An ideal option for people who wish to build a solid career in the medical field, the clinical research associate profession brings many financial benefits and also a set of personal satisfactions, allowing practitioners to sustain their professional activity for the benefits of the community. Apart from the main function of monitoring clinical trials, the clinical research associate profession involves a wide variety of roles, such as verifying clinical site activities, making regular on site visits, reviewing and checking the accuracy of case report forms, as well as permanently interacting with clinical research investigators, all activities having to respect the imposed clinical protocols and good clinical practice guidelines.
It is important to note that the clinical research associate profession involves a lot of responsibility and dedication, rendering a long-term career in the branch quite demanding. However, clinical research associates have the opportunity to work in a clean and structured environment, to permanently interact with people and to ensure the protection of the rights, safety, health and well-being of human study subjects that participate in clinical trials.
The basic role of a clinical research associate, also referred to as a monitor, is to supervise the entire progress of clinical trials, initiated and conducted by physicians at hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices and other medical establishments. Apart from being responsible for the health and well-being of clinical study participants, clinical research associates have to ensure the accuracy, quality and integrity of the scientific data collected during trials. The extensive set of roles and duties characteristic to practicing clinical research associates include ensuring that the physicians respect good clinical practices and study protocols, checking the required documentation for each study participant, ensuring that all side-effects and adverse physical responses are appropriately reported and filed and ensuring the proper filing of various regulatory documents.
Clinical research associates are generally employed by pharmaceutical companies, medical research organizations and other institutions in the medical field. The profession involves a lot of field work, practitioners having to visit various sites and to maintain permanent connection with clinical study coordinators and investigators.
Persons who wish to follow the career of clinical research associate attend rigorous training programs to show good practical, decisional and communicational skills in the process. All persons who possess the skills and abilities required by the clinical research associate profession can easily obtain the proper training by attending clinical research associate training programs, regardless of their previous level of experience in the medical field.
Official clinical research training programs allow attending trainees to rapidly familiarize with the theoretical curriculum, and polish their practical skills and abilities required in their future profession. Instructor-led clinical research associate training programs are well-structured in a comprehensive manner, facilitating the process of learning and allowing graduates to leave with a complete baggage of knowledge and practical experience. A set of course examinations, self study and evaluations further prepare students for their final exams. The keys to becoming a well-trained, clinical research associate are attending to a proper clinical research training program and rigorously preparing for the final exams.