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Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024

Image of Chantelle and Debbie for International Nurses Day 2024

Meet Chantelle and Debbie

Chantelle Moorbey is known for her bright smile and can-do attitude. She’s CRN Wessex’s wonder woman, juggling a demanding PhD with her normal day job.

I’ve been a nurse for 15 years, and nearly all of these have been in research. Currently, I’m stretched like never before. I’m nearing the end of my mammoth PhD, exploring perceptions of healthy lifestyle and diabetes screening following a pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes. And I’m still doing my normal day job. That’s just one example of how nursing has opened up opportunities for me. Although it’s hard work, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

You need a number of different skills and abilities in this job. We really are a classic jack-of-all-trades, and play a role at every stage of a study. That’s from before they even start - helping to figure out what we might need in terms of staff, patients and services. And then during the study we are using all our clinical skills, as well as doing a lot of the administration. At the end, we sweep everything up and make sure all the paperwork and files are saved in the right place. 

There’s always an unexpected challenge around the corner - like multiple studies starting at the same time, even though you planned for that not to happen! And juggling the needs of lots of studies at once can be tricky. You have to love paperwork, and if spreadsheets send your eyes googly, maybe research isn’t for you!

Working on my PhD has made me really aware that recruiting from diverse populations is a vital priority. Exploring different ways to engage with populations and increase their interest and participation in research is something I have really enjoyed … improving people’s access to research is something I have become passionate about because this is key to addressing health inequalities in our populations.. 

At the centre of all we do is the patient, and what keeps me inspired is knowing my work will make a difference to people’s lives. Whilst working on the Sustain diabetes drug trials, it was so rewarding seeing people’s health and lives improve as a result of their participation.

Deborah Dellafera has enjoyed a long nursing career, and is still bringing something fresh to the table every day. If there’s a new challenge on the horizon, Debbie’s your girl.

My interest in nursing stemmed from helping my parents  on the farm at 5am in the mornings before school, looking after the newly born calves and lambs. 

I began my career in 1982 helping at a hospice in Shropshire before training at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and King College, in London. After qualifying and working some time in London, I moved to Hampshire and have been here ever since .

I’ve had a very varied career. As a Lead Nurse I managed an acute trauma unit and adjacent Orthopaedic Services  and later developed an Orthogeriatric Service.  Later I went  on to set up bone density services and then worked as a Rheumatology Specialist Nurse Practitioner. 

Even in these roles, I was ready to challenge accepted practice and keen to improve ways of working and standards of care, and this eventually led me into research - which is all about making advancements and improving treatments. Because I have a genuine interest in people and health, and a passion for adventure and challenges - I realised research was where I wanted to be. That was 15 years ago, and I haven’t looked back! 

I have specialised in Parkinson’s Disease, stroke care, long-term conditions and frailty, enrolling patients into studies looking at new and alternative ways of treating these conditions. My focus is always on supporting patients throughout the process, ensuring they understand the trial and get the best possible experience.

Recently I joined the Senior Research Team at CRN Wessex which involves supporting and managing our agile team of clinical staff who work in all sorts of settings right across the region. The most recent  challenge was helping combine the Primary Care Team and the  Direct Delivery Team to merge into our current very agile Clinical Delivery Team .

There are always challenges in what we do. The research environment is constantly changing and you have to be very adaptable and on your toes. I think everyone should start off gaining experience in clinical areas first, but then do consider switching to research - it is a truly fabulously rewarding and diverse career.