Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Prior to starting my career as a Clinical Research Nurse at the EMCRF, my experiences have been in specialist areas such as Vaccine Research, Cardiology and Oncology and Hematology. However, after working for 7 months at the EMCRF, I have been able to assist in several procedures including Fine Needle Aspirations (FNAs), Endoscopy and Bronchoscopy.

FNAs is a specialist, clinical skill performed usually by a Radiologist. It is commonly performed guided by an ultrasound. At present, FNAs at the EMCRF are inserted into the lymph nodes. This is done by inserting a fine needle into the lymph node to withdraw some cells into a syringe. This is taken to the labs for processing to test for cell response to the study vaccine(s). Clinical Research Nurses ensure the relevant equipment, materials and team are available prior to the procedure. This involves liaising with the study team, the lead clinician(s), lab team and the sponsor. Moreover, the nurses are responsible for producing the crib sheet for the wider team to follow to ensure the rooms are set up according to the study requirement and clinician preference.

For both Endoscopy and Bronchoscopy, the role of the Clinical Research Nurse in the procedure room is to assist the clinician during the scopes which includes washes and biopsies. During my time at the EMCRF, I was signed off as competent assisting in Bronchoscopy by attending the Bronchoscopy unit at the John Radcliff Hospital once a week, under the care of the Senior nurses. During this time, I was able to learn about the admission and discharge procedures and the different medications used during procedures and those which may be required during emergencies. As we are in the process of setting up the EMCRF to perform bronchoscopies, having firsthand exposure and experience in this procedure has enabled me to devise a crib sheet and plan the logistics and consumables required. Similarly, I’m currently assisting and getting signed off for competency on Endoscopic procedures in particular, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy at the EMCRF. Working under a great expertise of staff has allowed me to learn about this procedure. I have been understanding about its similarities to Bronchoscopy and learning about its differences, allowing me to slowly become confident in both areas.

Overall, assisting in these procedures has developed me on a professional level and has allowed me to become competent in multiple clinical interventional procedures and allowed me to uphold my clinical skills which is commonly misunderstood in research.

Merin Thomas

Research Nurse