Basically, what happens is this: there will be a group of health care researchers performing a specific task, such as examining patients for a certain condition or assessing a new treatment method for an existing disease. They’ll then write up all their findings in an organized manner, which they can then hand over to the designated clinical study coordinator. Their job is to sign off on the documentation and to answer any questions patients may have.
However, it’s not all peaches and gravy: the CCRC is responsible for keeping clinical records updated and to ensuring all the team members involved in the project follow the guidelines laid out by their institution. This means staying on top of administrative tasks such as answering emails, making travel arrangements and ensuring everyone has the latest journals and PowerPoint presentations on file. On top of that, the CCRC also oversees the actual clinical study, checking in with the sponsor periodically to ensure everything is being carried out according to schedule. In between meetings, the clinical research coordinator is on hand to answer questions and make sure the protocol is being followed.
Becoming a clinical research coordinator isn’t all smooth sailing and there are a lot of responsibilities involved. Like all healthcare workers, clinical research coordinators need to keep their mind on the task at hand-that of carrying out the research. For this reason, a CCRC should have excellent communication skills, be able to organise and delegate effectively, exhibit good leadership skills, be detail oriented and able to work in a team environment. A highly skilled CCRC will be able to:
There’s a lot of pressure placed on the clinical research coordinator. In order to be effective at her job, she needs to be able to juggle a variety of roles, both administrative and hands-on. These can include supervising the whole project from conception to submission, keeping track of everything from the proposal to the analysis phase. Working in such a busy environment is difficult for any individual, let alone a CCRC who needs to maintain a professional attitude and be available to answer questions.
It’s common for CCRCs to seek additional education after they begin working, although many choose to remain at their current post. Others decide to further their education or acquire certification in an area of clinical interest so that they can apply their knowledge more productively. A clinical research coordinator should consider pursuing further qualifications in subjects such as counselling and psychoanalysis, or management and organization. She may also want to look into a masters degree in public health, because working as a clinical research coordinator doesn’t stop with obtaining a CCRC certificate; it can involve ongoing supervision and even occasional consultancies with health care professionals and other researchers.
There are several different aspects to becoming a clinical research coordinator. One is to select the area in which to specialise in. Some people decide to specialise in one particular disease or medical condition, while others look to develop a broad range of skills and knowledge that span a wide array of CCRC roles. The most successful CCRCs are those who are able to balance their academic qualifications with real-life clinical experience, and who can demonstrate great leadership and organizational skills.
You don’t need to have completed your formal education to become a clinical study coordinator. In fact, the majority of CCRCs were born out of a desire to help people. They then developed a track record of dedication to their chosen profession, honing their skills in various fields of study before putting their efforts towards providing patients and healthcare providers with the best possible clinical service. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a clinical study coordinator, it is important to get formal training and to undergo screening by an expert panel. You must then pass an oral and written examination in order to become certified.