Clinical research placement provides unique opportunity for nursing student

Thu, 11 Feb 2021 16:19:00 GMT
(Pictured above) 3rd year Adult Nursing student Tami Rose
(Pictured above) 3rd year Adult Nursing student Tami Rose

An adult nursing student has had the chance to be part of history after playing a key role in the vaccine trials.

Tami Rose, who’s now in her third and final year at GCU, completed a ten-week placement at the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility, based in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Having been unable to take part in her summer ward placement last year due to asthma, Tami was delighted at having the opportunity to make her hours up in September – despite not knowing much about clinical research.

She explained: “When I opted out of the original placement, I was almost feeling guilty because I couldn’t say I was part of it - so to be given this placement was really good. It meant I could be involved but almost in a safer way.

I was 18 years old when I first started at GCU and I had always just kind of assumed that a nurse works on the ward. When I was told I was going to do a research placement I really didn’t know what to expect.

I actually thought clinical research would be just journals and reading - I didn’t really think there would be patient contact. I was expecting to be sat at a computer all day but I was reassured by the nurse that there would be face to face work with patients and that I’d learn a lot of new skills.”

That was certainly the case for Tami, who quickly found herself in the middle of one of the most exciting times in medical history.

She said: “When things got going it was so busy – we had around 100 participants per day. I got the opportunity to watch people get vaccinated and then stay with them in the aftermath to make sure they weren’t experiencing any immediate side effects or allergic reactions.

It was really enjoyed speaking to everyone and I was particularly keen to find out why they opted to take part in the trial - especially when a lot of the general public viewed it as too risky.

We had all walks of life involved; young people, old people, taxi drivers, surgeons – it was just really interesting. I always made sure I thanked them, because without them we wouldn’t be able to progress with the vaccine.”

Tami’s passion and enthusiasm during the placement didn’t go unnoticed, and she was asked to write a blog for the UK CRF network.

She explained why it was the perfect way to round off her experience: “It was really good for me to have the opportunity to explain to students and patients what clinical research is and what the nurses do. I’ll always have that blog to look at and it’ll be there to remind me what I was a part of.”

With just a few months left of her degree, Tami is now considering her options for the future but remains grateful to GCU for all the support they’ve provided.

She said: “I’m so thankful to the University, in particular for the opportunity to complete the Clinical Research Facility placement.

The role of a research nurse is something that’s not spoken about enough and I’m pleased I’ve had the opportunity to do that.

I’ve always wanted to work in a ward and specifically want to care for the elderly but in future I would definitely consider going over to the research side of the profession.”

You can read Tami’s blog to find out more about her experience.

By Ross Clark 

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