Dr Sandy Pin-pin Choi
Assistant Professor
School of Science and

Interview with Dr Sandy Pin-pin Choi

Dr Sandy Pin-pin Choi is a young and energetic scholar of the Division of Nursing and Health Studies. Her hard work and expertise in nursing have made her successful in applying for the Faculty Development Scheme (FDS) in 2014.

Her study, entitled ‘A phenomenological study of the attributes of the practice environment in Hong Kong residential care homes’, focuses on examining the relationship between the practice environment and staff outcomes in residential care settings in Hong Kong. The findings of her study will contribute to formulating appropriate strategies to improve satisfaction and retention of residential care staff.

The research idea of the FDS project was inspired by her doctoral research. Starting from 2006, Dr Choi observed that the turnover rate of nurses in public hospitals was exceptionally high. In her dissertation, she sought to examine the aspects of the practice environment of nurses that caused the problem. She not only built up her interest but also developed her expertise in this study. Based on her doctoral dissertation as a starting point, Dr Choi took into consideration the strength of the University’s Division of Nursing and Health Studies in preparing for her FDS project. She discovered that the Division has a close connection with residential care homes for the elderly, which are also having a substantial attrition rate among employees. The close connection between the Division and residential care homes could potentially facilitate data collection and enhance the feasibility of the project.

On proposal writing, Dr Choi shared a number of areas she deems significant. She stressed the importance of literature review to highlighting the research problem and hence the value of a proposal. Her literature review for the FDS project covers a lot of relevant news and government’s consultation papers. She also asked her research team members to review the draft proposal and collect feedback from them. Besides, Dr Choi shared her way of reviewing her own paper. She would put the paper aside and disengage herself from it for a number of days, and then review it with fresh eyes. She believes that this could help academics to identify the unclear parts of their own papers that require revision.

Dr Choi nominated external reviewers for her proposal. By consulting her supervisor, she chose reviewers who were familiar with the research topic. The feedback she received turned out to be very useful. The reviewers pointed out how her research plan may have to be modified to achieve meaningful outcome, given the nature of residential care homes for the elderly in Hong Kong. For instance, the reviewers suggested that residential care homes may not be suitable for interviews and her budget plan may need to cover the expenses that might incur for the interviews conducted in cafes or restaurants.

For her career planning, Dr Choi expressed her aspiration to excel in both teaching and research. She planned to engage in further education to enhance her teaching skills. On research, she believes that an academic should have at least two areas of expertise. She planned to explore more about community health services and to publish papers on the related topics, as a preparation for future funding application.



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