Date: 22 July 2019
I’m Ebony and I’m currently studying at Uckfield College. In the near future I hope to be able to pursue a career as a combat medic. I want to do this because I like the idea of helping others and seeing the world while having some excitement. For work experience I hoped to take the opportunity to do something that would correlate with my future aspirations and goals. I managed to get a place for five days at the Clinical Research Network which is based at Brighton University. This would help me in future life and jobs, and would also allow me to experience working life with other adults.
I began the week with a very warm welcome by all the amazing staff here at the Clinical Research Network. The first day I was shown around and given a rough idea of what happened within clinical research. I had a small understanding of the overall concept but quickly came to realize the complexity and fun of the environment. I was given some links to a few websites to expand my knowledge. I was then given a tour of the website where I learnt how they worked with 14 other networks. I was then soon introduced to a website called EDGE. EDGE is a very complex website with many layers, however it is useful to store mass amounts of data and research. My job was to make sure every study was up to date and allocated to the right person. Any not following the criteria was put into a spreadsheet and sent to the right person to change. My first day’s priority was meeting people and seeing what I wanted out of this work experience and how they could help me with that.
For my second day I arrived to meet new people who were all as lovely as the rest of them. They all had similar but different roles and still managed to work together like a team. I got to see how people like Debbie went round to interest new practices in clinical research by handing out promo packs. I helped by assembling the promo packs and started to see the real beneficial use of clinical research. I then went to finish the EDGE reports and send them to each individual who deeply appreciated the gaps that needed filling. I finally finished my day with a phone call from one of the First 5 GPs. She was very lovely and explained to me the years of university required to get to where I want to go in life.
On my third day I studied a research project called ATTACK which is a study on the reduction of heart attacks and strokes, due to CKD, by supplying them with small doses of aspirin every day. I went onto collecting data and making a RISP for the research. The RISP needed large amounts of detail. My teacher came to visit and we had a discussion involving a few members of staff about my wonderful time here at the Clinical Research Network. I got to know the workers around me and how all the roles in clinical research ran, like a research nurse and the importance of having them, and how a woman named Jennie promotes clinical research and her studies on Join Dementia Research. I also deeply appreciate both Jennie and Gillian for taking their time to call me and answer some of my questions.
On the fourth day I went out with Debbie to practices that weren’t a part of clinical research to deliver some packs in hopes to get them on board with clinical research. I previously made the packs and seeing them be distributed was very nice as I had taken part. I then sat in with a meeting with one of the many practices that do clinical research and learnt about how their studies were going and how successful they were being. I got to then write up all that had happened in the meeting on EDGE so that it would be kept a record of.
On my final day I was kindly given a tour of the medical school at Sussex University by one of the professors. He showed me several things such as an ultra sound and the lecture room. He also talked me through the process of applications and what things the universities look for in upcoming students. I then was kindly taken by Debbie to see another practice, which frequently does studies, to take notes and sit in. I was then finally taken off to say goodbye to the team, and recap my whole week. The amount I’ve learnt and the experience I’ve gained is absolutely amazing. I am very lucky to be doing my work experience in such a kind and friendly environment.
During my week here I have learnt how clinical research works and how each operation is handled and the roles within it all. I’ve learnt new medical terminology and what clinical research is like behind the scenes, and finally I have learnt what life is like in a working environment. I have really enjoyed my week here and the staff have helped me with this journey, trying their hardest to get the best possible outcome for me. This will greatly impact my future career and give me a boost in confidence that I can get to where I want to go. Every single staff member I met here has been beyond amazing and I’d like to say a massive thank you. If any practices were looking into doing clinical research I would highly recommend doing it. As it doesn’t only benefit the research team but the staff and patients around you.
Ebony did work experience with the CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex Primary Care team in July 2019.