This past week my manager was out of the office and so even though I was in touch daily with her about various projects and updates, I was for the most part on my own at the office. Although a complete switch from the previous week of constant attention from my manager, I learned invaluable lessons from this experience.
First, I continued to practice my communication skills. Writing detailed updates on all the work I had done, questions I had, and updated check lists was important so I could tell her how I had been spending my days and that I wasn't just sitting at my desk all day doing nothing. Along with that, as she was not there to give me more work I finished, I had to be my own advocate and go seek the work myself from others in the office who might need another set of hands but not know that I was available. Doing this led me to the medical publishers who were drowning in thousands of pages of PDFs that needed to be bookmarked with the hundreds of Subject IDs from different doctors in this particular trial. Being able to take work from a publisher so she doesn't have to do it at home after work makes me feel like I'm making a difference. Thanks to my childhood obsession with the Numlock portion of the keyboard, I have acquired quick number typing skills. Never thinking I would I would ever get to use this random skill, I was surprised to see my talent come into play as I got through hundreds and hundreds of bookmarks in record time. As technology kept failing and the tasks kept changing, I practiced the value of patience and learned to go with the flow of the publishing world where anything can change at any moment.
When I got this internship I thought that I would be working and seeing patients that were apart of clinical trials of Novo drugs as that is what I naively thought nurses do at this company. Being placed in the Strategic Scientific Communication department instead definitely created a different reality than my expectations. However, as I've been working through these trials in their finishing state, I have seen how many patients and doctors and investigators are involved in creating these drugs that change patient's lives. Although these patients are just numbers to me, they are in fact real live people who have all entrusted the company's product on their health. I'm learning that these medical writers and publishers play a pivotal role in patient's lives even though they are not right by the "bedside" or " out in he field." If they did not write up what happened throughout the trial, the company would not be able to convince the FDA to put the drug on the market and the sales reps would have no material to persuade patients and physicians to purchase their drug. As I crunch numbers through this PDF, just a small small responsibility in a monster of a project, I think of all of the trials and people who crunch numbers through the trials for my insulin, Novolog, a Novo Nordisk product, and I am thankful for their work as this drug has enabled me to live a healthy life. So yes there are people who have different jobs within publishing a trial and yes some will be right there with the patient dealing with adverse effects and daily health just like there are some people who will make more money than others, but they are all working together to achieve a common goal to change patient's lives. It is my hope that I act as an advocate for patients on the company's drug during my time here and provide a humane appreciation for their work. When patients are solely numbers in your work, I believe it is necessary to remain connected to "real life" examples of how your drug, the product of your long days of work, is changing people. As the only employee in the department with type 1, I may have the least amount of "power", but I have the experience with the drug first hand and therefore can provide a unique perspective to the team. Whatever you do in life, you bring your perspective to the table and often this can be your greatest contribution.