So….if I was to ask you a couple of questions to start with….
How many research nurses and other research staff are working in your trust?
How many clinical trials are running in your trust?
How many patients have been recruited on to clinical trials in the last year in your trust?
Could you answer me? To be honest I didn’t have a clue before my placement with the Research and Development team in my trust. Oh, I see some of you starting to yawn, but this is not taught research this is actual research that shapes our practice, guidelines and the future of healthcare.
So, the answer to my original question…..in my trust we have around 50 research staff, we have about 200 clinical trials, and we recruited over 5000 patients last year!
I find those figures quite astonishing.
I have gained a lot from this placement and now hopefully understand research a bit more in depth. Although I haven’t had much opportunity to use my clinical skills, I have been able to develop other key skills and don’t forget the one thing I bang on about all the time…..every opportunity is a learning opportunity so ask questions.
To see research first hand and the process right from the initial visit right through to patient visits has helped me to start to make sense of those ever-confusing research papers. Terms like double blind interventional study now actually have a real meaning, and I’m starting to read research papers with more insight, more meaning and more interest, after all these studies may change my practice and patient outcomes in the future. Some of these studies will also be financially beneficial for the NHS, save us time and more importantly change lives, so that’s got to be good right?
One thing that has really stood out through this placement is how open and enthusiastic patients are to consider and take part in trials. From a patient possibly trying out a new plaster cast material, to taking an active ingredient/placebo medication or families deciding for their loved ones in ICU. Patients don’t just think of themselves they think of everyone around them, other carriers of the disease as well as supporting the NHS.
The nurses get to build professional relationships with their patients over an extended period of time and spend quality time with them. They get to work across the multidisciplinary team gaining wider knowledge of different specialties, procedures and conditions/diseases. As with nursing in general, every day is a learning day and you are continually gaining more and more knowledge.
So, some key learning points from this experience….
• Drives evidence-based practice
• Offers patients other options
• Delivers patient centered care
What a student nurse/nurse gets out of taking part in research…..
• Quality face to face time with patients
• Variability and variety on a day to day basis
• Playing a part in developing better healthcare
My challenge to you…..if you are a student or in fact a nurse, find out what research happens in your trust and could you get involved? Ask if you can go and find out what research is happening. Finally, don’t be put off by those complicated research papers, research is interesting and is the future of healthcare.
Thank you to the Research Nurse I borrowed the picture off