Student placement - Tami Rose
When I got my QMPLE email through I saw the word “research”, I thought ‘oh no… I’m here for 10 weeks! Reading journals for 10 weeks straight this can’t be much fun.’ I was wrong. The past 10 weeks in the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility at QEUH truly has been a life time experience I will never forget. As cliché as it sounds, being part of the vaccine trial team will be history one day, and I am proud to say I was a part of it.
A typical day for myself as a 2nd year student nurse was always different. Initially I sat in with the nurses and doctors, observing participant informed consent and visits to get familiar with all the different protocols and paper work. Other days I would be organising the swabbing kits for the participants. One of my favourite kind of days was definitely being in the Lab and spinning the bloods. I had to wear a mask (obviously), gloves, a long disposable lab coat and a visor. I felt like a scientist. This Lab opportunity is something I’ll not get offered in other placements so I treasured every moment. My other favourite day was helping out in the observation area. This was a post vaccination area for participants to sit in after having what may have been the vaccine. My job was to greet the patients and get a handover from the nurse. I loved this. I loved getting to know the patients. In 15 minutes I learnt all about the participants and why they felt it was important to take part in this clinical trial. I always made a point of thanking the individual and acknowledging the fact that without them we wouldn’t be a step closer to normality. Anyway, when I wasn’t making friends I was monitoring the participants’ vital signs and explaining to them what they may feel in the next few hours. This was really important as this vaccine was brand new to everyone.
Whilst chatting to the participants they all had different views on the vaccine and different reasons as to why they wanted it. For some, they had lost a loved one to this deadly virus. For other participants they wanted to help others, and in this situation when everything is out of our control this is something they could do to help.
I learnt skills that I will be able to transfer into the ward setting such as; if a patient were to go into anaphylaxis shock. The arrest trolley was set up and ready for this to happen. When I was there, thankfully there was no need to use it. However I am prepared for this to happen in the ward. I am familiar with the medications that would be used and why in this emergency situation.
I successfully managed to get all of my skills signed off as part of the 2nd year competencies. Not only that I also achieved an A!
Overall I loved my time in CRF, the staff were phenomenal. They made me feel safe in what was a scary environment. I look forward to a fellow student getting a placement here. I’ll be very jealous but most importantly I will make them feel at ease and no doubt they will as love it as much as me.