I just wanted to get some insight into the variety of working conditions research nurses/clinical research coordinators face, specifically hours/on call. I know much depends on your protocol/organization, but I would like to hear from researchers. Do you have backup? (i.e. can you ever go on vacation for any period of time, family emergencies, be human and get sick, and have there be somebody for your patients/study personnel to contact besides you). The research coordinator I have shadowed a few times seems to have no backup and can't ever leave town/go on vacation without being in constant contact with her facility and patients, because there is no one to cover her or her studies. I was just wondering if this was the norm. One of the most madden things about bedside nursing is no regualar schedule, and that when I'm away from work, it still controls my life. As much as I would love to enter the research world as an RN (I was in animal-based research before becoming an RN) and I don't want to get into the same kind of working environment.
I also forgot to mention that the facility I shadowed this nurse at would hire me if I applied. But there are significant red flags that are causing me to hold back. Which stinks, because research positions don't open up every day, especially these days.
Last edit by ThanksForAllTheFish! on Dec 9, '09
: Reason: typos
Jan 7, '10
Just wondering if anybody had any input.
Jan 9, '10
We do have backup coverage in our office as there are two study coordinators other than myself. We also have data managers assigned to each coordinator that can take over certain tasks if one of us is out. However, unlike my experience in my bedside position, I cannot leave my work at the office. Rarely have I had a vacation or sick day where I did not have to answer questions via phone or email. I am ok with this and expect it as I know my patients and protocols much better than my colleagues. I would rather have a one min phone conversation than have to come back to work and deal with protocol deviations, etc.
Jan 16, '10
Thanks for the information. I figured that nobody would know a study like it's coordinator would, but I was just concerned that the general rule was that there was no backup to take immediate care in the case of a study emergency/or minor detail till the study's coordinator could be reached. i.e. what if he/she was not in cell range, sick and unable to answer the phone/email, or at the movies, etc. The place I shadowed at, the study coordinator had no backup especially when she had to fly out of state to take care of family business.
Jan 17, '10
People get sick and have to take time off. If there wasn't another person available for coverage a sub investigator or PI would need to step up to the plate. It rarely happens in reality, however if you are looking at a position like you described then I would ask the investigators if they are capable of running the show on their own. But honestly I wouldn't take a job where I was responsible for everything, especially if you are new to research. You really need a mentor for the first year at least. I am still teaching my boss, ironically, about research and she has been in the field for 3.5 years.