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30 Questions and Answers by Darby Faubion

Darby Faubion has been a Nurse and Allied Health Educator for over twenty years. She has clinical experience in several specialty areas including pediatrics, medical-surgical, critical care, and hospice.
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Do you have an understanding of what a 'control' or 'control group' is?
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1.
Do you have an understanding of what a 'control' or 'control group' is?
A control is the standard by which experimental observations are evaluated. In many clinical trials, one group of patients will be given an experimental drug or treatment, while the control group is given either a standard treatment for the illness or a placebo. If you have worked with clinical trials/observations, you will have a clear understanding of what the 'control' or 'control group' is. If you have not, say what you do know. In most cases, an interviewer will know if you already have clinical trial experience and will know where to guide you with a question like this.

Darby's Answer #1
"Yes, I do understand the importance of a 'control/control group' in trials. I assisted with documentation for a clinical trial when I worked at XYZ. Part of my responsibilities included monitoring the differences in vital signs of the patients who were given a placebo as compared to those who were taking the trial drug."
Darby's Answer #2
"I am familiar with a control/control group. It is my understanding that when a clinical trials is being conducted, some participants are given the trial drug while the 'control group' is given either the standard treatment or a placebo, but that only the person administering the drug knows who is receiving which."
2.
Are you familiar with what 'expanded access' means?
Expanded access is the term used to describe the means by which manufacturers make new drugs that are being investigated available, under certain circumstances, to treat a patient(s) with a serious disease or condition who cannot participate in a controlled clinical trial. If you have experience working with patients who have been given expanded access, share some details, as appropriate. If you don't have personal experience, share your knowledge.

Darby's Answer #1
"It is my understanding that 'expanded access' is granted, under certain circumstances, to patients who do not qualify to participate in a clinical trial of a regulatory drug. The drug used in expanded access cannot expose patients to unreasonable risks given the severity of the disease to be treated and the patient must not have any other satisfactory therapeutic options."
Darby's Answer #2
"I do have some knowledge about 'expanded access' although I have not worked directly with patients who have been giveThe manufacturer must be willing to make the drug available for expanded access use. The primary intent of expanded access is to provide treatment for a patient's disease or condition, rather than to collect data about the study drug."
3.
If a patient wants to participate in a clinical trial but wants the physician conducting the experiment to provide all of his care during the time the trial is being conducted, what would be the most appropriate advice?
Most clinical trials provide short-term treatments related to a designated illness or condition, but do not provide extended or complete primary health care. In addition, by having the health care provider work with the research team, the participant can ensure that other medications or treatments will not conflict with the protocol. The interviewer is not asking for 'facts,' but rather how you would relate directly with a patient who is making this request.

Darby's Answer #1
"I understand that many patients prefer to not see multiple physicians. However, it is important for patients participating in clinical trials to be educated about the role of the staff conducting the trial. For example, the medication or therapy that is used for a clinical trial is usually focused on a specific illness/disease. It is important for patients to follow-up and have continued care with their primary physician. Additionally, providers who are conducting clinical trials find it beneficial to have communication with the primary physician so that we can work together for the best outcome for the patient."
Darby's Answer #2
"I have always been taught that patients are advised to continue regular follow-ups and care for non-trial related medical issues with their primary care provider. Also, the research teams I have been a part of have always made it a priority to collaborate with the primary physician. First of all, it is a professional courtesy. Further, the open line of communication allows the healthcare team and patient to work together more effectively."
4.
MAXIS is supportive of our employee's continuing education efforts. Have you ever thought of going back to school? MAXIS is supportive of employees who want to continue their education. Have you ever thought of going back to school?
While MAXIS, LLC may be supportive of an employee who chooses to continue his/her education, that is not to say that you are required to say you want to return to school. This is simply one of those 'get to know you' questions. Share your thoughts with the interviewer.

Darby's Answer #1
"I am very supportive of people who want to continue their education. For me, I feel like I have come to a place in career where I am happy with where I am. Notwithstanding, if MAXIS, LLC has courses or certifications that are encouraged for employees to take, I would definitely be willing. I just don't see myself going back to school for 3 or 4 years."
Darby's Answer #2
"I have entertained the idea of continuing my education. However, circumstances have not ended with me in school. I love research and am very happy with my career at this point."
5.
Are you familiar with the difference between diagnostic trials and screening trials?
Knowing the differences of various types of trials is important for those working in research. Because there is such a variety of different trials, there is often opportunity to work on more than one. Many researchers have stated that they like this option as it gives them the chance to learn more and not experience 'burn out' as easily. If you know the difference in the trials in this question, elaborate on them briefly. If you are not sure, it's ok to say so and ask the interviewer to differentiate for you.

Darby's Answer #1
"Diagnostic trials are conducted to find better tests or procedures for diagnosing a particular disease or condition. Screening trials, on the test the best way to detect certain diseases or health conditions."
Darby's Answer #2
"Although I am rather new to the research industry, based on the names of the two trials you mentioned, I would think that diagnostic trials look for better ways to diagnose illness while screening trials are aimed at ways to diagnose disease."
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