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The role of the ICU Research Coordinator in Australia: an invaluable resource for ICU research


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Roberts, B and Rickard, CM 2005 , 'The role of the ICU Research Coordinator in Australia: an invaluable resource for ICU research' , Critical Care and Resuscitation, vol. 7, no. 1 , pp. 50-52 .

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Objective: To review the development and scope of the Research Coordinator role within Australian ICUs

Summary of Review: The Research Coordinator (RC) is a relatively new, but growing addition to the staff profile of Australian Intensive Care Units (ICUs). The position developed in the mid 1990s in response to an increasing quantity and complexity of pharmaceutical research, the establishment of the Australia and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group (ANZICS CTG), and a growing interest in research and evidence based practice in the health professions. There are now over 70 RCs in Australian and New Zealand ICUs. Due to the novelty, and a lack of description of the role in the professional literature, the RC is at times misunderstood as merely being a data collector or "doctor's lackey", or alternately as an elitist academic of little relevance to clinical care. In actuality, the role is challenging and comprehensive, involving many aspects of clinical, academic, administrative and laboratory work. The RC may undertake pharmaceutically sponsored trials, departmental research (clinical, epidemiological, basic science and/or animal work), and audits. The RC functions collaboratively in a multidisciplinary research team and may undertake Principal or Co-Investigator roles. The role requires highly developed organizational skills and an understanding of research methodology, legislation and standards. This review explores the development and current structure of the RC role in Australian ICUs, and aims to promote the correct perception of the position; that is, as a valuable resource for rigorous and ethical ICU research.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Roberts, B and Rickard, CM
Journal or Publication Title: Critical Care and Resuscitation
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