Latest Comments by anc33

anc33 5,199 Views

Joined: Feb 3, '04; Posts: 333 (23% Liked) ; Likes: 112

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    I added my clinicals to my first resume. I was interested in finding a neurosurgery position so I highlighted that I had spent my med-surg rotation and practicum on a neurosurgery floor.

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    While having a strong chemo background helps with the OCN testing there is much more to the test material. I myself am not a chemo provider and have never worked directly in that setting. I had no difficultly passing the exam. That being said, if you wish to continue in oncology go ahead and take the exam. It will definitely give you a leg up on the competition.

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    I am in research and 90% of the time I am behind a desk. While we are allowed to wear scrubs, I wear business casual attire. I will sometimes break out a suit depending on what I need to do for the day. If I am with a patient in clinic or processing samples in the lab I throw on a lab coat.

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    yhl1975 likes this.

    Same thing. Titles differ even within organizations. My job title is RN Spec, working title is Clinical Research Coordinator. I have friends in different departments that do the same thing who are Research Nurses, Clinical Trials Nurses or Clinical Trials Coordinators.

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    I am going to say it takes one year to start to feel comfortable is three years to really feel competent. However, you will never know it all because oncology and research are two fields where there is a lot of ongoing change. You can make this field a paycheck or a career, but it is really easy to spot the ones that are phoning it in.

    Just know... your first priority is always keeping your patients safe. Your second should be maintaining the integrity of the research and third is keeping your PIs out of trouble. Some PIs are more difficult to tame than others. Don't trust any of them to know the protocols. Most are aware of the title and maybe some key inclusion/exclusion criteria. They will need you to hold their hand. And don't be afraid to speak up if and tell them they are wrong or need to do X instead of Y, etc. And you are going to make mistakes. It is OK, that is how you learn. People who A) do not like critique and B) those who do not learn from past experience do not do well in research. You will be critiqued, it is a sport for some monitors.

    If you are a member of NSABP they actually have a mentor program that may be useful. I would also join either ACRP (more expensive but more active) or SoCRA (more oncology CRCs). ONS has a clinical trials SIG and some educational materials on their site. Spend some time reading the CFR and FDA guidances. If you do not have much background in stats or epi do a little research so you can better understand the scientific design of the protocols you are coordination. Never be afraid to ask questions. Best of luck.

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    annister and tewdles like this.

    Quote from FroggyRN05
    What I have been hearing as far as shortage of 5FU, is that the quality that the United States is receiving from other countries is poor quality or contaminated. So very frustrating!
    Of the three companies that the supplies the US with 5-FU, only one is foreign. That company, Teva, has cited "manufacturing delays" as the reason for their shortage. Increased demand is the official reason for the other two. The FDA does not routinely allow for importation of drug that was produced for other countries (not even EU countries) because it may not be up to spec.

    The vast majority of drugs listed as being in short supply by the FDA are generics. In most cases, manufacturers do not produce these drugs year round but in batches. They estimate the amount that is needed based and prior years and produce only that amount. These drugs do not make them a profit so there is no impetus for them to produce more. When the demand suddenly increases it is difficult for them to switch gears and accomodate the change. At least with 5-FU we have a viable alternative.

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    Yes, the job description varies greatly. 60% of my job is admin work; regulatory, protocol writing, contracts and grants, billing compliance, and so on. The remainder is split between attending rounds, recruiting and following patients, interacting with ancillary services, etc. I do not actually do much of any direct patient care in terms of procedures. I do interview patients, obtain AE reports, review meds, administer surveys and the like.

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    suonam likes this.

    I too have a BA in Anthro. I did my thesis on odontometrics in forensic anthropology and dreamed of one day working at the Smithsonian. Then I married a grad student in forensics and put my dream on the back burner (there is not a great demand for forensic anthropologists). While I don't draw from much of my anthro education I do think it gave me a much deeper understanding of cultural awareness and how it directly impacts health. I agree with Michelle05 that there is not much that one can do with an anthro degree (BA level). However, if it is a topic that you are passionate about then you should shoot for the PhD. I do know some masters level anthropologists but those jobs are scarce. Looking back, I am glad things worked out as they did as I love my job and the endless opportunities it affords (and it doesn't hurt that I make more than many of my old anthro profs).

