Effect of COVID-19 on cancer research nursing services
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Effect of COVID-19 on cancer research nursing services

Ben Hood Cancer Research UK nurse consultant, Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre, Northern Centre for Cancer Care, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Ruth Boyd Cancer Research UK senior research nurse, Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, Belfast City Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Tracey Crowe Lead paediatric research sister, The Royal Marsden Hospital, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton, England
Karen Turner Cancer Research UK senior research nurse, Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, England
Sandie Wellman Cancer Research UK senior nurse, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, England
Hannah Brown Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre project manager (workforce), Cancer Research UK, London, England
Alice Johnson Paediatric oncology research sister, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To learn about the experience of early phase cancer research nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • To appreciate the challenges and positive developments brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to nurses working on early phase cancer clinical trials

  • To recognise the positive implications for future cancer research nursing practice

This service evaluation examined the experiences of adult and children’s cancer research nurses working on early phase cancer clinical trials during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A questionnaire was provided to early phase cancer research nurses at experimental cancer medicine centres, and alongside this there was an online discussion with eight of the nurses. The themes developed from the findings and online discussion provided an insight into the challenges faced by early phase cancer nurses during this unprecedented time and into some of the innovations, such as virtual appointments, adopted to overcome them. COVID-19 had a significant negative effect on the cancer research nurse workforce. However, peer support, networking opportunities, reflection and embracing innovation provided support for nurses and enhanced person-centred care.

Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2022.e1821

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

@Ben_CRUKnurse

Correspondence

ben.hood@nhs.net

Conflict of interest

None declared

Hood B, Boyd R, Crowe T et al (2022) Effect of COVID-19 on cancer research nursing services. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2022.e1821

Published online: 22 September 2022

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