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Acute care research (ACR) is uniquely challenged by the constraints of recruiting participants and conducting research procedures within minutes to hours of an unscheduled critical illness or injury. Existing competencies for clinical research professionals (CRPs) are gaining traction but may have gaps for the acute environment. We sought to expand existing CRP competencies to include the specialized skills needed for ACR settings.
Qualitative data collected from job shadowing, clinical observations, and interviews were analyzed to assess the educational needs of the acute care clinical research workforce. We identified competencies necessary to succeed as an ACR-CRP, and then applied Bloom’s Taxonomy to develop characteristics into learning outcomes that frame both knowledge to be acquired and job performance metrics.
There were 28 special interest competencies for ACR-CRPs identified within the eight domains set by the Joint Task Force (JTF) of Clinical Trial Competency. While the eight domains were not prioritized by the JTF, in ACR an emphasis on Communication and Teamwork, Clinical Trials Operations, and Data Management and Informatics was observed. Within each domain, distinct proficiencies and unique personal characteristics essential for success were identified. The competencies suggest that a combination of competency-based training, behavioral-based hiring practices, and continuing professional development will be essential to ACR success.
The competencies developed for ACR can serve as a training guide for CRPs to be prepared for the challenges of conducting research within this vulnerable population. Hiring, training, and supporting the development of this workforce are foundational to clinical research in this challenging setting.
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