Marian Hawkey, RN
Featured Cath Lab Professional
Marian Hawkey, RN is the clinical research director for the Transcatheter Valve Program, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and course director for the Nurse and Technologist Symposium at the annual TCT Meeting.
1) How did you become involved in the field?
My nursing background is in a variety of Cardiology and Critical Care settings. I first became specifically engaged in the field of Interventional Cardiology when I developed the role of Cardiology Research Nurse at St. Vincents Hospital, working closely with the Medical Director of the Cath Lab. I joined Dr. Martin Leon's team at Lenox Hill Hospital in 2000 as a research nurse and that provided an intensive exposure to cutting edge Interventional Cardiology clinical research. I have been heading up the TAVR clinical research team at NYP/Columbia since its inception in 2006.
2) What challenges do you face?
Given the complexity of many of the clinical trials in which we participate and the largely elderly TAVR patient population, it can be challenging to balance the essential and sometimes rigorous components required by a clinical trial with patient-friendly pathways that take into account our patients' capabilities and, in some cases, disabilities. Many of our studies require 5-10 years of follow-up so we are heavily invested in our relationships with our patients.
3) How do you see the field changing in the next 5 years?
I am already seeing a transition in the types of clinical research being performed in the TAVR space. We spent many years enrolling patients in large scale pivotal trials for the earlier generation devices, and now are involved with studies of later generation devices, unique patient subsets and adjunctive therapies. There is also increased focus on individualized patient-care pathways that minimize the potential for complications and facilitate hospital discharge.
4) Any tips/tricks you find helpful?
I think that preparation and organization are critical when you're trying to keep your arms around the complex requirements of many of the clinical trials. I also try to stay flexible in my thinking and approach to the tasks at hand. This has helped me to take a fresh look at how best to develop processes and solve problems. I like to think several steps ahead and consider all possible outcomes.
5) What’s something people might not know about you?
I love attending concerts, especially classic rock (but also blues, pop etc). I wish I could play the guitar like Eric Clapton (in truth, I can't play the guitar at all). My Dad, in particular, was a real music lover, with pretty eclectic taste, and I think he instilled that in me and my siblings.
6) What has been your most meaningful clinical experience?
I've had so many over the course of my nursing career, but I think in recent years it has been seeing the enormous improvement in TAVR patient outcomes. The early years, when the technology was first being developed and the patients being treated were extremely high-risk, were challenging in so many ways. To see TAVR procedures now performed routinely and patients going home one or two days post-procedure is truly remarkable to me.