Nurse adaptability: Implementing clinical trials in the midst of a pandemic

Sarah J. Mendez, Brian Raimondo, Patricia Hughes


Working in Manhattan, the center of the nations’ outbreak of the novel coronavirus-19 virus truly demonstrated how adaptable nurses are. During this time, multiple clinical research trials began at our academic medical center, NYU Langone Health, as researchers attempted to learn what medical interventions worked best to treat critically-ill COVID-19 patients. In designing and implementing these trials, the researchers had little familiarity with the workings of inpatient hospital units. They did not understand how nursing staff provided care to patients on these units. Likewise, many bedside nurses had never assisted researchers in conducting clinical research on their patients. Therefore, a nursing operations team (NOT) was needed to assist both the research teams and the inpatient nurses. NOT met with the researchers to review proposed clinical research trials and determine how nursing staff would be utilized to complete the required research tasks such as specimen and data collection, study intervention administration, and patient monitoring. Toward that end, NOT developed education and training materials on all of the research trials that were implemented at NYU Langone Health for our bedside nurses. This education included tip sheets, safety huddle rounds with the involved units, and “just in time” education to any nurse whose patient was urgently enrolled in a trial. In this way, NOT helped bedside nurses quickly adapt to their role in assisting the research team conduct their studies on our COVID positive inpatients.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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