What Is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator?

Clinical research teams often carefully test newly developed drugs and their side effects as well as improved medical equipment, and clinical research coordinators lead these teams. Continue reading for more job details, education options and professional career information. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Description of a Clinical Research Coordinator

Employed in clinical, hospital or private laboratories, clinical research coordinators (CRCs) research the effects of medicines and medical equipment on humans. As a CRC, you work with research volunteers from start to finish. You'll help bring in research participants, provide them with the proper initial training, administer the test drugs or devices, monitor their condition afterward, carefully record all data and maintain the accuracy of the records. You make sure that all researchers act ethically, reporting any misconduct. You typically draw up the regulations for research proceedings.

Important Facts About Certified Clinical Research Coordinators

On-the-Job Training Internships available
Key Skills Reading comprehension, time management, critical thinking, problem solving, good judgment and decision making, excellent written and spoken communication, organization, observation
Work Environment Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences; federal government; pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing; management of companies and enterprises
Similar Occupations Agricultural and food scientists; biochemists; biophysicists; chemists; materials scientists; environmental scientists and specialists; medical scientists

Education Required

Some employers may accept applicants with an associate's degree in clinical research coordination. However, to become a CRC, you usually need either training as a registered nurse (RN) or a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory sciences, clinical research or a similar subject.

Programs for clinical research teach you investigation procedures, the legal aspects of clinical research and clinical ethics. You will learn data analysis, research management and scientific writing. Courses will also explore the human body and how it reacts to drugs.

Courses you may take include:

  • Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • Management
  • Clinical research internship

A program to become an RN teaches you all the facets of caring for patients on a nursing level. You will explore the basics of illness and disease, the function of the human body and the handling of different treatment procedures. Courses will teach you proper nurse-patient relations.

You may take courses in the following areas:

  • Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Nursing care for children, adults, the elderly and expectant mothers
  • Nursing internship

Certification and Employment Information

Although not mandatory, certification proves to your employers and your clients that you have met all educational requirements to become an expert in your field. The Association of Clinical Research Professionals offers CRC certification. A combination of qualifying education and professional experience are required to qualify to take the examination; if you have a degree and have completed a clinical research education program, you can become eligible with fewer hours.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies clinical research coordinators within the category of natural sciences managers. The BLS predicts a 3% increase in employment of all natural sciences managers from 2014-2024. Payscale.com reported that the median annual salary for clinical research coordinators was $46,414 as of September 2015.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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