A clinical research coordinator performs a major role in the field of medical research, helping to ensure that clinical trials run smoothly and effectively. They are responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of research studies, as well as ensuring that the research complies with all relevant regulations and guidelines. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the role of a clinical research coordinator, including the tasks they perform, the skills they need, and the challenges they face.
- Tasks of a Clinical Research Coordinator
A clinical research coordinator performs a variety of tasks, including study start-up, coordination, and completion. During the start-up phase, they work with the principal investigator (PI) to develop the study protocol, recruit study participants, and secure funding. Once the study is underway, the coordinator is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the study, including data collection and management, regulatory compliance, and study participant management. They must ensure that the study is conducted in accordance with the protocol and federal regulations, and that human subjects are protected from harm.
- Skills of a Clinical Research Coordinator
A clinical research coordinator must have strong organizational and communication skills, as well as a good understanding of research methodology and regulatory requirements. They should be able to work effectively with study participants, PI, and other study staff, and be able to multi-task and manage their time effectively. Strong attention to detail and the ability to manage large amounts of data are also important skills for this role.
- Issues Faced by Clinical Research Coordinators
One of the biggest challenges faced by clinical research coordinators is managing the expectations of study participants, particularly those who are critically ill or experiencing serious medical conditions. They must also work to address any issues that arise during the course of the study, such as unexpected side effects or participant drop-out. Additionally, clinical research coordinators must stay up-to-date with the constantly evolving regulatory landscape, including changes to federal regulations and guidelines.
- Future Outlook for Clinical Research Coordinators
The future looks bright for clinical research coordinators, with the job market expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate in the coming years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to increase by 13% between 2016 and 2026. As the demand for new medical treatments and therapies continues to rise, clinical research coordinators will play an increasingly important role in the development and testing of new treatments.
- Education and Training for Clinical Research Coordinators
To become a clinical research coordinator, candidates typically need a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as clinical research, nursing, or biology. Many employers also require certification from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) or the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA). Additionally, clinical research coordinators may pursue graduate programs in clinical research or a related field to advance their skills and career prospects.
Clinical research coordinators play a vital role in the field of medical research, helping to ensure that studies are conducted safely, effectively, and in accordance with all relevant regulations. As the demand for new medical treatments and therapies continues to grow, the job market for clinical research coordinators is expected to grow as well. To succeed in this field, individuals must have a combination of strong organizational and communication skills, as well as a good understanding of research methodology and regulatory requirements. With the right education and training, clinical research coordinators can look forward to a rewarding and challenging career in this exciting and important field.