For the full day on August 2nd, 2017, Connie Schardt presented her popular continuing training course, “Evidence-Based Practice and the Medical Librarian” at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, thanks to the Health Sciences Information Section (HSIS) of the North Dakota Library Association (NDLA) and a Professional Development Award from the GMR.
HSIS applied for this award as an opportunity for librarians of all stripes in our state to learn more about helping patrons find high quality health information. Health sciences librarians, many of whom are new professionals, were of course invited, along with librarians from all other institutions, public or academic, in the region, since that the need for quality health information is not only a concern of health sciences libraries.
Participants, including HSIS members, academic librarians in other specialties, and faculty members, all came from institutions around the state to learn about evidence-based practice. This included identifying study designs and understanding when and why they are used, searching for evidence in PubMed, and critically appraising articles. Each part of the course had an opportunity for participants to practice and apply new skills, making it both effective and enjoyable.
For those who attended and had been in the health sciences library profession for some years, the course was a great refresher and reminder of some of the aspects of evidence-based practice that are easier to forget, particularly the definitions of some of the statistical concepts like absolute and relative risk. The course was also useful to newer professionals who may have had a basic understanding of evidence-based practice now rounded-out and made applicable to their jobs.
Whether doing one-on-one research consultations or classroom instruction, after completing this course the information participants and I share with patrons is much more in-depth; not just confidently demonstrating how we find, evaluate and think about health information, but why it is important. Evidence-based practice helps patients and their providers work together to address their specific health concerns in a way that works best for the patient.
After the course, it is easy to see why Connie Schardt’s course has been so popular for so long—it takes what can seem like very specialized knowledge and breaks it down to make it easily understandable and pertinent to our day-to-day jobs as librarians. We HSIS NDLA members are thankful to Connie, UND and the GMR for making this opportunity possible.
For those interested, the course will next be offered online from February 19th to April 15th; find more information here: https://sils.unc.edu/programs/ebm.
Posted on behalf of Merete Christianson by Helen Spielbauer