcomes of all this might be enrichment in education, enhancing our practice, increasing our body of knowledge, bettering our research practices, publications, and even possible promotion. In this presentation I want to focus on two groups of people that are often overlooked yet make this all possible. We always mention them in descriptive and rigorous terms, yet we lose sight of them in the true sense. They were the people who have made my journey as a community-based researcher a rich and meaningful experience. I am referring to the participants and the fieldworkers in my studies. The participants in my case have over the last decade been the HIV positive people and the fieldworkers involved in my community-based studies. My journey with them has taken me on difficult roads, but has always given me richness in experience I would not want to miss out on. In my journey they were the people that gave me my dreams and made my research possible. This presentation is dedicated to all those HIV positive people who have shared their stories with me and had to continue with their lives after sharing, as well the fieldworkers who walked the journey with me. The fieldworkers were my lengthened arms in the community; working impossible hours in impossible places. They have given me commitment and sacrificed a lot to ensure that they are the voice of their communities.
Learner Objective #1: understand how to gain entry into a community and reaching the participants in community-based research and how to build a trusting relationship with them.
Learner Objective #2: work effectively with fieldworkers in community-based research, build an appreciation for the work they do, as well as build a trusting relationship with them.
Organizers:  Minrie Greeff, PhD, (Psychiatric, Nursing), Africa Unit for Transdiciplinary Health Research, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Moderators:  Mary A. Cazzell, RN, PhD, College of Nursing, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX