Day in the life of a research nurse?

  1. I'm interested in nursing research but would like to learn more about the position. I've read a couple of threads and it seems they talk more about the skills that are required, I'm interested in what is actually done during the day. So what did you do today?
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    About Imeanreally

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 41; Likes: 4


  3. by   klone
    Well, today is my day off, but I can tell you what I did yesterday.

    I screen the L&D floor for women who would be eligible for our various L&D studies (such as term women in labor who might want to participate in our "delayed cord clamping" study, or women who have been diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, who might want to participate in our pre-eclampsia study). The ones who look like they might be good candidates, I grab an inclusion/exclusion sheet for that study and I read through her chart to make sure she meets all criteria. If she does, I talk to her care provider and obtain permission to approach the patient. Then I go talk to the woman, explain the study to her, leave her with a consent to read over, and then come back later to answer any questions and see if she wants to participate. If she does, then I make sure the consent is signed/initialed in all the right places, make copies of it, and then start a file for her. Most studies require an initial blood draw to collect tubes of blood, so I then draw her blood. Back at our lab, we have a centrifuge so I will spin the blood down, aliquot the plasma/serum into various aliquot tubes, and throw them in our -80 freezer. Once she delivers her baby, I will take the placenta and draw cord blood from it, process that blood the same way, and sometimes perform biopsies of the placenta, which are either frozen or placed in formalin, per study guidelines.

    We do the same for studies in the NICU - screen the infants to see if they are eligible for one of the various studies, approach the parents to obtain consent, and then depending on the study, we might draw blood on the infant, or administer an investigational medication via IV or a study gas through the vent or CPAP machine.

    Lots of paperwork on our current patients, keeping up with their chart, updating information such as what they're being fed, what type of respiratory support they're on, etc.

    I also work with the PIs to help them write up inclusion/exclusion sheets, study guidelines, sample processing guidelines, etc. I keep a census log of all the patients we've looked at for the specific studies, and I send monthly reports to the various PIs, with numbers of eligible patients, how many refusals, how many enrolled, etc.

    Anyway, that's a typical day for me.
  4. by   CupofTea123
    I just posted on a similar thread--at the bottom is a link to a document that is Research Nurse competencies. That covers that range of what a research nurse is expected to know. My days are similar to what klone describes above, though I have a lot of regulatory paperwork type tasks, as my lab has many open protocols. Also, I work in an outpatient setting, which is different from an inpatient floor, so I am calling potential patients & asking them to come in for studies.