Zoe Thomas has a dual role as a staff nurse on the intensive care unit at Fairfield General Hospital and as a clinical research nurse, also focused on intensive care. She says: ” I have a foot in each camp and relish the dual roles. Both roles make me feel challenged and inspired.
“I originally became a nurse as I had reached a crossroads in my life. I wanted to make a difference, but I didn’t know how. I was in a series of very unfulfilling administration jobs and I got a job interviewing people for paid clinical research studies. I loved the interaction with people…many different types of people.
“One day they were short staffed in the screening room. I had no interviews and they asked if I could help. I learned how to complete ECGs, blood pressure, etc and I loved it. This became a regular occurrence and every time I felt I learned more and more.
“I still am learning, 15 years on I learned skills on a practical, analytical, mental and emotional level. No other job had offered this to me before.
“Nursing is tough, on every level but I love my role in research as I feel that in research, I can make that difference in the long term. I can contribute to research that can change and save lives.”