The Scottish Research Nurse and Coordinators Network was founded 10 years ago, and aims to provide an environment where research nurses and coordinators can support each other by sharing knowledge and expertise, promoting education and fostering a collaborative approach to clinical research. The annual conference is always an excellent opportunity to connect with colleagues from all over Scotland, and the EMERGE Team were well represented at the event this October with 7 members in attendance.
The day began with the key note speech entitled “Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis (Ebola)” which gave the audience a valuable insight into the challenges faced when organising and conducting clinical research in such demanding circumstances. The experiences of those involved (including our own Miranda Odam) led to an active and thought provoking discussion about the many difficulties they encountered, and the lessons which can be learned as a result. This theme was continued in one of the many round table discussion sessions, which allowed attendees to share thoughts and ideas with colleagues about a number of current issues.
The work of some individual Scottish research nurses was highlighted when they were given the opportunity to share their own projects with the group. Presenters included Amy Ferry, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh, who has successfully blended her dual roles as research nurse and nurse researcher whilst investigating the assessment of patients presenting to hospital with suspected acute coronary syndrome, and their lived experiences. Janet Johnstone, Education & Training Officer, Glasgow Clinical Research Facility, spoke about an initiative to integrate clinical research nurses into the Emergency Department in order to enhance identification and recruitment of patients to acute studies running in the area. This is an area close to our hearts, which resonates with the aims of EMERGE in supporting research activity in the Emergency Department.
While it was great to meet new people and renew old acquaintances, the highlight of the day was undoubtedly the final session, the Scottish Research Nurse of the Year Award. Out of the nominees, three runners up were announced, including EMERGE Research Manager Miranda Odam. EMERGE Lead Research Nurse Judy Coyle was also nominated, and much to her surprise (but nobody else’s!) she was announced as the winner of the Scottish Research Nurse of the Year 2015. Judy has worked in clinical research for the last 20years, and was a founding member of EMERGE. As those who nominated her will confirm, she has worked with tireless dedication and has supported our team as it has grown with patience and enthusiasm, providing us with a wealth of knowledge and creating an amazing atmosphere to work in.