The whole truth about the CRA profession
Being a CRA is making the link between researchers, doctors and patients. A clinical research associate is a rigorous and orderly person within a scientific profile. The CRA ensures compliance with protocol and centers, Good Clinical Practices during clinical trials on a patient or a healthy volunteer.
The profession requires efficiency and communication ease. However, this relatively new profession is no exception to the rule: it has its advantages and limitations.
You want to become a CRA? Here is what you can expect during your working life in this area. There is no need to worry. We will tell you the truth, all the truth, and only the truth.
Being CRA is exciting, but…
- Are you organized and effective?
“Where there is a will there is a way!”
The daily challenge of CRAs as they enter the gates of hospitals or clinics for an on-site visit: successfully finish all tasks that must be performed on site by the end of the day. The job requires a certain investment because the CRA monitor is sometimes required to travel several times a week.
- Are you able to focus on your work?
During an on- site visit, they check compliance of data entered in the case report form by the investigating doctor or his staff with respect to voluntary patient records and compliance with Good Clinical Practices, legislation and regulations in force, with Protocol as well as standard operating procedures. It is a long process. Sometimes routine, checking of records must be done in a serious way. But beware, no error is permitted. The day of a CRA is by no means an easy one; the CRA must stay concentrated all day. Knowing in details the Good Clinical Practices, the study Protocol and procedures is the key word to keep pace and be effective. Not easy for everyone!
- Are you patient?
Second constraint: the bureaucracy. A reality that requires a quality: the organization. The reason? The bureaucracy can sometimes be boring! You must collect a number of documents with the centers and it is sometimes difficult to get the signature of an overbooked investigator.
Good eyes are needed! The CRAs should be able to proofread the hieroglyphics and scrawl of some doctors and especially to understand the medical language. Sometimes soothsayers and often accustomed? This comes with experience.
- Are you a diplomat?
Being CRA, it is also about to knowing to point errors and call up the doctor and his team to order. A sense of diplomacy is necessary, not always easy.
- Are you ready to invest time and energy in your professional life?
And finally, during activity peaks, your little life is put on hold. A CRA is to work overtime, a little less rich family life and more limited leisure … A time-consuming profession. Being monitor CRA is to have a day that starts early for transport and goes till late. It is also to take meals alone at the hospital cafeteria and sometimes sleep in a hotel at night, away from home.
Being a CRA, a modern and rewarding job…
The CRA profession invites to discovery and exchange. The CRA monitor is often required to travel to different hospitals and work with different team which have their own way of doing things. International scales projects sometimes call CRAs to travel around the world. This diversity makes the profession varied and different.
Mastering English is a need for the CRA. In one word, the CRA profession is not a static profession. It continually invites to personal improvement for an international effectiveness.
Let’s talk about the scientific side of the profession: a CRA is involved in the implementation of the clinical protocol and in the quality of research data. A profession that is unlikely to be boring. A BAC+3 in a scientific field at least is recommended to integrate the business to better understand the protocols. In other words, it is a job that feeds your mind: it allows the advance of science and save lives. The satisfaction is even greater when the studied drugs are on the market!
That is it, you are now warned. Have you asked yourself all these questions? Convinced? You are persistent and dynamic? You are looking for a fulfilling direction and you have a scientific background? You could be the CRA who will contribute to an advance in science.
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