Mentor Advice ForumCategory: QuestionsWhat courses should a hygienist take to get a job as clinical coordinator of a research project at a University?
Janne asked 5 years ago

What courses should a hygienist take to get a job as clinical coordinator of a research project at a University? Since I have no experience with recording results or writing research reports, I need to get as much background as I can to apply for this type of job. There are few full time jobs in clinical hygiene but research assistant jobs sometimes become available at the University. They of course hire those with experience in research first but I would like to prepare by reading books or online.

1 Answers
Karen B. Williams, RDH, PhD Staff answered 5 years ago

For hygienists (or others) interested in becoming a Clinical Research Assistant or Clinical Research Coordinator, the best approach is to either enroll in a Clinical Research Certificate program, either through a university or, alternatively, through ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals). One cannot simply “read a book” to prepare for the regulatory and practical issues of managing clinical trials. It would be akin to “working with a dentist in practice” to become a hygienist. Clinical research is highly regulated and if anyone in health care is wanting to have the credentials to function as a CRA or CRC, then one must be able to show that they have the knowledge and training. Few research groups would consider taking on a novice researcher and train. While the skills of hygienists are useful when functioning as a hygienist in the research environment, it is insufficient alone to qualify for these kinds of positions. At UMKC Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, we offer a Certificate in Clinical Research – several other universities do as well. Graduates with this certificate have been successful in gaining employment with companies such as Quintiles and other Clinical Research agencies. ACRP is well accepted as an organization that certifies individuals in CRA and CRC as well. It’s worth looking at what local and national resources to which you might have access. Having a clinical speciality (e.g., RN, RDH, etc) and certification is a good combination for enhancing one’s opportunities.