The Unique Role of the Pediatric Clinical Research Nurse in Anesthesia: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration

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Abstract

This article describes the distinctive function of the pediatric clinical research nurse (CRN) in the anesthesia setting. The pediatric CRN in anesthesia acts as a liaison between families and the research team and is the major nexus between the principal investigator or anesthesiologist on a study, and the collaborating surgeons from many different departments. This is unique because the CRNs collaborate with physicians in specialties that can include plastics, urology, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, cardiology, critical care, and many other departments. The profession requires a breath of knowledge ranging from clinical understanding of diseases, surgical procedures, and recovery to cognitive and developmental stages, to expertise in the research protocol process. Our objective was to describe these specialized activities of the pediatric anesthesia CRN, with focus on care coordination, communication, and continuity of care. Defining this role will enhance the quality of clinical research conducted by the CRN in anesthesia and may influence the development of novel medical treatments.

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