Contractor spotlight – going above and beyond to help those in need
Right now, uncertainty, apprehension, and fear are words that often crop up whenever we read about the situation we’re currently living through. But these words cannot be the dominant vocabulary that we used to outline emotions across the planet. All over the world, communities are coming together, united with feelings of pride, inspiration, and overwhelming gratitude.
Inspired by the commitment and generosity of others. Thankful to the key workers going above and beyond. And undeniably proud. Proud of the skills, knowledge, and resilience that countless communities across the STEM workforce are showcasing day after day after day. Skills that will allow us to come out of the other side of this situation stronger, braver, and more united than ever before. We are inspired by the heroes who are using their expertise to protect our world and discover a solution.
But what about those who are going above and beyond the call of duty, even at this highly challenging time? Those who are already working relentlessly across the life sciences and still continue to selflessly give up their own time to help others.
Meet Noel. She’s been a clinical research consultant since 2011 and has spent the last six to seven years working in a supervisor role. We recently placed Noel in a new role at a life science company – but her story goes much further than that.
Going above and beyond
With a background studying a masters in autism and schizophrenia, Noel has always utilized her skills to help those in need. By day, she supports clinical research patients, but in her spare time Noel volunteers to help mental health patients in crisis – supporting these individuals and their dependents to establish effective treatment solutions.
But now, the restrictions brought on by the pandemic have led to complications when it comes to treating patients. Noel explains, ‘Obviously a lot of our work involves getting people into hospitals – but due to the coronavirus and the impact of social distancing this has been a challenge. There’s also been some obstacles when it comes to immigration situations with patients too. So, we have to do what we can with the resources available - it’s completely thrown treatment plans up in the air and we have to think of new ways to offer support.’
Finding alternative solutions
‘it’s very difficult because, if I was supporting a child with severe autism for example, a structured routine is absolutely essential - it’s very important for that patient that we adhere to strict treatment schedules. And now, because of social distancing all of that has been completely thrown up in the air. So that’s absolutely been a challenge.’
According to Noel, ‘For most people all over the world right now, virtual communication tools have provided a lifeline that have allowed people to keep doing their jobs and to stay connected with their loved ones. But for me dealing with my patients, it’s not that simple – for various reasons. Sadly, a lot of my patients don’t trust the internet and there’s a huge fear of surveillance associated with these conditions. In addition to this, some patients are also non-verbal, so unfortunately we’re not able to benefit from digital innovation in the same way that everyone else has.’
The impact on patients
Noel continues, ‘In general, the whole situation is highly distressing for a lot of my patients. For those who’ve dealt with extreme paranoia their whole lives, suddenly everyone’s walking around in masks and the news is full of apocalyptic stories – it’s like, imagine if suddenly every conspiracy theory in the world just came true. It’s such a horrible time for everyone, but especially the patients that I take care of through my volunteering - it’s essential that these people get the support they need.’
Noel’s story is inspiring. And thankfully, there are others within her community who are giving up their own time to support this situation.
‘California in general is amazing at starting up grassroots volunteering initiatives within the space, they provide a lot of opportunities which are super important and allow me to help people who really need it.’
Inspired by you
It goes without saying that the work Noel does is critical, life-changing, and inspiring in the truest sense of the word. At Real Life Sciences, we speak with incredible heroes across the life sciences like Noel – and to hear these incredible stories of professionals going above and beyond to support communities across our world is truly remarkable.
Noel, we are inspired by you.