If you’re considering participating in a clinical research study for the first time, or if you haven’t participated in several years, you might have some basic questions about the professionals who will be on-hand to administer the study. This is natural and completely understandable, as these medical professionals will closely interact with you and other subjects during the trial.
At AGA Clinical Trials, we offer clinical trials for a wide variety of conditions, from Alzheimer’s disease to migraines, hypertension and numerous other areas – and we even have great use for healthy volunteers as well. For your information, here are some basics on the medical professionals you’re likely to interact with during a trial, plus what their roles are and what they’re responsible for.
Clinical Research Coordinator/Associate
Often abbreviated as CRCs or CRAs, clinical research coordinators or associates are in a vital role that bridges any gap between patients and doctors. They interact with both groups, from screening participants and obtaining informed consent documentation to transmitting vital information to the people conducting the study.
In addition, a big part of the role of a CRC or CRA is simply allowing for proper lines of communication and certain restricted treatments. While medical professionals like doctors are highly intelligent and well-trained in their fields, they might bit be licensed for certain minor procedures or areas that a CRC can handle easily. CRCs and CRAs are also on-hand for entering data collected, checking patient eligibility and much more.
Doctors and Investigators
In many cases, these terms are used interchangeably – the primary doctors and medical professionals involved in coordinating and carrying out a study are generally called investigators. They may hold several specific roles, from treating patients directly to conducting data analysis, laboratory research or even serving as a biostatistician. They generally hold advanced degrees, whether a Masters or a PhD, though other research staff without this level of achievement may also be present.
Specifically, a single person in charge of the clinical trial is generally referred to as the principal investigator. This person is almost always a medical doctor, and often will be a faculty member at the institution conducting the research. They are in charge of overseeing the study and protecting the safety and welfare of all participants, plus ensuring all protocols are properly observed throughout the research trial.
In addition, research nurses will likely be on hand. These people hold active registered nurse licenses, and will handle many of the same responsibilities as CRCs – though they also handle certain practitioner duties that CRCs are not licensed for, such as administering IVs, certain drugs or other medical exams.
For more on the research and medical professionals who will be involved in your trial, or to learn about any of our clinical research studies, speak to the staff at AGA Clinical Trials today.