Our teams are comprised of amazing people of all different backgrounds and strengths. What they have in common is their passion for clinical research, and for making your sites the most successful they can be. In our Employee Q&A features we ask our employees what they enjoy most about what they do, and give them an opportunity to share a bit about who they are outside of the workplace.Emma Joyce, Senior Enrollment Specialist on the Enrollment Team, has been with ClinEdge for eight months, coming to us with experience in social work and medical interpretation. Emma has worked both directly and indirectly as a patient advocate, and brings her passion for finding patients' solutions to the research community. Emma’s compassionate, thoughtful, and down-to-earth nature makes her interactions with patients among the most effective. Her drive to spread awareness on alternative medical treatments is both motivating and refreshing, and we - the research community - are better because of it.
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ClinEdge: What attracted you to the clinical research industry?
Emma: Generally speaking, I have always been interested in finding new ways to approach an issue. I’m sure if you asked any member of my family, they would tell you that I have been testing boundaries and pushing the limits from a very young age! My inquisitive nature, at times, was perceived as defiance. Now, as an adult working in the clinical research industry, I’m fortunate to be in an environment where thinking outside the box is not only encouraged, but celebrated.
ClinEdge: What do you think everyone should know about clinical trials?
Emma: They are not a scam! Participating in a clinical trial will help researchers identify new ways to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases. Participation promotes awareness and reduces the stigma associated with the clinical research industry. As a result, the standard of care will improve across the board for all patients.
ClinEdge: In your opinion, what is the key to successfully screening patients for clinical trials?
Emma: Knowing and understanding the protocol, along with knowing your patient, are critical. It is important to consider the potential socioeconomic and/or geographic obstacles faced by the target demographic, along with the inclusion and exclusion criteria. I recommend taking the time to realistically evaluate what trial participation would require of the patient and communicate all information clearly to them. Familiarizing yourself with the medical indication, known approved medications, and the current standard of care available conveys a reassuring sense of empathy that is needed to successfully screen patients for clinical trials. It is also important to truly listen to each patient you speak to on the phone. In our role, we are often told personal, sensitive information about complete strangers – it is necessary to be respectful and compassionate in each interaction and let the person on the other end of the line know that we hear what they are saying and that we care.
ClinEdge: If you won $1,000,000, what would you do with it?
Emma: I would call my family and tell them to meet me at the airport – no suitcases. Money comes and goes, and bills will be there when I get back. It is cliché, but I would rather create memories that I can hold onto with my favorite people rather than spend the money any other way. Although, I would definitely have to set aside at least a few thousand dollars – my rescue pup, Leila, needs some new doggy swag!
ClinEdge: If you could give clinical research sites only one piece of advice, what would you tell them?
Emma: Listen to your patients - they are your greatest asset! In the fast-paced world of clinical research, it can be challenging to balance meeting enrollment goals, adhering to the protocol without deviations, producing results on a deadline, and simultaneously ensuring that every patient is given the individualized, personalized attention they deserve. Establish rapport with your patients by actively listening to what they are saying as opposed to just hearing and recording their responses.
Are you interested in talking to Emma about what an Enrollment Specialist can add to your trial? Contact us today!
Post by Maggie Kilgallon -
Maggie is a Marketing Coordinator at ClinEdge, BTC Network, and GuideStar Research. She assists the internal marketing team with content creation, conference planning, webinar management, external partnerships, social media strategy, and other marketing efforts.