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    Have you ever looked at the Presidential Management Fellowship program through the NIH? NIH's Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

    Sounds like it may be a step in the right direction if you like utilization, access, etc research.

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    Most likely no. When you are hired into a new research position in general it is because you either have a good handle on the disease processes involved (or just broad knowledge if you are it is general med) or because you have a solid research background. That being said, the NIH clinical center is one place where they do hire new grads, BSNs mostly. They have a very structured training program where you start out doing patient care and, as you work your way up the ladder, eventually move into more administrative roles. Clinical experience, whether that is hospital or clinic based, is invaluable to coordinators. Really prior experience along with a solid understanding of research design is what separates good and great coordinators. As for what type of research organization is best... that depends on your career aspirations. My advice is to find an area of nursing you really love. Get 1-2 years or more of hands on patient care experience preferably in a hospital/organization that has an active research program. Network with MDs and research staff. If they know you are interested in becoming a coordinator you may be one of the first people they go to when a position opens up.

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    You don't need to be certified to be a monitor although most monitors take their CCRA after two years on the job. Getting a CRA job is all about networking with the project managers and monitors for your current trials.

    I actually really love my job as a study coordinator. I get to do a bit of everything including writing protocols. I know I will outgrow this job eventually. If I haven't found a management position where I currently work before then I would love to make the jump to FDA safety or regulatory officer.

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    nurseofcourse likes this.

    Quote from PCU_RN9
    Ok, I recently started working on a Progressive Care Unit. I really do not think it is my cup of tea but I just learned about reseach nursing. This sounds like something that would be perfect for me! I was wondering what all you do as a research nurse? How Do I get involved in this career path, do you need previous experience, and how is the pay compared to bedside nursing. Also, do you need any certifications for this type of nursing career? any info you have will be great! Thank you!
    I don't mean to sound snide but why do you think this job may be perfect for you if you don't know much about the field? Research is an area that is known to chew up and spit nurses out. This is usually for one of two reasons; the person not being a good fit for the job (confident, independent, extremely detail oriented, etc) or having no orientation or mentor to learn from. When we are looking to hire new staff we prefer people with some kind of research background as that piece is much harder to learn than the clinical piece. Please look into some old threads to get some more details. I would implore you to shadow a coordinator for a few days to get better insight into the field. I have had multiple students tag along on my day and I always ask if the experience matched their expectations. I have never once heard a "yes" come out of their mouths.

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    yhl1975 likes this.

    The patient care aspect of the job is highly variable depending on how your unit runs and your position. My first research job was 75% hands on care and 25% paperwork. That was in phase I where protocols are very procedure heavy (lots of blood draws, ECGs, etc). In my curring position I only spend 25% of my time with patients. When I see them in clinic I interview them to assess AEs, order labs and other tests, prep their drug orders, do teaching, administer any protocol specific cognitive testing, etc. It is very watered down version of direct patient care which a lot of people dislike. On the other hand I know of many research nurse jobs where they are very patient care focused, especially those in hospital based research units.

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    yhl1975 likes this.

    Quote from crescentcitygrrl
    In response to there not being much room for growth in this field: have you considered becoming a monitor for one of the drug companies, to oversee study sites etc? I am looking that direction myself, after I get several more years of CRC work under my belt of course!
    I have been in this field for over 5 years now and feel that there are numerous opportunities for growth. I am personally trying to decide what my next move is but there are so many directions I can see my self going in. There is also protocol development, project management, regulatory, grants, working for IRBs, patient advocacy, QA/QC (internally), monitoring... Also, research jobs vary greatly depending on whether you work in a clinic, academic institution, phase I units, cooperative group, NIH or pharma. Most of us on here work on drug studies. Device studies are their own animal and require specialized knowledge. I used to work in a phase I unit where the bulk of my job was patient care and data collection/entry. In my current position I manage most aspects of my trials. We do have regulatory and grants personnel but ultimately I have to know what is going on with my trials at all times. I have recently started writing protocols and love doing that. One day I would like to move into a position were I could help with INDs and NDAs and other regulatory oversight. I really think this is a superb field and see myself here for the rest of my career.

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    From what I have found research coordinator positions pay less than floor positions. I have been pretty lucky with salary however one of my colleagues makes slightly less than I do and she has been a nurse for 15+ yrs. She would definitely make more in the hospital. So if starting RN salaries are in the 35-40K range in your state then the number you quoted sounds par for the course.


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