PRCCI Successfully Hosts Second CRC Training

45 Professionals trained during a one-year period.

PRCCI’s second Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) training provided in partnership with Barnett Internation took place from October 17, 2020 into January 16, 2021. The consortium is committed to pushing forward clinical investigation on the island, organizing events like these extremely influential. Ana Lucca-Broco and Astrid Díaz Quiñones, both CRCs, led the training virtually because of the COVID-19 health crisis, during 10 sessions on Saturdays of 3 hours each. Other resources included Felixa Flecha (CRA,) Dra. Celeste Hernández (CRA,) Elsa Ruiz (CRA,) and José Colón (CRA.)

In total 45 professionals have been trained in a one-year period. Most of them with previous experience within the healthcare field as their occupations were Clinical Research related, which helped ease the understanding process. Within their research fields, there were people from various areas such as managing research, directing operations and other ones were still on the medical sciences path as everyone on the training had a bachelor’s degree within the sciences. Participants identify different drivers for joining this training, nevertheless solidifying their CRC experience was the main one.

Some wanted to refresh their past learnings, while others were really interested in advancing their comprehension and experience or wanting to obtain skills and new knowledge to get certified as CRCs. Participants got a glimpse of a clinical investigation site, observe the materials used by a CRC and activities. There was as well a problem-solving assignment that showed the trainees various scenarios during the informed consent process and how to tackle them.

Training more CRCs on the island, incorporating accurately trained resources, and making space for the CRCs to gain experience are useful positions to attract more research studies and therefore serve as many communities as possible. Amarilys Silva, PRCCI Executive Director is a strong believer in CRC training for individuals and Puerto Rico. Silva points out that “CRCs are essential to advance the clinical investigation ecosystem. It is crucial to have prepared CRCs to push this work forward. Also, it becomes a new job opportunity in the health field that could organically lead to other professional positions in clinical monitoring and audits.”

“Even within the pandemic, there was active and significant participation on the training from everyone involved. Attendees were genuinely interested in increasing their clinical research knowledge. They have demonstrated understanding of the modules and a significant number did great on the midterms.” Lucca-Broco shared. She also hopes one day the training will be in person. “If we were in person, we could do more group activities which would help some dynamics. PRCCI is appraising potential opportunities to promote further upgrade CRC’s training welcoming and sustainable experience, for the trainees as well as the educators. Lucca-Broco concluded.

Díaz Quiñones balanced working at PRCCI while the training was happening. Despite challenges, investing in interest and commitment helps this training grow. She was able to see the value of receiving the CRC training as well as bringing it to tangible work. “Every module of the training had me thinking this is ideal for people who are seeking new experiences in the area of clinical research,” she said. Having multiple experiences, she appreciates the training professionally and personally. “A lot of times I thought if I had the opportunity to receive this CRC training at the start of my career, I would have avoided many mistakes. This really helps people on all levels of their CRC experience,” she affirmed