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12th May 2022

Meet Wendy – your research nurse

Talented scientists, researchers, doctors, nurses, clinicians and care workers across Wales dedicate their time and effort developing ground-breaking treatments and care for us.

Wendy Scrase is one of over 260 research nurses across Wales who make research studies possible. She works at Ysbyty Gwynedd, in Bangor, and has worked in the hospital’s research and development department for 10 years.

On International Nurses’ Day, meet Wendy and find out more about the role of the research nurse.

What is a research nurse?

Research nurses play a vital role in ensuring clinical research studies run smoothly and that participants are safe and fully informed.

“My job varies so much day to day. When we have studies running in the hospital, we are on the ground interacting with patients in wards, recruiting participants and doing follow ups.

“When there aren’t active studies going on, we are busy at the computer doing data entry, responding to queries and getting new studies ready to be set up.

“For example, in the last year, I have worked on two blood collection studies which hope to offer new ways to diagnose cancer through DNA. This will ease the burden on the patient for having to have invasive diagnostic procedures like endoscopies.

“No two days are alike, and I love that.”

What’s the best thing about your job?

“The best thing about my job is the people I work with – of course the patients and participants, but also my magical team. I’m lucky to work with clinicians who are passionate about research, and who know how important it is.

“I think I have one of the nicest jobs in the world!”

Why is it important for people to take part in research?

“It’s really important for members of the public to engage in research.

“I feel passionately that people in all areas of the UK, even in the most rural parts of North Wales, get the option to take part in research.

“No matter how small the hospital is, there should be a choice in treatments. There are always improvements to be made to healthcare through research and we need participants to make them possible.”

Has there been a time when research has helped you and your family?

“I have a relative who has prostate cancer, and he’s been on a study now for a few years. He’s exceeded the life expectancy he was given at diagnosis, and he thinks of research as a gift.”

Where would we be without research?

“The world without research would be a very sad place. We’d be stuck in systems which don’t work. A controlled trial, comparing one treatment or method to another, is essential to find out what does really work.

“I don’t think we can ever be complacent about healthcare and think we’ve arrived at our final destination.”

Find out more about the people behind the research and how Welsh research has changed lives.