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A day in the life of a Research Nurse

The day-to-day role of a Research Nurse is all based around the recruitment of patients into trials. It is our job to inform, support and advocate for patients throughout the research process. Once a patient is identified as eligible for a trial we approach them to introduce ourselves, and the proposed research. Our duty is to provide all information regarding the trial to a patient in an unbiased, understandable and appropriate way. Patients should never feel pressured to recruit onto a study, or feel that they have no choice in the decision. We are there to provide information and to answer any questions which may arise.

One study I am involved with recruits whole families, not just the patient. It is a genetic study which is aiming to identify the gene that causes Otitis Media (inflammation / infection of the middle ear). Genetic testing is carried out on saliva samples provided by the recruited families.

The research process begins before the family is approached. I have to look through the theatre lists for potential patients, and send out information sheets to provide all of the relevant details about the study. A phone number is provided if there are any questions or queries at this stage.

On the morning of surgery I go to the ward to meet the family and discuss the study. I provide extra information and answer any questions.

If the family are happy to take part, each member completes a consent form.

I provide the necessary equipment and explain the process of obtaining the samples (the samples are collected at home).

I follow-up each family with a phone call a few days later to enquire about the sample taking, and to answer any further questions.

I find it very humbling to work with these patients on a daily basis. Although most research trials may not benefit the patient directly, their generosity to participate for the potential to help others in the future is awe-inspiring.

Without research, no advances or improvements can be made to existing care. Although it is a long process, it is so very worthwhile when it has a positive impact on the lives of thousands of patients. Our logo here at InHANSE is a daily reminder of why I do this job and why I enjoy it so much:

Improving patients’ lives through research”.


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