Back to Top Skip to main content

Graduate Nursing Student Tells of Challenges to Pursuing Doctoral Degree during COVID-19

Image of soldier sitting at desk looking at laptop Graduate work often requires in-person collaboration, which has become a major obstacle during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | National Nurses Week

For Navy Cmdr. Melissa Troncoso, a Graduate School of Nursing student pursuing a doctoral degree in Nursing Science at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), closing the campus and moving to a virtual environment has presented challenges to her ability to complete her dissertation. Although graduate work is done independently, much of it requires in-person collaboration and data collection, presenting Cmdr. Troncoso with a number of obstacles to face and overcome during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The current quarantine situation has impacted how I engage in my dissertation in several ways, most notably in participant recruitment, data collection, workflow, and personal expectations,” Troncoso said. “I am conducting a qualitative research study using ethnography to explore the eating behaviors of junior enlisted sailors, and observations and interviews are an essential component of data collection. Since sailors are not eating in public places and we are all sheltering in places, I’ve had to put the observation component of my data collection on hold.”

Ideally, her semi-structured interviews with participants would be conducted in person; however, since quarantine, she has had to adjust her plans.

“I have been conducting all interviews via phone,” the commander explained. “Thankfully, I included telephone and videoconference as options for interviews in my Institutional Review Board protocol. I have watched webinars presented by qualitative researchers experiencing the same struggle of conducting fieldwork during quarantine.

Unfortunately, the stay-at-home orders have prevented her from recruiting face-to-face and required her to rely on her leaders and “gatekeepers” to spread the word about her study. Troncoso added, “While I am grateful to have the support of leaders to spread the word, there is nothing like connecting with individuals face-to-face.”

During these challenging times, she has continued to rely on USU support, and noted the USU Learning Resource Center and IT staff as being tremendously helpful and responsive. The mother to two school-aged children also recommends - kindness, compassion, patience and leadership to survive and thrive.

“Do your best to live in the present and focus on what you can control today,” she stated. "You are stronger, smarter, and more resourceful than you think you are.”

You also may be interested in...

VAX Fact Other Medical Conditions

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I have other medical conditions? If you have underlying medical conditions, you can choose a COVID-19 vaccine if you have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to any ingredients in the shots. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age to reduce risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

An infographic answering the question of whether you can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you have underlying medical conditions.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Protection Last

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: How long does a COVID-19 vaccine protect me for? We do not know yet how long protection may last for those who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  We do know a COVID-19 vaccine may reduce your chances of spreading the illness to others or facing more serious illness, including hospitalization. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.

An infographic answering the question of how long the COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Currently Pregnant

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I'm currently pregnant? Talk with your healthcare provider to help you decide if you should get a COVID-19 vaccine.  Clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines may offer data and outcomes in the future.  The CDC has a smartphone tool called v-safe.  It offers personalized health check-ins that you can enroll in after a vaccination.

An infographic answering the question of whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you're currently pregnant.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Current Infection

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Facts: Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I currently have a positive COVID-19 infection: No. People with a COVID-19 positive test result or illness symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they recover and meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation.  This also applies if you get COVID-19 between a first and second vaccine dose.

An infographic answering the question of whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you currently have a positive COVID-19 infection.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Affect Fertility

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact: Does a COVID-19 vaccine affect my fertility? There is currently no evidence of fertility impacts due to COVID-19 vaccines.  If you are trying to conceive or want to get pregnant in the future, you may choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available.

An infographic answering the question of whether the COVID-19 vaccine affects a person's fertility.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Fact Breastfeeding

Infographic
4/19/2021
VAX Fact Q and A: Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm breastfeeding? It's up to you to decide.  The CDC says COVID-19 vaccines can be offered to pregnant or breastfeeding women.  If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider may help but is not required.

An infographic answering the question of whether you can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you're breastfeeding.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Is It Your Time to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Infographic
3/5/2021
This graphic informs TRICARE beneficiaries which tier they fall into as their local military treatment facility or clinic offers the vaccine.

This Infographic informs TRICARE beneficiaries which tier they fall into as their local military treatment facility or clinic offers the vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Genetic sequence data for SARS-CoV-2

Infographic
6/5/2020
Infographic describing how DoD was able to conduct genome sequencing on the COVID-19 virus

Genetic sequence data for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes #COVID19, plays a vital role in force health protection efforts within the DoD. To jumpstart sequencing efforts, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch's Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response applied a collaborative approach to sequencing capabilities. Resulting sequence data will provide critical information about transmission patterns, track diagnostic effectiveness, and guide the development and evaluation of medical countermeasures.

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Coronavirus | Global Emerging Infections Surveillance
Showing results 1 - 8 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.