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Trish Jenkins
Austin Health Radiation Oncology Centre, VIC

'A day in the life of a trial coordinator'

Our whole reason for being in trials is caring for the patient and the data they have consented to provide: collecting it, ensuring adequate source documentation, submitting data on CRF via the trial coordinating centre, data cleaning with answering data queries and above all ensuring that the patient is coping well with the trial treatment.

The trial coordinator’s primary role is to implement the trial protocol. This means scheduling patient visits and ensuring that all study procedures and data collection are carried out in accordance with the protocol.

Setting up new trials, organising patient visits, organising bloods samples, preparing, spinning, labelling and freezing blood samples, organising a courier,  ensuring adequate source documentation, liaising with RT’s re trial credentialing and QA/ real time review requirements completing CRF’s and submitting data, answering data queries; this is our lot in life.

But the hallmark of a study coordinator’s day is that priorities can change within an instant. All of a sudden your day can change with the phonecall that informs you a patient has been admitted to hospital.

There are certain nuances about trial work that people find strange if they don’t work in this area. It all comes back to GCP, our bible, the Declaration of Helsinki, The National Statement and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, our guides and ultimate determinants of how we conduct research.

The best thing about being a study coordinator is… the variety of tasks and the challenges, but best of all it’s the patients.

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