Career Profiles:
Lindsay Douglas, RPN

Lindsay Douglas is a Registered Practical Nurse that works as a Clinical Research Manager at the Joel Liem Medicine Professional Corporation.

She has been working as an RPN for twelve years and has credited her success to the tremendous amount of support from her community. In addition to being an RPN, Lindsay was a lifeguard and has been a certified CPR instructor for the Heart and Stroke foundation.

Lindsay has a history of working in long term care, working as a private duty nurse providing respite care to infants and toddlers with mental disabilities, and as a phlebotomist at the Canadian Blood Services. She also has a history of working in an asthma clinic, where she was a Clinical Educator in an Allergy/Asthma Clinic, which eventually led to her current role as a Clinical Research Manager.

Initially, Lindsay applied to the General Arts program at St. Claire College; after hearing that, her father encouraged her transfer into the Practical Nursing program because he saw career potential for Registered Practical Nurses. Lindsay admits that she did not know what to expect about nursing when she first attended college, but after completing the program, she found that nursing was an excellent fit for her.

After graduating and successfully completing the CPNRE, Lindsay began her nursing journey at Extendicare for a part-time position to cover a maternity leave. When her term ended, she was then moved on to private duty nursing; providing respite care for toddlers and infants for two years and felt satisfied professionally. At the same time, Lindsay was a phlebotomist for Canadian Blood Services. Eventually, she felt ready to grow professionally, and as a result, she applied to an open position advertised by the local newspaper at an allergy and asthma clinic (Windsor Allergy Asthma Associates). She was then called in for an interview and was hired on the spot.

Lindsay’s responsibilities included working collaboratively with physicians and other health care providers in the clinic, administering medications, performing allergy tests and skin tests, and in the training of new nurses in the clinic. She was happy with this role because she was able to practice using the full depth and breadth of her knowledge, skill, and judgement as an RPN and with a great degree of autonomy. During this time, she continued to seek more knowledge to develop her career further. She became interested in becoming an asthma educator and researched the qualifications needed to become one. With the guidance and financial support of a new physician that she worked with at the clinic, she was able to take the course to become an asthma educator supporting the needs of patients with asthma at the clinic. As an asthma educator, she was able to teach patients and families important information on asthma and asthma management. As time passed, her role led her to teaching third year medical students and facilitating hands-on learning for first and second year medical students at the South Western Ontario Medical School (SWOMEN). She was then awarded the SWOMEN Advancement of Medical Education Award. Lindsay continued to look for more opportunities to expand her knowledge and further develop her career. She then became a certified tobacco educator and was able to write abstracts and and share presentations in several medical journals.

Her career made a major turn when her physician colleague was approached by a study management organization to conduct clinical research study; together, they accepted. Despite the best of intentions, the study management organization withdrew their support and was no longer able to conduct the clinical trials; Lindsay and her colleague had to learn how to do clinical trials by themselves. In the end, they were both successful in conducting the clinical trials and they were able to find a dedicated staff consisting of a varied interdisciplinary team to help them complete the research trials. Eventually, she became a Clinical Research Manager at the Joel Liem Medicine Corporation while she would work in the allergy clinic and ran the Asthma Education Centre.

Today, she no longer works at the allergy clinic but is now able to focus all of her time in clinical research. A typical day for her would be answering emails, assisting staff, and meeting with patients. Lindsay enjoys this role immensely because she is able to practice using the full depth and breadth of her knowledge, skill, and judgement as an RPN and with a great degree of autonomy. She says that the best thing about her role in research is interacting with patients – getting to know them and hearing their stories. Lindsay maintains that she has ambitious career aspirations, and has considering pursuing the path to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, but for now she is going to continue enjoying her unique role in clinical research management.

Lindsay attributes her success as an RPN not only to her willingness to pursue knowledge and opportunities but also because of the amount of support she has from her community. The staff and the physicians at the allergy clinic were very supportive of Lindsay’s drive to continue to develop her career. Additionally, the physicians at the clinic share their knowledge with her at every opportunity. Lindsay shared that she never felt limited in her role as an RPN and was respected by everyone she worked with. Ultimately, this kind of support allowed her to be successful in her career and have a high level of professional satisfaction as a Registered Practical Nurse.

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