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Career advice

Making the trial run

Better approaches to screening, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease are made possible by the research findings from clinical trials.

Whether these trials are for a new drug, device or care delivery system, the reality is that nurses, not doctors or other clinicians, run them.

The success of clinical trials is judged by the quality of data collected, which depends to a great extent on the engagement of the participants – a responsibility that often falls to nurses. To ensure you meet this and the other requirements of clinical research, remember the following points.

Using the correct study methods for data collection is essential

Picture credit: iStock

Nurses have three different roles during clinical trials:

Participants’ advocate.



You need to be able clearly to identity your different roles in a clinical trial so that you can switch between them effectively.

As an advocate, the nurse is the


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