Study coordinators are the main link between the study volunteers and the pharmaceutical companies or other health companies. The role of a study coordinator is to mainly conduct the studies on study patients in a safe and informed way. Study coordinators recruit patients by conducting phone calls and face-to-face screenings. Under the supervision of a physician or specialist, they assess the subject overall condition and ability to participate in a clinical study. Throughout a study, study coordinators tasks with subjects may involve to provide them information on the studies, perform venipuncture if properly trained, collection of urine specimens, lung testing, walk tests, assess vital signs such as blood pressure or weight and height. But the role of a study coordinators does not stop there. There are a lot of paperwork, creation of source documents, data entry and correspondence to deal with too throughout the day.
Because the study coordinator needs to be in constant communication with patients, clinical monitors, doctors and other health workers, strong interpersonal skills and the desire to help people in general are highly recommended. The study coordinator must also have great organizational skills, to be able to manage several studies at once, and be able to adapt to different situations quickly. It is essential for a study research coordinator to have strong computer skills for daily use of emails, text documents, spreadsheets software and much more.
Typically, study coordinators work in clinics, hospitals, education or research centers and other types of health centers.
Normally, study coordinators work regular hours, Monday to Friday. However, in some cases, work hours will depend largely on the type of study conducted. Some studies require more flexibility in time, such as starting work early, finishing late, or even working on the weekend to accommodate the schedule of some patients. Also, there may be some traveling involved with the beginning of every new study.
Depending on the type of studies, facilities, and needs, study research coordinators type of education can vary a lot, from bachelor/master in health science or biology to registered nurse. Because every studies are different, and because they are in constant proximity with subjects and patients, study coordinator should have CPR training. Moreover, it is mandatory for study coordinators to know the principles of Good Clinical Practice, to ensure full protection of the study subjects. Study coordinators can be certified through the ACRP or SoCra, the Society of Clinical Research Associates.
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