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Careers , Nottingham

Colleague Stories: Interview with Jasbir Singh

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Jasbir Singh describes her experience as a Clinical Research Nurse at Quotient Sciences - Nottingham, UK clinic.


"What I enjoy most about my job is the people. Everyone is nice to work with and at the end of the day, I’m able to contribute to the future of medicine and make an impact on people’s lives."

-Jasbir Singh


What does a Clinical Research Nurse do?

The Clinical Research Nurse role at Quotient Sciences is very different from a nursing role in the NHS. Compared to the NHS, you receive a lot more training here, in techniques such as ECGs and venepunctures. Nurses do a range of tasks, such as IV infusions, and always play a key role in running the clinical trial alongside the doctors. We complete risk assessments, ensure the clinic and volunteers are safe, and give medications if required. Dosing is also a vital part of the role, which I really enjoy.

How did you get into clinical research?

I have a Bachelor's degree in Nursing, which was a three-year course. It is possible to get a Master's degree in Nursing if someone wants to get into nursing after their undergraduate degree. Previous experience specifically in clinical research is not a requirement and Quotient Sciences provides great training, so there is no need to be nervous when starting the role. If you have experience as a Registered Nurse, you will feel more comfortable and more confident, but if you want to start as a newly qualified nurse, it's still a good starting point, as Quotient Sciences is very supportive and you can always ask for help if required. People are always ready to help and you are never alone.

What is the first thing you do when you arrive for your shift?

When I get here in the morning, I have a handover where the previous shift staff will tell us what happened during the night, including the current studies on the ward, a volunteer update on the ward, and how many volunteers we have. I will then look over resourcing to see where I am allocated and plan my day based on the allocations I have been given. We get told if anyone has had any adverse events, so as a nurse I try to keep an eye on them and provide medication if required.

Are there any social aspects to your day?

It is a very sociable environment, and you are never by yourself. The team is good to be around, and there is a broad age range among the team. There is always someone available in and around the wards if you need any help. The volunteers are friendly, so it is easy to build relationships with them. They are very like-minded people, as they are equally into research. Sometimes, a few of the team will go to the pub after work too, so that is a fun aspect of the job.  

What do you enjoy most about your job? What is the hardest part about being a Clinical Research Nurse?

The thing I enjoy most about my job is the people. Everyone is nice to work with and at the end of the day, I'm able to contribute to the future of medicine and make an impact on people's lives. I also enjoy that I'm usually working with no more than 10 volunteers at a time, so I get to build good relationships with them. I also enjoy having the opportunity to see what future medicine is going to look like. I like the study preparation side of it, understanding the rationale behind a study and how it can potentially impact millions of people in the future.

Time management is challenging, because rounds must be done at a specific time and there are strict windows, but you get used to it and you always have people around to help you.

What advice would you give to somebody considering a career in clinical research/nursing? What opportunities can this type of job lead to? 

The role of Clinical Research Nurse at Quotient Sciences is a perfect starting point for a career in research, as you get to see research trials from Phase I, so the very beginning. It's a great opportunity to work on different types of studies and see how potential new medications are developed and tested. 

As a nurse, you get to learn different skills, such as venepuncture, ECGs, spirometry, etc. which are valuable skills in healthcare. This job can lead to roles as a Ward Lead or a Nurse Advisor, then onto a Senior Nurse Advisor or Lead Nurse.

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