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Helping deliver social care research: Michelle and Kinza’s story

A career in research can be hugely rewarding, by playing a role in developing new tests, treatments and ways of working that can save lives and change lives. In this article, research nurses at Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading talks about their work and role in RIGHT (Relationships In Good Hands Trial), a study into whether Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy can improve the mental health of fostered or adopted children aged five to 12. To learn more about working in research, speak with your R&D team or visit the NIHR website.

Research nurse Cecille Michelle Cadampog (pictured left):

My interest in research began when I started working in the pharmaceutical industry in 2012. It sparked my curiosity on how medications come about and their efficacy and safety profile are established. But unfortunately, there were limited opportunities for a research career in my country.

My desire to be part of research was kindled further when I moved to the UK from the Philippines and witnessed how millions of lives were saved during the pandemic due to the cooperation of the study team, NHS and the public to come up with a solution to a global problem. As devastating as the pandemic was, seeing the community step up and come together to give us a fighting chance against COVID-19 was truly inspirational. Fortunately, this time, I had the opportunity to work in research and development through the NHS.

I'm currently a part of the Direct Delivery Team (DDT), a cross-speciality department of R&D and I am working on a social care study called RIGHT (Relationships In Good Hands Trial) (see above). Initially, I was anxious about taking on this study as it deals with adopted/fostered children who experienced maltreatment before coming to their current families. It’s been years since I last worked with children, and I wasn't confident I'd be able to deliver the study well, given its sensitive nature. But the trial centre has been highly supportive throughout the whole process. Even after the site initiation visit, they were willing to walk me through it step-by-step and were readily available to answer my queries. The initial session with my first participant went well, thanks to them. 

Working in a social care study was an excellent opportunity for me as an internationally educated nurse. It not only widened my perspective on the impact of abuse on children, their family and their community, but it also raised my awareness of the care setting outside the hospital and the services the NHS can offer to support them.

And this is what I love about working in research. Learning is endless and diverse. I gain additional knowledge as I deliver the study and get involved in developing new treatments and evidence-based practices that can benefit our patients in the future.

Research nurse Kinza Emmanuel (pictured right):

My interest in research grew during the COVID-19 pandemic as it advanced our understanding of the virus and played a pivotal role in getting us back to some form of normality. During the pandemic, I was able to witness first-hand the impact antiviral medication remdesivir had on patient recovery. I wanted to know more about where the idea came from and how research is conducted in a hospital setting. I started my research journey in January 2022 after an unfortunate injury to my back, which hindered my ability to efficiently carry out some aspects of my clinical role as a ward nurse.

This research nurse role provided me with the chance to apply my clinical skills and knowledge towards patient welfare whilst simultaneously supporting my own health and wellbeing. In particular, the role has given me the opportunity to work with patient groups that I would not have encountered in my clinical career as an adult nurse whilst still having the fortuity to retain my clinical skills.

My role in the RIGHT study (see above) involves interacting with parents and children to monitor their progress made through the therapy sessions. No two days are the same. One day I might be supporting a social care study and the next I would be administering a trial drug to a patient in theatres. I really appreciate the diversity and multidisciplinary working in this role. 

To learn more about working in research, speak with your R&D team or visit the NIHR website.