‘We are all working for the greater good’

Laura Canna, Research Nurse

Laura Canna is a Research Nurse for the NIHR Clinical Research Network Eastern. We interviewed Laura to find out how she first got involved in research, and what motivates her:

When did you first come across research?

The very first time was when I was an ICU [Intensive Care Unit] Nurse. Sometimes research nurses would come around and collect information from my patients’ notes.

What first interested you about research?

Observing phenomena happening and wondering what caused them to happen.

What interests you today? I like to see if we can improve things for our patients, what works and what doesn’t.

What do you wish you had known about research when you started?

As we are not seen as part of the clinical team, we’re not allowed to approach patients directly for research purposes. The clinical staff must first seek the patient’s permission for us to contact them. This can be frustrating.

What would you tell other nurses thinking about a career in research?

I would tell them that it’s great and offers lots of opportunities in training and learning. I thought I knew it all after working for long time in ICU, but I couldn’t be more wrong!

Research has taught me new things and given me a deeper knowledge in many different fields that before I only knew superficially. Also I’m never short of course attendances when it comes to my Revalidation!

Have you had a research role during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I have been working on several COVID-19 studies. It was hard to begin with, getting used to donning [putting on] and doffing [taking off] PPE, and wearing masks for long time. But you get used to it and it becomes the new normal. Sometimes it can be difficult to work on a trial which involves many teams, but in the end we are all working for the same purpose – the greater good – so solutions are always found.

Find out more:

NIHR: Your path in research

Visit our website to find out more about research training opportunities for clinical staff on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Discover more about the NIHR Cambridge BRC

Contact us by phone, email or web for more information.

Events Calendar

Listing relevant events and training sessions for researchers and members of the public.