hate clinical research job

2k17star

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I started my clinical research job 6 months ago and am so tired. I was never trained on anything and I am the only one working. Whenever I ask how things are done it seems like there isn't a set way that has been established to get things done. The PI is always changing the protocols last minute. I have to order all supplies myself, do recruitment for 100+ subjects alone, and I just don't know what to do. I thought this was going to be a great opprotunity but its such a nightmare. I am also getting emails and texts till 9pm or sometimes even midnight including weekends.
 

jhmmd

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2k17star said:
I started my clinical research job 6 months ago and am so tired. I was never trained on anything and I am the only one working. Whenever I ask how things are done it seems like there isn't a set way that has been established to get things done. The PI is always changing the protocols last minute. I have to order all supplies myself, do recruitment for 100+ subjects alone, and I just don't know what to do. I thought this was going to be a great opprotunity but its such a nightmare. I am also getting emails and texts till 9pm or sometimes even midnight including weekends.
Don't despair. Mondays are a hard day for everyone. Maybe you are a people person and you don't belong in a lab environment, or maybe the company that you're working at isn't the right company for you. Can you ask the PI for clarification? Work on your communication skills? What are your other responsibilities? Why are you having difficulty ordering suppliles and recruiting clinical subjects?

Hope this helps. :luck:
 
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lumya

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I started my clinical research job 6 months ago and am so tired. I was never trained on anything and I am the only one working. Whenever I ask how things are done it seems like there isn't a set way that has been established to get things done. The PI is always changing the protocols last minute. I have to order all supplies myself, do recruitment for 100+ subjects alone, and I just don't know what to do. I thought this was going to be a great opprotunity but its such a nightmare. I am also getting emails and texts till 9pm or sometimes even midnight including weekends.

I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time. I was in a very similar position awhile back. Eventually it led me to get a new job outside of direct clinical research. But in the meanwhile, here are some things I did that helped me while I was still in that job:

1) Make friends with other clinical research assistants/coordinators in other labs - they can help you navigate ordering supplies and sometimes it's good to just have someone to vent to who can understand what you're going through
2) I'm assuming you're recruiting patients in clinics? The clinic manager is your greatest ally. They know exactly where each physician will be and if you need something they can definitely help make it happen. I left my job but I still send update emails to the clinic manager I used to work with because she was genuinely just one of the nicest people I've ever met.
3) Ask your PI if there's room in the budget to hire an additional person. If you have someone else there with you the work might be more manageable.
4) If you feel comfortable, develop some relationships with other PIs/admin staff in your department. They might be able to help you out and give you advice on how to handle certain things that you're uncertain about.

Unfortunately, what I discovered was that training is really lab dependent, and if you're with a PI who hasn't established protocols already, or has current research staff, it can be difficult to navigate. But, one other thing I discovered is that people are more willing to help than not. If you have a question but don't know who to ask, don't be afraid to reach out to a person in the department you're targeting, and ask them to direct you to the appropriate person. Best of luck, you'll definitely get your footing once you become more established.
 
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I started my clinical research job 6 months ago and am so tired. I was never trained on anything and I am the only one working. Whenever I ask how things are done it seems like there isn't a set way that has been established to get things done. The PI is always changing the protocols last minute. I have to order all supplies myself, do recruitment for 100+ subjects alone, and I just don't know what to do. I thought this was going to be a great opprotunity but its such a nightmare. I am also getting emails and texts till 9pm or sometimes even midnight including weekends.
A) welcome to the real working world
B) You have to set boundaries. Your workday ends at 5pm. Turn off your phone if needed., Yes, I know this is heresy.
C) If the PI is changing protocols at the last minute, just rewrite what your protocol is, and then do that. It's on him if he is delaying your ability to get the job done.
C') There is always a set way for doing something. Write out your protocols; maintain a database.
D) Ordering supplies by yourself is very work experience.
E) Recruiting patients is very very good experience.
F) No job is worth being miserable over. Start looking for a new one.
 
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akg0119

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@Goro, I'm unfortunately in a similar position for a TA spot- my professor texts me at all hours and even on weekends! How would you suggest approaching that- should I say something to him, or just not reply except during the working day?
 
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@Goro, I'm unfortunately in a similar position for a TA spot- my professor texts me at all hours and even on weekends! How would you suggest approaching that- should I say something to him, or just not reply except during the working day?
Tell him that you're not available at X times.
 
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2k17star

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A) welcome to the real working world
B) You have to set boundaries. Your workday ends at 5pm. Turn off your phone if needed., Yes, I know this is heresy.
C) If the PI is changing protocols at the last minute, just rewrite what your protocol is, and then do that. It's on him if he is delaying your ability to get the job done.
C') There is always a set way for doing something. Write out your protocols; maintain a database.
D) Ordering supplies by yourself is very work experience.
E) Recruiting patients is very very good experience.
F) No job is worth being miserable over. Start looking for a new one.

I already started looking for a new one, definitely right that no job is worth stress. Honestly, no one else at work sets boundaries unfortunately. But I did make it a point to just not reply, in the beginning when I was learning I did, but I realize its not okay and will never do that again. I definitely learned that in the future Its important to make boundaries at work from the start.
 
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2k17star

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Mar 30, 2017
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I'm sorry to hear you're having a rough time. I was in a very similar position awhile back. Eventually it led me to get a new job outside of direct clinical research. But in the meanwhile, here are some things I did that helped me while I was still in that job:

1) Make friends with other clinical research assistants/coordinators in other labs - they can help you navigate ordering supplies and sometimes it's good to just have someone to vent to who can understand what you're going through
2) I'm assuming you're recruiting patients in clinics? The clinic manager is your greatest ally. They know exactly where each physician will be and if you need something they can definitely help make it happen. I left my job but I still send update emails to the clinic manager I used to work with because she was genuinely just one of the nicest people I've ever met.
3) Ask your PI if there's room in the budget to hire an additional person. If you have someone else there with you the work might be more manageable.
4) If you feel comfortable, develop some relationships with other PIs/admin staff in your department. They might be able to help you out and give you advice on how to handle certain things that you're uncertain about.

Unfortunately, what I discovered was that training is really lab dependent, and if you're with a PI who hasn't established protocols already, or has current research staff, it can be difficult to navigate. But, one other thing I discovered is that people are more willing to help than not. If you have a question but don't know who to ask, don't be afraid to reach out to a person in the department you're targeting, and ask them to direct you to the appropriate person. Best of luck, you'll definitely get your footing once you become more established.

Thanks! I am friends with literally EVERYONE in clinic so that helps.
 
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