Your Path in Research: Clinical Research Team Leader Angie Foulds
Angie is a nurse at Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, and passionate about the benefits of research for patients, and the rewards for staff. She describes her research journey so far, and the things she loves about her job.
When did you first get involved in research?
As a Health Care Assistant I was involved with a study run by one of our midwives: ‘Second degree tears: to suture or not? A randomized controlled trial’ (Langley et al, 2013).
Why did you decide to get involved?
I went on to do my nurse training 2013 – 2016. During my training I spent some time with a Research Nurse and loved it. I knew this was where I wanted to work. I completed two and a half years on the ward as a Registered Nurse before applying for a band 5 Research Nurse post. After eight months working in research I went on to become a Senior Research Nurse. I then applied for a NIHR Research Associate position. I am currently completing my MSc Advanced Nurse Practice with the intention of applying for a pre-doc next year and have recently (in the last month) become a research team leader at Torbay.
What has been the highlight of your research career so far?
So many career highlights… being at the forefront of the COVID-19 research. The race to find treatments and help people on such a large scale. Dexamethasone reduced COVID-19 deaths by a third, that is amazing!
Why do you believe research is important?
It changes practice, improves patient outcome and offers our patients access to potentially life saving treatments that they would not normally get. In addition to this, there is evidence to suggest patients on clinical trials, regardless of what the trial is, have better health outcomes.
What do you love about your job?
It is exciting, it improves patient care and health outcomes and we make a difference on such a huge scale.
For example, the Symplify study that is currently running, is looking at early identification of up to 50 different types of cancer from a blood test – this is potentially life changing for so many people. Cancers will be detected earlier giving patients a great chance of survival. It will also reduce the need for other screening, which will have a cost reduction for the NHS.
Why would you recommend research as a career to others?
For all the reasons above. Research is awesome and exciting and makes a real different to our patients. I am proud to be a part of research.
Find out how you can be part of research here