The role of the ICU research coordinator in Australia: an invaluable resource for ICU research
A recent development in the staffing profiles of many Australian Intensive Care Units (ICUs) has been the addition of the Research Coordinator (RC) positions (also termed Research Nurse/Officer or similar). At least 70 such positions now exist throughout Australia and New Zealand. Although there have been reports of the RC role in other specialties and countries, the role in Australian ICU research has not previously been described in the professional literature. The novelty of the ICU RC position, combined with a lack of discussion in the literature, may mean that other health professionals poorly understand the role. In some settings, the RC role has been noted to be sometimes misinterpreted as limited to being a "doctors' lackey", performing mindless data collection for medical research or alternately as an elitist academic far removed from clinical relevance.1-3 In actuality, the role is neither of these things, being both complex and clinically based, it requires specialised knowledge and skills in order to undertake, promote and manage quality ICU research activity. This review seeks to document the development of the ICU RC role in Australia and to provide factual information regarding the role.
Critical Care and Resuscitation