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International Nurses Day 2020: COVID-19 through the eyes of a Research Nurse

International Nurses Day 2020: COVID-19 through the eyes of a Research Nurse

Susie Butler, RST (Research Support Team) Hub Lead for Lincolnshire tells us about her work on COVID-19 research studies on International Nurses Day...

What have you been doing to support the delivery of COVID-19 research studies?

I have been working on the RECOVERY study at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which is exploring whether a number of existing drugs could be used to treat COVID-19 patients. My role has included working with the team to set up processes to deliver the study and recruit patients. 

I have also been supporting staff from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust so that they can help to deliver the study in hospitals across Lincolnshire, giving them inductions, making sure that they have access to uniforms and ensuring that they can access computer systems across the Trust.

What response have you had from patients when they have been asked to take part in COVID-19 research?

It is a delicate time to introduce research, as many patients are understandably frightened by their experience. But so many are keen to do what they can to help us tackle COVID-19, and for many of them taking part in research is the only way that they can make a contribution. It’s heartwarming to hear patients talk about their desire to help and we provide them with all the support we can so that they fully understand what their involvement will entail.

Have you noticed a change in research awareness amongst other staff?

I’m definitely having more conversations with healthcare staff about research. Everyone working across the Trust is aware of the important research that is being carried out here and wants to do what they can to help. People are naturally curious about COVID019 research and want to find out more about what is being trialled, and the potential impact that it could have.

Why do you think International Nurses Day is important?

I think it is so important because it allows us to reflect on the essential work of nurses across the country and to celebrate and thank them. I’m humbled by the inspiring stories of nurses working on the frontline - especially during the current pandemic - and having a day to focus on their work is a great way of making sure that nurses feel appreciated and valued.

What would you say to someone considering becoming a research nurse?

It’s a great career - there is something for everyone, and there are lots of different things to get involved in. You get to work with patients and staff in a number of different areas, with a real sense that your work is contributing to something important by helping to improve the future of healthcare. I would highly recommend becoming a research nurse!