By Sue Dowling, Research Nurse Matron, CRN North West Coast.

The last year has seen extensive research taking place to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and Merseyside has had a major role to play.

International Nurses Day 2021 is the perfect time to pay tribute to all research nurses working on the vaccine trials and other crucial research work.

Being a research nurse leader working on the vaccination studies has been an absolute pleasure. It has been stressful, hard work and tiring but also one of the most rewarding things in my career.

In normal times my team tends not to work together. They support other research teams through the Clinical Research Network North West Coast to deliver research and are fantastic.

However, working on the vaccination studies has meant that the team have had the opportunity to work together more closely.

They have gelled in a way that would not have been possible at another time. Everyone went above and beyond not only to look after the research participants, but to look after each other.

To say the last 12 months has been hard would be an understatement but thanks to the team supporting each other everyone has come out the other side closer than before.

This was not only with the CRN Taskforce but with other members of research teams who came together to support COVID vaccination studies. 

To be involved and lead this team has been nothing short of awesome.

I often joked that I had the best team in the world before COVID-19. I don’t joke anymore. I know I do.

I wake up every morning looking forward to the day even when things are stressful because I know I have a team who can support the CRN to get the job done and find the answers to get our lives back to normal.