Careers as clinical researcher is quickly growing in the health care industry. As a clinical research assistant, you’re trained to help design, plan, implement and review all the research data from clinical studies.
Before becoming a clinical research assistant, you’ll have a variety of clinical, about six months to two years of practical experience in medicine, research or the pharmaceutical industry and your Bachelor of Science degree.
If you have either a Ph.D, Pharm. D. or M.D. you won’t have to have any previous clinical experience to get a job as a clinical research assistant. Because you could be called to recruit investigators for studies, prepare protocols, write procedures and reports and doing presentations, you’ll need strong organizational and communications skills. You could be spending quite a bit of time in meetings and conferences, hone in on your people skills early on.
It’s also good to have at least a basic understanding with statistical analysis and data management systems. The most popular one is Oracle Clinical.
‘Watchdog’ is the perfect nickname for a clinical research assistant. You’re there to make sure all trials and studies following any and all regulatory standards and ethical guidelines. To really succeed as a watchdog, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with Good Clinical Practice standards that the Federal Drug Administration regulates.
Become a member of the organization Society of Clinical Research Associates. They offer an annual conference, several networking resources to help find you a position as a clinical research assistant and advanced courses and certification programs. They have an online classifieds section where you can browse through position and quickly and easily apply online as a clinical research assistant.
Just note it can be a little hard finding a job as a clinical research assistant so be open to taking a job, even if it’s not in your field of choice and work your way up. For instance, if you’re looking to do research on diseases, it’s OK to start in the field of nursing or physical therapy until you make your way into your chosen field.