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Flying Study Nurse – Balancing between Firefighting and Establishing Structures


Internal structures and processes often present the biggest challenge when deploying Flying Study Nurses. Responsible physicians who are caught up in their daily routines and can hardly spare the necessary time for the study. Medical staff who are otherwise occupied or not adequately prepared for the complexity of such a project. Spatial constraints or outdated organizational procedures that further hinder efficient work.


The medical center in the Ruhr region, as an academic teaching hospital affiliated with a university, has extensive experience in the field of clinical studies. Originally, one of the Camovis Nurses was intended to step in as a medical documentation assistant for a short-term project – due to on-site personnel changes as quickly as possible. The costs of the Berliner’s four-week assignment in the Ruhr region played a secondary role for the department’s professor: quality over budget – even though Camovis CEO Carolin Kurth had offered to provide a local nurse.


On her first day, the Flying Study Nurse was greeted by the massive hospital complex with few positive surprises. The study office was located in the former archive, a solid ten-minute walk away from the actual hospital. She had to crawl through an elevator to make her way to the office – after obtaining a key, of course… there, a fully equipped office actually awaited the employee. However, there was no trace of patient records.


Instead of being able to fully focus on the interventional study, the Flying Study Nurse’s work from the very beginning resembled that of a firefighter. It was about creating structures from scratch and simultaneously intervening wherever the successful execution of the study seemed to be at risk of tipping over.


For example, the missing patient records: The study records were supposed to be digitized, but there was confusion about their current whereabouts. In phone calls with the monitor, she reconstructed countless data sets. Thousands of post-documentations ended up on her desk.


Between coordinating the study, working on the ward, and handling documentation tasks, situations kept arising that made the Camovis employee’s efforts more of a day-to-day struggle. The internal structures within the facility proved to be challenging. While the proposed improvements were met with open ears, they often failed in their implementation.


Nevertheless, month after month, the medical center renewed its contract with Camovis. The feedback on the Flying Study Nurse’s work was more than positive. Thus, over 1.5 years passed until the project could be handed over to a new employee of the client. Thanks to Camovis, this transition was made possible, and the studies were successfully continued throughout the extended transitional period.