Encarnita Aranda On Her Role As A Research Nurse
Encarnita Aranda works at the SC CTSI Clinical Trials Unit at USC.
What do you do at SC CTSI and what do you like most about it? When I say ‘I’m a Research Nurse’, it surprises me when some people think that I do research work online. They don’t think of a research nurse as someone who provides patient care. I actually support the correct implementation of research study protocols. I interact closely with principal investigators and research teams as well as the participants that take part in clinical studies. For example, I work with patients to administer investigational drugs and I obtain timed serial blood samples for pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics assessments. The idea of being part of something innovative and aiding in the advancement of a study drug that might lead to a cure of a disease is very motivating to me.
What are some of the challenges in your field of work? In our profession, we are faced with challenging ethical dilemmas in cancer care. For example, when cancer patients ask if they should continue with a study after experiencing adverse effects, or when families do not want a family member (who is actually the patient) to know about his or her prognosis, or how to communicate with patients that a treatment or study drug may or may not work for them. It can be difficult to deal with these situations. In our team meetings, we discuss cases and challenges, which I find very helpful. The more information and context is shared among the research care team, the easier it is for us to navigate the challenges that are part of our job so that we can best assist patients and their families have a better understanding of their options.
What lessons has your work life taught you that you would like to share with your colleagues and members of the USC and CHLA communities? The old adage "health is wealth" takes on greater meaning for us healthcare professionals. To be in good health is a wonderful blessing that we are all grateful for. Patients deserve the excellent care we can give.
What do you do for recreation or fun? It is a stress-reliever for me to explore and enjoy the beauty of nature. With my family I enjoy bike rides on the beach, water sports and board games.
Learn more about the SC CTSI Clinical Trials Units at USC and CHLA
The SC CTSI Spotlight series highlights the people that are part of SC CTSI at USC and CHLA. It provides us with the opportunity to learn about their work and perspectives. Thanks for sharing!