How Do I Become a Clinical Data Coordinator?

M. West

Clinical data coordinator careers involve creating, updating, and validating clinical study databases, as well as providing computerized reports of the data. Educational requirements for this profession involve a bachelor’s bio-medical or bio-statistical degree, and sometimes a master’s or doctorate degree. Aside from education, you must have knowledge of good clinical practices according to the International Conference of Harmonisation. To become a clinical data coordinator, you also should possess a deep interest in clinical research, along with a capacity to work with databases. Certain knowledge, skills, and abilities in addition to personality characteristics are needed as well.

A clinical data coordinator maintains and edits data that has been entered into a clinical trial's database.
A clinical data coordinator maintains and edits data that has been entered into a clinical trial's database.

The knowledge needed for this field encompasses several areas. In the area of medicine and dentistry, you should be familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including drug properties and interactions, along with preventative healthcare practices. Proficiency in the structure and content of languages is required, as well as expertise in business administration and management principles. If you want to become a clinical data coordinator, you should be competent in all areas of mathematics, in addition to clerical systems used in managing data.

To become a clinical data coordinator, you also should possess a deep interest in clinical research.
To become a clinical data coordinator, you also should possess a deep interest in clinical research.

Various skills and abilities are needed to complement the knowledge areas. Active listening is necessary to understand the points made by the speaker and includes asking appropriate questions. Being an effective communicator is essential, and involves good written and oral comprehension skills, as well as proficient oral and written expression abilities. Other necessary skills include deductive reasoning and the capacity to coordinate actions with team members.

Clinical data coordinators must analyze and validate clinical trial data to ensure consistency.
Clinical data coordinators must analyze and validate clinical trial data to ensure consistency.

Rounding out the requirements needed to become a clinical data coordinator is a cluster of personality traits. Meticulous attention to detail is required to assure accuracy in the data and its correct interpretation. As this type of work will have an impact on the health of many, an honest and highly ethical character is necessary. The ability to be adaptable and flexible is also important, because the work can produce unexpected results and take unforeseen turns. Finally, initiative is needed to fulfill the job’s responsibilities and meet its challenges, as well as the ability to work unsupervised.

Before drugs can be sold and marketed in the U.S., they must undergo several safety and efficacy tests -- typically on animals and humans -- called clinical trials.
Before drugs can be sold and marketed in the U.S., they must undergo several safety and efficacy tests -- typically on animals and humans -- called clinical trials.

Clinical data coordinator duties involve all aspects of data management. These professionals must analyze and validate clinical trials data to ensure consistency. They also review database designs, making sure that they follow correct protocol. Other responsibilities include helping to standardize data management procedures, along with developing documentation guidelines. The work also entails implementing strategies for data cleaning, querying data inconsistencies, and generating data summaries.

A clinical data coordinator may maintain detailed records of the amount of medication given to each test subject.
A clinical data coordinator may maintain detailed records of the amount of medication given to each test subject.

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