Meet the PRIM&R Blog Squad for the 2014 AER Conference: Krystal Bradford

by Krystal Bradford, CIP, Research Compliance Specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

PRIM&R is pleased to introduce Krystal Bradford, CIP, a member of the PRIM&R Blog Squad for the 2014 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference. The PRIM&R Blog Squad is composed of PRIM&R members who will blog here, on Ampersand, about the conference to give our readers an inside peek of what’s happening December 4-7 in Baltimore, MD.

Hello, and welcome to my corner of Ampersand! I work with the IRB and have since I started at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2005. When I share with people what I do, one question that frequently comes up is:  “How did you get into the research field?”

My story starts in 1998 with the birth of my son. He was born at 25 weeks gestational age, 15 weeks too soon! At the time of his birth, clinicians informed me that research showed he was just old enough to fight for, words have been burned into my brain ever since. I knew then that I had to find a way to give back to the research community. Soon after, I embarked on a path that led me to my current role as research compliance specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Looking back, I am humbled by the experience and knowledge I have been able to gain over the years. I have had wonderful teachers in my career path, have been able to attend conferences to broaden my knowledge, and have even had the opportunity to earn my Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) credential, an achievement that outranks, in my view, the attainment of my college degree.

This year’s AER Conference will be my third PRIM&R conference, and as I am preparing to head to Baltimore, I have a bit of a confession to make: I am a gadget junkie. Therefore, as an experienced attendee and self-declared gadget junkie, I wanted to use this opportunity to share some things that I would have loved to known about when I attended my first AER Conference:

    • If you are going to bring an electronic device such as a tablet or iPad, invest in a portable charger that can fit in your handbag or pocket. Attending conferences always seems to drain my battery faster. A small investment in a portable charger can make all the difference.  Relatedly, if you have been on the fence about a Bluetooth keyboard for your device, now would be a great time to purchase. Taking notes is always easier with a keyboard at your fingertips.
    • Before you arrive in Baltimore, make sure you know your device and how to silence it quickly before the sessions begin. Nothing is more embarrassing then Siri telling you she “didn’t get that” in the middle of a session.
    • I encourage you to download PRIM&R’s new conference app, which includes the full schedule for the conference, as well as slides, handouts, and poster abstracts. You can take notes on every session within the app, even directly on slides when they are available, and email them to yourself after the conference. The schedule in the app also allows you to “favorite” those sessions you don’t want to miss, so you can easily see where you should be going and when.
    • In addition to PRIM&R’s conference app, I would also encourage you to make sure that you have a good .pdf reader app (such as GoodReader, pdfForms, or Notability) on your tablet or iPad, preferably one that allows you to make notations. Why you may ask? This will allow you to easily open and view PDF resources on your mobile device.
    • In addition to a .pdf reader, I would recommend downloading a good notebook app (such as OneNote, MagicalPad, or Moleskin) for your tablet or iPad. These apps are pretty robust and can help keep your thoughts and notes organized. For instance, meet someone and have an engaging conversation? You might consider having one notebook dedicated exclusively to contacts and connections.
    • Download a good document scanning app (such as DocScanner, DocScan HD, or TinyScan) on your tablet or iPad. This will allow you to quickly and easily scan business cards that you receive onsite.
    • Make sure to link all of the apps that you are using onsite to an online backup service (such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive). This will allow you to retrieve the information you collect easily on another machine, as opposed to only the device you used onsite. 

Finally, as you prepare to travel, I also recommend downloading the app TripIt. You can send your itinerary information to this app and it will all be saved in one location. This is a great app for traveling, as it provides an overview of your itinerary, maps from the airport to your hotel, check in/out times for hotels, and more. It is a must for business travel!

I look forward to meeting and connecting with you at the conference. If you use any of my tips, please feel free to tell me what you thought. I’d love to hear your feedback!

Check back and use this link to read more of Krystal’s posts throughout the conference.