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In a remarkable achievement for the realm of nursing research, Emily Hyde, RN, MN, PhD(s), has been named a recipient of an esteemed Vanier Scholarship for her work aimed at improving outcomes for cardiac surgery patients. Hyde’s research delves into an often-overlooked aspect of post-operative care: the cognitive, mental, and physical well-being of patients who undergo cardiac surgery. Her postdoctoral study, titled “PICS-UP CS: Post-Intensive Care Syndrome: Improving Outcomes Through Patient Engagement with Cardiac Surgery Patients,” seeks to address the post-operative journey for cardiac surgery patients by addressing the prevalent issue of Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS).

Hyde’s pursuits in the field of nursing and research has been marked by dedication, innovation, and a determination to make a lasting impact. With a strong background as a Registered Nurse (RN), she has joined forces with Dr. Todd Duhamel’s lab where she has embraced a multidisciplinary approach to her research. Her work focuses on the physical, cognitive and mental challenges that cardiac surgery patients often face. While medical advancements have greatly improved the surgical process, the period of recuperation isn’t as well understood in terms of nursing management and outpatient care. Hyde’s research aims to bridge this gap and ensure that patients not only survive the surgery but also thrive during their recovery.

In her remarks about receiving the prestigious Vanier Scholarship, Hyde expressed her profound gratitude and the validation it brings to her work. As one of the few nurse practitioners engaging in this level of research and pursuing a PhD, she acknowledges the importance of recognition in a field that is traditionally dominated by other disciplines.

“Having third-party validation (like this) is a real confidence boost and very helpful to have that time and money to focus on this research,” she added. The scholarship not only empowers Hyde to dedicate herself more fully to her research but also provides her with the necessary resources to drive her studies forward.

Hyde’s research is divided into several phases, each contributing to a comprehensive understanding of PICS and its impact on cardiac surgery patients. The project encompasses scoping reviews, patient engagement, healthcare team collaboration, and the development of interventions to mitigate PICS. Her research, set to be concluded by 2025, holds the promise of enhancing patient outcomes and fundamentally transforming the way cardiac surgery patients recover.

When asked about her advice for aspiring nursing students, Hyde’s enthusiasm for the field shines through. She emphasizes the versatility of nursing as a profession, where individuals can explore various avenues from bedside care to research and leadership roles. “It’s really empowering to do your own research and create the best evidence to give the best care for your patients,” she passionately stated. Hyde’s journey is a testament to the potential for nurses to drive transformative change through research and innovation.

As Hyde works to help further improve cardiac surgery patient care, she extends her gratitude to those who have played pivotal roles in her success. She acknowledges Dr. Todd Duhamel, who has been a guiding force and catalyst for her achievements. Additionally, Dr. Rakesh Arora’s unwavering support and encouragement have been instrumental in shaping her research path. Her nurse researcher committee members, Drs. Annette Schultz and Sheila O’Keefe-McCarthy, have provided mentorship and guidance through individualized courses and manuscript development. Hyde also extends her appreciation to her fellow students and colleagues who have provided invaluable insights and support throughout her journey.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (Vanier CGS) program is designed to strengthen Canada’s ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students and establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Vanier Scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health. The Vanier scholarship provides up to $50K per year for three years during doctoral studies.