Clinical Research 101: Who Works In the Field & How You Can Get Involved
Clinical research is conducted to study and evaluate the effects of advancements in patient care. Clinical research involves two types; observational studies and clinical research. The process involves volunteers to help scientists and researchers better understand health, medicine, and disease.
Every drug, treatment, vaccine, procedure, technique, and diagnostic test that we benefit from is a product of successful research. Without it, there will be no improvement in proper health care in our community.
How Clinical Trials Work
Clinical trials work by going through 4 stages to test a drug, find the appropriate dosage, and assess its side effects. If the treatment is found to be safe and effective during its first three phases, the FDA approves the treatment for clinical use.
During the first phase, an experimental treatment is tested on a small group of qualified individuals to evaluate its safety and effects. During this stage, finding the right dosage is also determined.
The second phase of the trial is more focused on the treatment’s effectiveness tested on a larger group of volunteers. This phase determines whether the drug is effective on people with an illness or certain condition.
The third phase is all about the effectiveness of the drug when combined with other drugs. During this period, the group collects more information about the drug’s safety and effectiveness on upwards of 3,000 people. If the trial yields a positive result, the FDA will approve the drug or medical device.
The fourth stage is where the approved treatment or tool is tested on a large and diverse population. This crucial stage determines the safety and effectiveness of the treatment when taken for a longer duration.
Who Works in Clinical Trials & How You Can Get Involved
Every clinical trial is led by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, scientists, trial coordinators, data managers, principal investigators, and other healthcare professionals. But this can vary depending on the study type, site, design, and purpose.
The PI or Principal Investigator oversees the overall aspect of clinical research. They develop the study concept, supervise the recruitment of participants, and oversee the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of research results.
Meanwhile, the doctors work closely with the PI while caring for the participants. Doctors are the ones treating, evaluating, and recording patient responses and side effects.
Nurses are responsible for the dissemination of information to patients and assists PIs in monitoring side effects.
Study coordinators conduct the recruitment of participants and ensure they understand and agree to all requirements. They also complete research interviews, adhere to research guidelines, schedule visits, and work with PIs.
The general population and the healthcare industry have benefitted so much because of clinical research and trials and because of the willingness of the volunteers to get involved.
Should you want to participate in a clinical trial, you can talk to your primary healthcare provider.
The National Institute of Clinical Research is an SMO/CRO with offices and labs in the following cities and states: New Jersey, North Carolina, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco, Bakersfield 93309, Fountain Valley 92708, Garden Grove 92840, Hacienda Heights 91745, Huntington Beach 92648, Las Vegas 89106, Long Beach 90806, Los Angeles 90048, Ontario 91762, Rosemead 91770, San Antonio 78207, Santa Ana 92704, Upland 91786, and Westminster 92683.