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We asked some of our researchers nurses what they have learnt over what's been a particularly hard and out of the ordinary 12 months? What made them want to be nurses?

A phot of five of our research nurses on the nurses day banner

There are more than 13 trained nurses working in the department. Some are undertaking their own research, or DPhil's, while others are a linchpin for the delivery of research in the department, and in particular the Clinical Trials Unit.

We simply wouldn't be a world leader in Primary Care research without them.

So, on this International Clinical Nurses day – the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing – we wanted to thank all of our nurses on behalf of the everyone else at Primary Care and the studies they support. An especially for their work both behind the scenes and on the front lines of our response to the Pandemic over the last year.

"This last year has been such a challenging year for all of us, at home and at work but on International Nurses Day I wanted to thank you for the way in which you have risen up to the challenge and that your work on Principle has been vital in making the trial the success that it is, and that you truly are valued members of the team.

Thank you for all you do."

– Emma Ogburn, CTU Operational Director

"Your contribution to the PRINCIPLE trial during many long and often dark days of the pandemic has been a shining light: without you, the findings of this research would have taken far longer to produce: your work has helped improve care for those sick with COVID around the world, and improved peoples lives.

Thank you, from PRINCIPLE, on this special Nurses Day!"

– Professor Chris butler

So who are our nurses?

We asked some of them why they got involved in nursing, and what they've learnt over the last year.

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Karen Madronal-Thompson, 
Clinical Research Nurse

What have you learnt over the last year?

How quickly a research trial can safely become a reality, given the urgency of the situation! It has also given me an appreciation of how each member of the team are small cogs that help the big research wheel keep turning, each as important as the other.

Why did you choose nursing?

I've always been interested in health and pharmacology, and, fortunately, the course had a bursary!

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Heather Rutter,
Senior Clinical Research Nurse

What have you learnt over the last year?

I'm immensely proud of how our nursing team have adapted over the last 12 months, the team have embraced new members and ways of working in what has been an extremely demanding, and at times stressful, year.

Why did you choose nursing?

I became a Nurse because I wanted to help people – as cheesy as that sounds. No two days or patients are ever the same. When I qualified as a Nurse I never thought I would end up in Oxford as a research nurse but the skills and knowledge I have gained and continue to gain push me to support more studies and in turn health care for many people.

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Bernadette Mundy,
Clinical Research Nurse

What have you learnt over the last year?

This past year I have appreciated that I am lucky to do what I do. The skills, specialisms and resilience of the health service and the focus on research has never been more widely recognised or publicly valued and I'm proud that I have been a small part of that.

Some days and weeks have seemed unending and the horrible restrictions that we have all endured have at times added to this. It's been a huge learning curve adapting to work in a virtual world – and one that I haven't happily embraced! But with every negative there is a positive.

The sense of camaraderie within the team is immense. We all know we are in this together and one day at a time, working side by side and supporting each other we are reaching the other side

Why did you choose nursing?

When I left school, everyone went to work in either the bank or the post office. I worked in Barclays for a year and very quickly knew I didn't want to spend the rest of my life working in an office and so applied to my local hospital to train as a Nurse. From the moment I started training I loved every moment of it. Nursing is more than a job - it's who I am.


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