If you’ve been considering a career as a clinical research assistant, then you likely already know how many different programs are out there to provide you with training. It’s choosing the right CRA training course that can be difficult. Without the right training, you may have trouble finding work, and you may not be fully prepared for this multi-competent medical career.
Life as a CRA is different than other medical fields. A simple training program that provides you with administrative training won’t do. On the other hand a CRA training program that focuses on just medical assistance won’t give you the administrative training that you will require. With the variety of job functions a CRA may be required to perform, you will need an all-encompassing training program.
Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to choose the right program. All you need is a little guidance in what a good program should include.
Characteristics of a CRA Training Program
When you look at the duties of a clinical research assistant it begins to become clear what you should look for in your training. As a CRA you will have many administrative duties, likely have clinical assistance duties, and many times you will also be responsible for keeping things running smoothly. Your work as a CRA may be in a hospital, a clinic, a research facility, or even in an industrial setting. Because of the variety of roles, and work environments, a wider range of skills is required.
1. A Law/Ethics Component – A good CRA training course will include a law/ethics component. Many times the CRA will be responsible for overseeing the way things are run in the office, and ensuring that the medical staff complies with state laws or other medical laws.
2. Patient Care Component – The clinical research assistant may be required to assist doctors and researchers in patient care. A patient care component with hands-on training will better enable the CRA to perform this role.
3. Medical Component – To further the clinical research assistant’s knowledge in patient care a medical component should also be included. This isn’t nurses training, but a basic knowledge of the body, first aid, pharmacology, and medicine in general will be required.
4. Pediatrics Component – For the CRA that will be assisting in Pediatrics/Gynecological procedures, this component is also important. Since you don’t know beforehand where you will work, this is also an important component to your clinical research training.
5. Administrative Component – Finally, as a clinical research assistant, you will be responsible for many administrative functions. Your training should include an administrative component that teaches computer skills, medical coding and billing, phone skills, and record keeping skills.
Another important aspect of your training that should be considered is the length of the program itself. In some places you can receive your training in as little as two months. The reality of it is that with the knowledge required, these programs may be too short. A good clinical research assistance training program will likely take you 6 months to a year to complete.
Choosing a training program for your career path is important. When it comes to CRA training, you now have a guide to what to look for before starting your course.
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