As a nurse, I’ve found one of the most rewarding aspects of my profession and chosen path is the ability to advocate for patients not just at the bedside, but also at the policy table. Nurses are in the unique and privileged position of caring for patients holistically: before, after, and during treatment. This approach can be extended to the lawmaking process, where a nurse’s voice is valuable in communicating how new policy or regulatory proposals would impact not only the health care system but patients themselves, and their families.
Like I do on every National Nurses Day, I pause and reflect. So much has changed in the past 33 years since the day was officially recognized and is celebrated by millions every year. Yet so much remains the same. Nurses are at the heart of caring for patients and their families. According to the annual Gallup Survey, nurses are the most trusted profession. They are integral partners in care coordination.
The most important thing for a potential clinical trial volunteer to know about clinical research is how invaluable a contribution it is to participate.
Recruiting volunteers to participate in clinical trials is a well-known and enduring obstacle to research progress, and the effect is staggering: 85 percent of trials across all diseases face delays and 30 percent never even get off the ground due to low enrollment. And Parkinson’s disease (PD) trials are no exception – fewer than 10 percent of Parkinson’s patients participate.
Every one of us, at some point in our lives, will face the daunting challenge of having to choose between medical options for ourselves, our family and our friends. Clinical trials are playing a large and growing role among the options for patients and their health care providers to evaluate and consider. Nearly 4,000 experimental drug therapies are in active clinical trials today and that number will continue to grow as improvements are made in detecting disease, in understanding the root causes of acute and chronic illnesses, and in discovering medical innovations. And in the not-so-di