During 2020, we are celebrating the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. It is 200 years since the birth of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale. Today we think of Florence as the first research nurse, as she innovatively used data and evidence to transform patient care.

Research nursing now spans across all clinical specialities and ranges from supporting the delivery of clinical research to nurse led research.

For the latest in this series of posts, we talk to Parizade Raymode, currently working as part of the COVID-19 vaccine research team.Parizade Raymode

What drew you to a career in research nursing?

I always felt that I could make a difference to patients’ care and offer alternative treatment that could potentially change or improve patients’ outcome. Research nursing seemed like an ideal way to do this, so I joined the Clinical Research Network at the Kettering General Hospital in 2010. I started building a portfolio of studies, in a department where research activities were then non-existent.

What have you found to be the most rewarding part of research nursing?

I enjoy being part of the clinical team and being able to offer cutting edge technology and new devices to patients.

My role has allowed me to bridge the gap between clinical care and research activities. I am continuously applying new knowledge and skills to new research projects, all of which help me to offer the best care to my patients. I have had good learning opportunities and have been able to develop a more applied critical thinking process. It is rewarding to closely monitor and report any untoward events while patients are receiving trial drugs or interventions.

As I am able to deliver my research activities as part of routine care, I am visible and accessible to the clinical team, which means that I have undoubtedly inspired other clinicians and nurses to pursue research careers.

I found being autonomous on a daily basis and managing my own caseload have enabled me to grow professionally. I have become a point of call for clinicians and nurses, who are caring for patients on the ward about patients who are receiving either trial drugs or interventions. Most importantly I’m proud that I have become a meticulous practitioner, providing a high quality delivery of care to patients.

Part of being a research nurse is about recruiting patients to studies and keeping them on board. Once patients or their next of kin have given their consent, I ensure that I build a rapport with them, so that they are fully informed and kept up to date with any new information and progress.

A key part of my role is being an advocate for patients which has made me a better listener and practitioner. I have also become an expert in disease process and patients’ pathways, which means that I can ensure that any research activities are carried out in such a way that there is minimal disruptions or delays to my patients’ care.

I have been recently redeployed to work as an Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) nurse at St Thomas’ Hospital as I have an ITU background. I saw myself being more compassionate and caring towards others. This experience has made me more resilient and given me a better understanding of how different departments work.

What do you think the future holds for research nursing?

I feel that the future of research nursing will be geared towards building a new department whereby the clinical services will be integrating research activities, and patients will be given a choice of various research studies that the department can provide.

A message for anyone considering a career in research nursing?

Research nursing has evolved throughout the years, which means that nurses and other health care professionals can progress much more easily in their careers. If you are looking at a career move, you can tailor this towards a better understanding of disease process as well as research processes.

Exploring a career in research nursing will not only help you to gain clinical knowledge, but also give you new opportunities to pursue further studies in specific clinical areas.