It has been a while since we featured some of our local KC nurses!
Please meet Allison Gordy, a clinical research coordinator at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
How did you get into becoming a research coordinator?
I was a critical care nurse at research medical center for years until I decided I needed a bit of a job change. Even though my jobs in the ICU and ER at research were great I just knew it wasn’t my calling. I had always had an interest in research trials ever since nursing school so I wanted to see how I could get into that field. I found my current position, clinical research coordinator, at Children’s Mercy and was lucky enough for them to give me a shot with zero experience. I have now been doing clinical research for about a year and a half and I absolutely love it. It is completely different than any other nursing I have ever done or seen. My position doesn’t require any extra school or experience. If you’re a quick and motivated learner and have a positive attitude then anyone can succeed at this job. Since it is so autonomous it definitely isn’t for everyone. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do our when to do it so you definitely have to be self motivated.
What do you do on the daily at your job?
My typical day consists of recruiting patients for research we have going on, conducting visits for patients who are already enrolled in a study, assisting providers in getting a trial started, and being available for anyone who has questions regarding research. For example, I may have found a patient who qualifies for a study we have by doing chart reviews and when they come to clinic to see their physician I will approach them and propose they enroll and if they agree then I will consent them. For patients already in a study I may have them scheduled to conduct a study visit and will fulfill all the study visit procedures that the protocol states need to be done at that time (i.e. blood work, radiology). Physicians who are new and want to conduct research usually don’t have any experience and it is up to us to get them going in the right direction. Providers don’t usually have time to make budgets for their study or send it all to the IRB so that is also my job. I stay in communication with the IRB and also sponsors (the ones paying for the research, i.e. big pharma, NIH, grants, etc.) That way they providers don’t have to worry about it. Each day can look different. I may not have a study visit or recruit a patient for a week, but I always have paper work from sponsors or providers to do.
Do you still use any clinical skills?
If I draw blood I am the one who gets to spin the blood, separate it, freeze it, ship it out, etc. There are a lot of different things that I get to do, which makes it a very fun and interesting job!
Please email me at email@example.com if you would like to be featured, or if you know of someone that should!