Research is the planned process in which information or resources are collected. Research can be seen as an investigation into a study regarding materials and sources in order to gain knowledge and facts. Many organisations have research as an essential tool, though it is exceptional in the health and social care industry and can take days, months and even years to develop some research. The aim is to identify information which we do not know yet and find out the information which is already known to people, through research people can have a better understanding of what service users needs and find ways of improving the service and care towards them. Data can be collected for research which must always be up to date and evaluated or checked frequently, this can help by making comparisons to other pieces of information which has been found.
There are many different functions of research which include developing new ideas and expanding knowledge; Research can be used to develop ideas which have already been produced but still need work to be done, research can assist and guide professionals or other people to create groundbreaking ideas. By developing new or improving ideas, resources and equipment which we already have is able to greatly improve and will have the potential to save lives. For example, in a Health and Social Care setting, healthcare professionals have the ability to improve medicine which could cure different illness or disease which can save the lives of many, By finding any new information which was gathered by research could help identify needs of certain individuals, if an individual was admitted to a hospital their background would be on file which would contain information on their past and current physical condition, this will assist and guide the healthcare professionals to give an insight on someone’s life, this relevant and up to date information can help the healthcare professionals in further investigation. The professional would be able to make different options for the type of treatment or care options that the individual needs in order to meet their individual needs. This links to identifying needs which is another function of research.
Identifying needs is important in day to day life but it is essential in Health and Social Care practices; Research can help find out which treatments work better for service users as an individual, research plays an important role in discovering new treatments or methods and ensuring that we use existing treatments in the best possible ways. Research can also find answers to things that are unknown, filling gaps in our knowledge and changing the way that healthcare professionals work. Another function of research is to prove theorists theories; Information that professionals find is extremely important and can be used to support or prove a theorists theory. A theory is a collection of ideas which are found to explain something, the theory could be used to justify, explain or account for a situation. Research can be used in multiple ways to source different pieces of information, some professionals may use experiments in a lab or through physical/ mental experiments on people, reading through books or looking online for studies, statistics or other key sources of information.
Testing harmfulness and benefits is a factor of research and can be one of the many factors in research, testing is vital and can give researchers different and varied results each time. An example of testing for harmfulness or benefits could be in the Health and Social Care setting of a research lab/ clinic; In the lab or clinic individuals may sign up to trial different types of medication or a course of treatment in exchange for a sum of money. The research is carried out by trained healthcare professionals who will monitor and examine each individual’s body and vital signs for any changes, this type of research is extremely important due to it can eliminate or show factors the professionals did not know off or it may counterbalance an existing illness or disease. Research which tests for harmful factors or benefits give healthcare professionals the information needed to improve or change the medication we use. Research which tests for harmfulness and benefits can also open doors for other parts of research such as highlighting gaps in the provision. Research is often carried out to identify gaps in Health and Social Care practice and settings. For example, research highlighted the unmet needs and gaps in the provision for teenagers in Wales with mental health problems.
By highlighting gaps in the provision research will encourage and guide to plan the provision, Healthcare professionals will be able to make preparations for future events of research. In a Health and Social Care setting of a Care Home, planning provision is a useful way to address the needs of service users and the healthcare professionals by providing all aspects of care including referral, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, transfer of care and discharge including care at the end of life. Providing support to develop self-care and promote rehabilitation and working in partnership with other services and external organisations, which include social services and other organisations.
Continuing with a Health and Social Care setting of a care home, another function of research could include monitoring progress of service users. This can include the progress of the staff and managements professional progress in the job or the residents health and well-being progress. Progress can be monitored by aiding or encouraging regular meetings to discuss topics of contemporary importance, which is up to date issues which may arise from staff or service user. Meetings and regular updates of care plans and profiles is the best way to aid reflection of the Healthcare setting, aiding reflection is finding new ways to better the setting and continuing to improve throughout time with all service users best interests in mind and consideration. By doing so the healthcare professionals are improving the practice, which is another function of research. Continuing to improve practice is extremely important in the Health and Social Care industry as things are always changing, such as equipment, methods, medication, policies and procedures.