Just about every critic I talked to said that I needed to do field research with nurses. They said I was knowledgeable about the subject matter through my research but not knowledgeable enough about actual scenarios that nurses may face. They felt that more involvement would inform me about decisions that were important for my design proposal, which is something I completely agree with. Another criticism I received regarded my ability to communicate my topic. Towards the end of the night, I found myself approaching my presentation in a different kind of way, one that was more comprehensive. I also came to the conclusion that I was going to have to tweak my mission statement and really assess my user group. Looking back through the entire semester, I think I have been guided to my proposal because of the research I have found, but I also feel that I need to redirect my focus in order to make my argument stronger. There was a lot of misinterpretation from the critics, which I blame on the way I presented my argument. Stephanie Kubanek also commented on the “holistic” potential that my project has. She said she really liked the diagram on my board showing the treatment of the patient and the removal of the glove. She made a great observation, that the point at which waste becomes not just “my waste” in terms of the patient but infectious medical waste is very important to understand. The human interaction and the standardized disposal of it should be well thought out. I want to make that one of my goals for the final end product. It has to be functional by keeping with my mission statement but it also needs to take into consideration the human aspect of treatment. Another critic also commented on whether or not my board communicates the urgency of the problem regarding proper disposal in the hospital. She said I do not communicate how difficult it is to make healthcare workers take an extra step to segregate. She said that since there are many parallels to recycling, I should also include that in my board as well.
In terms of the miscommunication about my topic and my explanation for my thesis mission and design proposal, here is something that I wrote to myself the morning after the review:
Well there's the obvious that I am assuming traveling nurses don't segregate the waste incorrectly when they bring it back to the hospital so why in the world would I make something for them if the segregation issue happens in the hospital. I'm assuming a lot. I need to be in direct contact with hospitals and visiting nurses. I also need to make a decision: either I encompass all nurses or I narrow my focus to Visiting Nurses. I may have to change my thesis mission because I may not be reducing pollution if I focus on the visiting nurses. Looking at it from a “transportation” perspective was not translating to the critics.
Another thing which makes complete sense is why don't I reduce pollution by making their tools that I make more sustainable and reusable instead of battling the segregation issue in the hospital by focusing on the visiting nurses who aren't even IN the hospital.