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A Day in the Life of a Research Nurse

Posted by Jen Simpson | 26 May 2015

A Day in the Life of a Research Nurse

It’s almost 10pm and I’m getting ready for bed as I have an early start tomorrow morning, alarm set for 5am for a 7 o’clock start in the EMeRGE office.

Just as I’m getting into bed I get a text message from our Research Fellow informing me of a potential patient for our new Heart Failure study. Immediately I waken up and begin to plan our next move. We have 16hours from admission to recruitment and randomisation.

Bright eyed I arrive in the office the following morning and get straight to work. I pull out our Relax 2 screening folder and with a fine tooth comb, check and re-check the inclusion and exclusion criteria. This particular study has been running for just over 2 months and we’ve yet to recruit so I’m being extra vigilant. I head down to the Medical Admissions Unit where I identity the Consultant and have a quick chat about eligibility, good news!!! This patient could be the first to be recruited in Edinburgh.
My 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. As Research Nurses we provide information and answer any questions which may arise and support patients in their decisions.

The EMeRGE Research Fellow and I gather our essential paperwork and approach our potential patient, a 93 year old lady with acute heart failure. This is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled phase IIIb study and comes with a 12 page patient information document. After a lengthy discussion patient number 001 gives her consent for the first part of the trial! We take an additional blood sample and analyse it to determine whether or not this patient is suitable for our study. She is! Now we have to randomise patient number 001 and make up the drug or placebo. We contact our bed manager to organise a bed in the Coronary Care Unit so our CCU Research colleagues can take over her care. I stay with patient 001, religiously checking observations and documenting everything meticulously until the ward is ready, I then transfer to her to CCU, where she’ll stay whilst receiving the study drug.

Meanwhile back at the office we arrange follow-up appointments at various intervals and commence the mountain of paperwork involved in such an important study. It’s home time for me, my colleagues take over the care of patient 001, I’ll catch up with her in the morning.

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

2017 Annual Team Meeting – EMERGE-RRG What does a Research Nurse actually do?

What does a Research Nurse actually do?

30 Nov 2017 | Miranda Odam

Working as a research nurse is an unusually challenging, stimulating and fascinating speciality - whether it is as a research nurse in emergency medicine, critical care or the Clinical Research Facility - research nursing has something for everyone. And any nurse can do it ;) NHS Lothian has an enormous portfolio of research happening on every ward and down every corridor. Research nurses identify suitable patients, and give them the opportunity to enter innovative and leading studies and trials. It is well know that research is an opportunity for patients, we also know that research improves patient care. So why not give it a go? There are band 5, 6 and 7 research nurse posts throughout NHS Lothian - and we would all be delighted to speak with you and share our appreciation for research. It's not dull, and you don't need to write your own research project - having an attention to detail and a love of team work are key characteristics, and of course a willingness to be enthusiastic and excited about your projects. Join us on 1st February 2018 to learn more about the role, and the various specialities that are research active Seminar room 6 Chancellors building, RIE

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Autumn 2017 EMERGE Newsletter now out!