May 12, 2022
Chasing Protocols: A Q&A with Clinical Research Specialist, Jana Haddow
Clinical Research SpecialistTeckro
Jana joins us for a Q&A on International Nurses Day, which is celebrated on May 12 every year – the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
Thanks for joining us, Jana! What motivated you to become a clinical research nurse?
I wanted to be a nurse probably from the age of five-years old when I was practising my nursing skills on my teddy bear, which he surprisingly survived! After completing my nursing degree in the Czech Republic, I came to the UK to practice my English – but as it happened, I met my husband and settled in the UK. I joined an infectious diseases department where I had a brief introduction to clinical research and got involved with taking samples from the study participants.
After changing my speciality, clinical research became a fundamental part of my job where my role involved coordination of the various clinical trials. That meant that as well as my usual clinical role, I was coordinating pharmacokinetic (PK) studies, imaging studies and anti-monoclonal trials – which were quite a novelty at the time. This experience really made me understand the importance and the benefit of clinical trials.
Today is International Nurses Day. What does this mean to you on a personal level?
The nursing profession is all about patient safety and care, and International Nurses Day is there to celebrate this. Especially during the pandemic, nurses really stepped up and showed not only the exceptional level of care they provide – but also their dedication to the job. What’s more, they have shown an incredible amount of resilience – not only on wards but also in clinical research, which involved attending to COVID-19 positive patients on wards to gain consent and collect samples. One thing I have taken away from the pandemic is the level of rapport and friendship we have all developed to support each other. And that’s ultimately what helps you to get through some challenging times such as COVID-19.
How did you learn about Teckro and what inspired you to join?
A friend of mine mentioned working for Teckro and when she explained to me what Teckro does, I had a look at the website and listened to a couple of Totally Clinical podcasts. I was inspired by the product and its ability to simplify information search and all I could think about was how wonderful it would be to have this tool whilst coordinating clinical trials. I am hoping that my experience will be an asset to this amazing software which can hugely improve the safety and efficacy of clinical trials.
Can you explain further on how you think technology like Teckro can help clinical research nurses?
Working in a busy hospital environment can be very stressful. Having technology like Teckro can be useful if you need to check inclusion criteria, treatment schedules or anything really. I can still vividly recall situations when we were running around trying to locate the protocol itself, never mind finding the correct page containing the information we were after.
So clearly, it is time saving software which is a blessing in a busy clinic. But not only that, Teckro also emphasizes patients’ safety. Imagine, you have a patient in a clinical trial who suddenly develops an unwanted side effect – possibly related to the drug we have given. You are just about to give the next dose and you are not sure what to do. Having the option to message all the relevant people for advice means you are more likely to get the answer in a timely manner to make an informed decision about whether to go ahead with the treatment, or whether to delay it.
And finally, what most excites you about the future of clinical research?
I really hope – and there are definitely signs – that the post-COVID era will bring a patient-centric and innovative approach towards clinical research. We also need a more positive attitude towards clinical trials. And this is important because clinical trials are not just about the patients and the research team, it really needs involvement of the wider healthcare profession to ensure better recruitment and communication in clinical trials.
Lastly, the use of the digital software is there to improve the efficacy of clinical trials. These aims are reflected in Teckro’s values – and it is very exciting for me to be part of this journey!
To learn more about International Nurses Day visit the International Council of Nurses.