Read more about how Clinical Research Nurse Nibi Varghese is supporting research to improve patient care at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
“As a nurse, I am always looking to find better approaches to patient care and I enjoy the research field because it is a great mix of clinical and academic,” she says.
Alongside the other clinical research nurse, research assistants and research lead on her team, Nibi supports researchers to run clinical research, including clinical trials at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
“Much of my work is made possible through collaboration with patient care teams: nurses, physicians, pharmacy, lab, other medical staff and patient partners,” she says. “Everyone has to be invested in running the study well for it to be a success.”
Her team supports research studies from start to finish, which involves securing organizational and ethics board approvals; engaging and coordinating with stakeholders (e.g. medical staff, wards, pharmacy, labs and external sites); recruiting and securing consent from patients who are eligible to participate in the studies; coordinating administration of study medication or intervention; monitoring for patient safety, collecting data for analysis; creating and maintaining study documents; and helping close-out the studies.
Nibi and her team recently completed a clinical trial in Surrey’s Intensive Care Unit, looking at how to reduce infections and clots from central lines, which are inserted in patients to infuse fluids and medications. Some other studies she has worked on include trials to treat blood-stream infections, management of COVID-19, community-acquired pneumonia and influenza, and readmissions into critical care.
“With every project, we’re excited because we see the potential to change patient care and touch patients' lives,” she says. “When studies are run well, you get good data. Good data affects the results of the study, which in turn generates further research into the topic, which eventually affects health care decisions- like a snowball.”
Nibi enjoys how her role uses her clinical experience as a registered nurse and her passion for project management and academia. “At the end of the day the most rewarding thing is knowing that we are changing health care and I am doing my part to change patients’ lives for the better.”
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