Exploring the Wide World of Nursing Research and All It Offers
A way that nobody else can do,
In spite of all we go through;
That is to be a NURSE!!”
— Rawsi Williams
“Nurse!” A variety of opinions under the umbrella of a noble profession, who serve for the cause of humanity, or a formally trained educated individual who provide quality care to the patients. Nursing is a collaborative field which encompasses the principle of clinical practice, education and research to achieve the standard goals of providing holistic care.
Research is one of the pillars of nursing standards. When you include research as part of nursing practice, people often wonder about the role of a research in clinical area. Moreover, they also often enquire as to the responsibility of a nurse as a researcher. These responses motivate me to now clarify their role as a researcher in society.
The framework of the research nurse is a wide combination of different factors that signify its diverse role. It requires the comprehensive scientific knowledge to improve health practices with the integration of health policies to attain standard care. This can strengthen the health care system under the professional code of ethics. However, different nursing universities have adopted to introduce nursing research as a major subject in their nursing education programs. Thus the scope of nursing research field is becoming popular famong the students as well as in the society.
Clinical research is one of the vital roles of a research nurse, where a nurse works at the forefront of the system. It aims for finding different treatment approaches to refine patient care. This requires in-depth knowledge, research and understanding of different research expressions, concepts and pros and cons of clinical trials.
The first phase for research is to develop the protocol which includes:
1. What we are trying to determine?
2. How we measure the determents?
3. Important test, their time and result
4. Data collection technique
5. Frequent visits
6. Nature of the research
The protocol is examined in detail by the research nurse before sending it to the higher authorities. The next step is to send the research proposal to the ethical committee for approval, where research nurse plays a role in defining clear aim and objectives of the research under the ethical code of conduct. It is usually a team approach but research nurses are consider to be an important tool as they know about patients and their care pathways. Here, a research nurse work as a patient advocate; by ensuring patients’ well-being, protection of rights, and patient support throughout the research study. The balanced result between patient involvement and research criteria boost directly the good control on the results.
Another important duty of a research nurse is to make sure that the patient should not be taken as for granted during the research process. Here they spend ample of their time in order to avoid any sort of error. For confidentiality; a inform consent is signed under the supervision of research nurse, where they make sure that ethical codes are followed and their patient’s dignity is maintained. The maintenance of ethical principles is one of the key factors to ensure the patient trust for their moral values safety. On the other hand they also make sure of the hospital need in order to arrange maximum resources, budget allocation and organizing the trial.
In the second phase of the research, research nurse monitors and makes sure of proper patient engagement in their trial procedure. It includes schedule visits, counseling, data collection and evaluation of the data with context to the research protocol. Documenting the data accurately and timely is another important responsibility of a research nurse, as the outcome will depend on the data collected. With documentation and timely reporting of patient behavioral changes or any sort of error is also one of the important duty of a research nurse. For example, introducing a new drug can show us the adverse effects which may vary among individuals. Here careful and strong history taking helps a nurse to measure the severity of the change.
With the ongoing process of research, a nurse researcher have a wide range of skills to create the good relationship and build supportive communication with other team members to attain a successful outcome. Here a researcher plays multiple roles like of mentor, counselor, and advisor for other health care professionals. Busy schedules, work over load, time management issues may cause hindrance and can be a challenging for a team. But a good nurse research takes each challenge at its maximum extend to resolve it, learn from it and reduce the barrier to achieve health excellence.
To conclude: “Research is to see what everybody else has seen and to think what nobody else has thought.” -Albert Szent-Gyorgi
The role of a research nurse is extremely thought-provoking, with self-motivated dynamics and challenges. But the bunch of varied skills has a tremendous influence on current and upcoming professional nursing practices. Thus the interpretation and significance of nursing research is an essential component of the educational program for ongoing growth process which should by promoted by our society. Wrapping this up, if you think nursing research is for you, then why not give it a try?
Gibbs, C. L., & Lowton, K. (2012). The role of the clinical research nurse. NURSING STANDARD, 26(27), 37 – 40.
Kwon, S. A., & Yang, N. Y. (2015). Workload and Work Importance of Clinical Research Nurse.International Journal of Bio-Science and Bio-Technology, 7(5), 85-92.
Pick, A., Liu, A., Drew, V. L., & McCaul, J. (2011). The role of the research nurse. Nursing Times, 107. Retrieved from www.nursingtimes.net
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