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Case study: Your Path In Research - Emma Reid, Senior Research Nurse, NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre:Exeter

Case Study: Emma Reid

Emma Reid is a Senior Research Nurse at the NIHR Patient Recruitment Centre: Exeter, part of the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Here she explains why she hopes to become a Principal Investigator.


Q: How did you become involved in health and care research?

A: I applied for a year's secondment to research ten years ago. This was a rotational post where I had the opportunity to work across many specialities and research portfolios. I came back to the role some years later to further my research career.


Q: Why did you get involved in research?

A: I have always been passionate about developing and improving the care and treatments we provide. I had no idea what the role of a research nurse would entail and how I would apply my knowledge of research to clinical practice, so the secondment was a perfect opportunity for me to find out.


Q: What do you enjoy about working in health and care research?

A: I enjoy being part of the multi-disciplinary team across a number of clinical areas. There is so much variety in the work I do, and I get to build excellent rapport with my clinical colleagues. At the heart of it are our patients/participants, and I enjoy being an extra professional to aid them in their care journey.


Q: How can research benefit/add to your career?

A: Research gives your mind a wider scope to consider not only the here and now, but what research is going on across the globe and how it can impact on your patients.


Q: Why do you think health and care research is important?

A: The healthcare we have now is here because of research, so we need to continually work to develop what we can offer in the future. There will always be improvements to be made to treatments, therapies, public health, as well as those that are completely new and novel.


Q: What are your hopes for your career in research?

A: I am hopeful to have the opportunity to be a Principal Investigator for new studies, whereby I have full responsibility for the study conducted at my site. It is very rewarding to see studies through from set-up to completion, and I hope to be part of much more innovative research.


Q: Why is it important more people become involved in delivering health and care research?

A: We must always use evidence-based practice, so just having an awareness of the research being undertaken in your clinical area is important for your professional development. It is also vital for patients and the public to be aware of the research opportunities available to them, and this is boosted by more people being involved in research delivery.


Q: What impacts have you seen research make in health and care?

A: The biggest impacts I've seen has been the development of COVID vaccines and treatments, and I am proud to have worked on a number of COVID studies. I think the pandemic has highlighted the importance of research to the world, and shown the need for dedicated research teams to be ready to undertake such studies. I have also seen patients rely on studies to provide life-prolonging and life-saving therapies, and being part of their treatment journey was an honour.


Q: What would you say to someone thinking of starting a career in research?

A: A career in research is challenging and rewarding. It is different to any other nursing role I have had and it is very unique. If you have a passion for innovation and providing the best care to patients, you will certainly enjoy a career in research.