My mom often talks with me about her job. As you might guess, having a clinical research nurse manager for a mother has provided several opportunities for her to explain how research is essential for advancing the science and medicine that can lead to new and better treatments and health care for patients.
When she asked me if I would consider signing up as a volunteer for clinical research studies through a website called ResearchMatch, I decided to go for it.
We signed up as a family for ResearchMatch.org because, simply put, it is a way to make a contribution to mankind. Why not help out if it means I could potentially help improve thousands of lives in the future through a small effort today?
It didn’t take long before my mom told me that ResearchMatch had indicated that I was qualified to volunteer for a research study. She said that the website indicated I was eligible, but that I needed to think about whether I wanted to participate so that it could release my contact information to the research team to find out more about the study.
I was really excited about the opportunity to participate (in my first research study!) because I have always been interested in research, especially when it means there’s a chance I could help others in need. Once I was contacted by the research team, their friendly approach helped me feel comfortable with the process and eliminated any concerns I may have had about volunteering.
My experience throughout the study was positive and enjoyable, and it was really fun to do this as a family since my mom also participated. Everyone was so helpful to answer my questions and help me learn what I needed to do to contribute to the study.
Even after explaining our instructions, the study coordinators made it clear that it was OK to ask questions at any time. Personally, I felt that I was helping contribute to a good cause and it felt good to know that I was potentially part of the answer to issues faced by adolescents with chronic illnesses.
Getting involved in a research study has only strengthened my interest in pursuing science and medicine as a future career, and getting so close to the action was definitely a chance for me to really see what this kind of career might be like.
This study allowed me to understand how blessed we are to have a healthy life and family. Even though it can be challenging to find a way to take time out of my day, the overall experience was worth it because those few hours contributed to a worthy cause.
It won’t be the last time I participate in a research study because it feels good to give back. I hope that I can serve as an example for others, including my friends, who are on the fence about participating in research studies because I think people would be surprise how good it feels to contribute to something with so much potential for improving the lives of others. By participating in this research study, I feel like I have done something to benefit society overall.
Any time you can volunteer to help others through participating in clinical research studies, you are becoming part of tomorrow’s answers to the many hardships that other people face every day. Are you ready to be part of the answer?
|Brenna Bookless research study volunteer|