Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsWe’re always taught from an early age that we must wash our hands, and all healthcare staff, including us nurses, are constantly told that we must wash our hands. But why? Sure, it kills the germs on our hands, but have you ever come across anyone dying simply because they didn’t wash their hands? Well, we don’t have to look far to prove this. In 2007, 90 patients in a major UK hospital group died from clostridium difficile infection, partly because staff were so busy, they just didn’t have time to wash their hands. And how do we know that hand hygiene is so important? From evidence and evidence comes from observing, recording and investigating new and better ways of doing things.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsThat’s what we call research. Hi, my name’s Laurence Baldwin and I’m the Module Leader for Healthcare Research here at Coventry University. My job is to demystify research and show how it informs evidence based practice that can improve the lives of your patients and service users. So, in this open course we’ll be looking at how research is used to inform healthcare practice. We need to go into the background of how research works to look at what is good and bad evidence, and how this informs best practice for our patients and service users. We’ll look at practical issues to see how research moves from the academic into clinical practice to change and improve lives.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 secondsSo, if you are a nurse or a healthcare professional out there, and you’re a big believer in understanding why we do the things we do, why not join us. Expect to be challenged. Well, I think my hands are clean now.

Introduction to Research Methods

Welcome to the course!

In this video, Dr Laurence Baldwin, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing and Lead Educator, explains what you can expect during the next two weeks. During the course, Laurence is joined by Annie Pettifer, Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing.

You can follow them by selecting the links to their FutureLearn profile pages and selecting ‘follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that they make. Kate Dickens is the course Host and she will also be providing support during the course.

What are you most looking forward to during this course? What area do you work in? Introduce yourself to the rest of your group using the comments area below.

Posting your first comments

Share your response in the comments area. Have a look at other learners’ comments. If you can relate to a comment someone else has made, why not ‘Like’ it or leave a reply? You can filter comments in a variety of ways including ‘Most liked’ and you can also ‘Bookmark’ comments.

If you want to see all the recent comments on the course, just select the Activity icon. If you’re following someone, you can filter this list to show only the comments of people you’re following and also those comments that you’ve bookmarked.

Comment and discussion guidelines

When posting comments, please remember the following:

  • be respectful of others who use this site

  • do not use language that is offensive, inflammatory or provocative (this includes, but is not limited to, swearing and obscene or vulgar comments)

  • do not break the law (this includes libel, condoning illegal activity and contempt of court)

  • please do not post personal information in comments such as addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses or other online contact details, which may relate to you or other individuals including patients in your care

Checking your progress …

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, click the Mark as Complete button. This will update your progress page, and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your To Do list.

You can check your progress page by clicking the icon at the top of the step, where you’ll see what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete.


Given that this is a resource to inform learners about nursing, it is inevitable that some examples may be distressing to various learners. Saying that, these will be examples only and will not form the main part of the learning in this course.

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This video is from the free online course:

Healthcare Research: For Healthcare Professionals

Coventry University