Nurse wins recognition for clinical research work in Devon

Clinical research nurse Sheena Melendrez has been recognised for her poster presentation about a study investigating the challenges of recruiting participants to take part in trials.

Ms Melendrez, who became a chief nurse research fellow at the University of Plymouth last year, was the overall winner of a research poster competition at a recent research conference.

“Winning the poster competition was a pleasant surprise and a proud moment for me”

Sheena Melendrez

In November, Plymouth hosted the Developing a Research Skilled Workforce (DRSW) conference, with researchers from the South West sharing their work via a poster competition.

The university highlighted that research posters were used by researchers to concisely publicise their work, showcasing their ideas and findings.

It added that, during the event, Ms Melendrez was invited to present her research findings and her poster went on to become the winning submission.

Her research, which was based on three focus groups, investigated the barriers, challenges and factors affecting recruitment to clinical trials.

“Recruitment to many research trials is often tedious and more challenging than anticipated. This, failure to meet recruitment time-to-target is not uncommon,” she noted on her poster.

In order to overcome some of the challenges her study made a range of recommendations based on the findings from the focus groups.

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It suggested guidance that could help develop standards of practice or policies to “advance awareness, visibility and integration” of research and trials” in the community and organisations.

For example, the poster said: “Research needs to be more visible in the hospital and the community.”

It also called for the integration of research in hospitals, principal investigators need to be more engaging and training to support newcomers focusing on recruitment approaches and strategies.

“Communication between teams and networks needs to improve,” added the poster, which also said there needed to be an end to “gatekeeping”.

Taking about the experience, she said: “The DRSW was my first research conference. It was a great experience, and I was thankful for the opportunity learn and network with researchers.

“Winning the poster competition was a pleasant surprise and a proud moment for me,” said Ms Melendrez.

Also representing the university’s research and development team at the event was Pietro Martucci, chief nurse research fellow and staff nurse.

He said: “It gave me a further insight into how research and development is integral to our NHS. It also allowed me to showcase the work I did as a chief nurse research fellow.”

Clinical research nurse Sheena Melendrez with her winning poster

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