Two days, a snowstorm and a trip worth taking
Brian Peach lets nothing stand in the way of his goals to improve patient care through nursing research
By Paige Parrinelli
When Brian Peach, M.S.N., R.N., was chosen by the College of Nursing’s faculty Research, Scholarship and Sabbatical Committee to attend the Southern Nursing Research Society Conference in San Antonio, he had no idea he was in for the ride of his life.
Peach, a doctoral student in the College of Nursing, began his journey in late February from the Orlando airport. He was slated to fly to San Antonio but found himself trapped overnight in Detroit thanks to a snowstorm hitting Georgia and the Carolinas. The next day it took Peach more than three hours to book a flight to Texas. By that point he was forced to fly to Houston instead of San Antonio. He drove 3 1/2 hours to make it to the conference.
“I was supposed to get in to San Antonio around 10:30 a.m., but I didn’t end up getting in to San Antonio until the next day at 6 p.m. So yes, it was a long, long trip,” Peach said.
At the conference he represented UF at an exhibit booth and helped to recruit new faculty and grad students. Peach also got to meet with program officers from the National Institute of Nursing Research and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“Those two organizations fund some of the top research in the country,” he said. “Not just for nursing, but actually other professions as well. So I got to meet with them and discuss research ideas, and for me that made it worth the ticket.”
In addition to being a student, he currently works full-time as a nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at UF Health Shands Hospital and frequently serves as a preceptor for nursing students. As a nurse, he works with patients who have problems ranging from cardiac arrest to snakebites. Peach is also certified to do 24-hour nursing-driven dialysis. This allows him to perform continuous renal replacement therapy, or CRRT, where a machine is used to help patients whose kidneys have failed, but who cannot tolerate normal dialysis due to low blood pressure.
Peach graduated from nursing school at Villanova University. Afterward, he worked as an instructor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. It was his work there that made him realize he had a passion for education and it was what spurred him on to get his master’s degree in nursing education. He spent two-and-a-half years teaching a wide variety of undergraduate-level clinical practicums and lab courses as an adjunct professor for Temple and Drexel universities.
Peach’s desire to continue teaching led him to start his Ph.D.
at UF in the fall of 2013. For his Ph.D., he is investigating possible predictors of chronic postsurgical pain that occur after common procedures such as joint replacements, thoracic procedures and mastectomies.
His research focuses on identifying patients who may develop chronic pain after common surgical procedures. In some cases, patients undergo elective procedures for persistent pain but then develop chronic pain afterward. Peach said if health care providers can predict which patients are likely to develop chronic pain it may be worth asking whether surgical intervention is appropriate.
Peach said he was interested in studying this topic because of his belief that when patients come to him with a problem, they shouldn’t leave with three or four new ones.
“I’m committed to seeing improvement in practice through research,” he said.