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Career Story: Research Coordinator For Clinical Drug And Device Trials

Research Coordinator For Clinical Drug And Device Trials

Job Title: Homemaker

Type of Company: The research program works with inpatient and outpatient populations to help investigate different cardiac issues through clinical trials.

Education: BS, Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire

Previous Experience: I worked in cardiac rehab for seven years and with several out-patient preventive disease management programs. This brought me to my last, most current job which was as a clinical research coordinator in cardiac research in a Boston hospital.

Job Tasks: As a clinical research coordinator, you have the opportunity to act as a liaison between the doctors and patients, learn about clinical trial design and even manage a clinical trial. The job can involve doing surveys, physical testing and analysis of different parts of the study. It provides an opportunity to investigate different devices, drugs and techniques on specific disease populations in a variety of locations. You get to meet people in all different positions with different educational backgrounds. There are a lot of sales-related tasks to recruiting for a study. To be successful you must be a highly organized person with the ability to balance both the tedium of research with the pressures and demands of a research timetable. You also have to be careful to comply with the internal and external regulatory boards. This is, perhaps, the most critical aspect of running a successful study. Still, the work is fast-paced and ever-changing.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of the job are that you often manage several studies at one time. One could be a drug-related study, one a medical device and a third could be funded by the National Institutes of Health. All would be run very differently. You may be in the OR or ER for some and out visiting satellite locations for another. It gives you the ability to work flexible hours, travel some and work with all different populations of people.

The drawbacks are few, but the tedious crossing of t's and dotting of i's on the same worksheets or forms over and over again can become monotonous. Adapting to new regulatory standards with each new study and finding a comfortable balance with juggling projects, paperwork and patients is equally trying.

Job Tips: Seek out a study of interest to you, really look at the research team that you will be working with. Talk to some people that have worked with the research group and/or doctor(s) before. Look at the ethical side of the study. Inquire about your specific roles with the project. See how much room there is to grow with the position, and will there be more research to follow this one study in particular.

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