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Case study: Demonstrating the qualities of a great research nurse - Sian's story

International Nurses Day - 12 May

Clinical Research Nurse Sian Roberts works as part of the Delivery Service Team for the Clinical Research Network West Midlands, covering Primary Care Networks in Shropshire and Staffordshire delivering research to their patients.

She has been a Research Nurse for 13 years and chose Research Nursing in General Practice as she wanted to make a difference to the quality of patients' lives. Prior to that, she had worked in the District Nursing team for seventeen years and since becoming a nurse she had an enquiring mind, constantly striving to improve the care she delivered.

She said: "I decided that Research/Health Promotion would be one of the ways I could help to improve our patients’ lives and ultimately reduce the financial burden on the NHS."

She is currently working on the FOUND Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) study which aims to see if OSA can be disgnosed in
General Practice, using an Accupebble, a sleep study device that is already used in hospitals and will be used in line with its
current approvals.

OSA is a relatively common sleep disorder where the walls of the throat relax and narrow during sleep, interrupting normal breathing. This may lead to regularly interrupted sleep, which can have a big impact on quality of life and if untreated, leads to increased risk of developing diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

Sian added: "Research helps to develop new tests for diagnosis and treatments, or repurposes current treatments. During a research study a patient’s condition is usually monitored more closely so any changes can be detected earlier. The results of the Accupebble will be reviewed and the results will be sent to the patients' GPs. If patients are found to have the condition, they will be referred to their local OSA service for treatment. Thus, hopefully changing their lives.

"There are so many qualities that makes a great Research Nurse. If I elaborated here we would be here all day! In a nutshell the Six C’s cover this quite nicely - Care, Communication, Compassion, Courage, Competency and Commitment."