STEAM: Meet a Research Nurse

Annette Geddes-Washington is a licensed vocational nurse at the Chan Soon-Shiong Research Institute in El Segundo. Of all the STEAM disciplines, she says her career as a research nurse relies most on science.

Video Transcript

[? NARRATOR: ?] STEAM Series, championed by your Southern California Toyota Dealers.

REPORTER 1: It's time for this week's STEAM Series. And earlier in this newscast, we took you inside the clinical trial for an oral COVID vaccine.

REPORTER 1: But now we introduce you to a research nurse, and see what it takes to care for medical research volunteers.

ANNETTE GEDDES-WASHINGTON: Our patients here, well, they're like extended family.

REPORTER 3: Annette Geddes-Washington is working on a medical frontier inside the Chan Soon-Shiong Research Institute in El Segundo. She's on the front line of testing new therapies to fight cancer and COVID-19 in patients who volunteer to try an experimental new oral COVID vaccine.

ANNETTE GEDDES-WASHINGTON: I do the swabs and get them prepared for the physician.

REPORTER 3: Annette is a licensed vocational nurse. To get here, she first learned the ropes while working entry level as a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA. Then she realized that to grow her career she needed to grow her education. Of all the STEAM disciplines, working as a research LVN relies most on science. Not only biology, but also psychology.

ANNETTE GEDDES-WASHINGTON: Get them relaxed to all the vitals, the lab works, and be very empathetic. And then know the techniques of how to find veins for the blood draw. Because sometimes we have challenging ones.

REPORTER 3: Working in clinical research means Annette is often among the first to know about the newest trials and treatments.

ANNETTE GEDDES-WASHINGTON: My day is exciting.

REPORTER 3: And among the first to respond when a patient is in crisis.

ANNETTE GEDDES-WASHINGTON: What do I love best about what I do? Being able to put a smile on my patient's face and to listen to them. You know, be there for them.

REPORTER 3: Annette studied two years to earn her LVN between work, school, and parenting. They were the toughest years of her life. Academics were never easy for her.

ANNETTE GEDDES-WASHINGTON: Any time there's test time, I'll get nervous. I get sick.

REPORTER 3: But as she pursued that nursing diploma, more than her own growth was on the line.

ANNETTE GEDDES-WASHINGTON: Showing my kids that it's never too late to finish to achieve or accomplish their goals. So whatever I'm teaching them, I had to make sure that I was carrying it out.

REPORTER 3: Annette's advice to anyone struggling to make good grades.

ANNETTE GEDDES-WASHINGTON: Give it your best. Aim for that A, if you land on a C. That's good, just as long as you don't give up.

REPORTER 2: [? Oh, ?] I like her. And for more on STEAM careers, just go to cbsla.com/STEAM.