I Worked As A Psychiatric Research Assistant At New York State Psychiatric Institute

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Entry Level Skills I worked as a psychiatric research assistant at New York State Psychiatric Institute for two years. The position required interactions with families that had a criminal justice experience, mental health issues, substance abuse/dependence, or was within the immediate area of the 9/11 bombing. As a stage one recruitment leader I was in charge of going over the informed consent process, answering any questions the family (2-4 members) had, and HIPAA privacy laws with each family member prior to participating in the research study. Prior to scheduling the baseline interview I was in charge of explaining what the cortisol hormone is, how we planned to measure the sample that would be provided, and gave instructions for the participants to collect the sample three times a day for two days in a row. The final part of stage one was explaining a twenty minute activity that would be video recorded, an interaction of the parent and child. If done incorrectly the coders were unable to score the interaction and I had to revisit the family and have them do it over. If I failed to completely explain any part of the research study or what was required from the participants, then the family became confused, guarded, or cancelled their appointment. I learned that being clear and concise is very important and that giving concrete examples is helpful. I found that the families with a criminal justice experience, in particular, that I had to use layman terms as the parents
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