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One of the hardest obstacles I have had to overcome since actually ‘levende’ here as opposed to having a ‘vakantiehuis’ is having a broaden my use of Dutch. Let’s face it, the vocabulary used for shopping, restaurants, the weather and other public places isn’t much use when trying to sort out business professionals, government officials and the like. Your neighbours also expect a little more variety of conversation than ‘goedemorgen, dag, tot ziens’ when they are seeing you on a regular basis.
Learning is a very personal thing dependent on what suits you best and what kind of learner you are. Let’s just say that my memory is not what it used to be!
As far as how these experiences applied to the clinical work or projects, you need to have certain things in place:
- Discipline and deadlines. Do not confuse this with ‘time management’. I am sort of a person who works better under pressure. Consistency is key to language learning. You can make progress in any language or technology with just a few minutes a day.
Time Management is an illusion. Time cannot be managed. All we are able to manage are activities. Bob Proctor
- Revision. Being able to speak multiple languages in Europe is common. Most Europeans citizens speak on average two (2) languages some even three or four. Even though I can speak three (3) languages with ease, I really need so much learning with the Dutch. It is not use assuming that I have mastered one verb and then moving onto the next because I won’t have. Same, when you learn a new EDC tool, you need to practice and revisit all what you have learned. As they say, practice makes perfect!
- Writing things down. I am a visual/show me first kind of learner so I take in information better once I have written it down and even better if I use my mind to map and draw it. So find what suits you best to improve your EDC learning experiences.
- Speaking. I need to use the new material immediately for it to go into my memory. Learn to speak the EDC programming language.
- Reading. This will improve your vocabulary and help you with the grammar and spelling. Spend time reading online blogs, biotechnology magazines, youtube technology channels and even your own company’s WPs / SOPs as they will help you be a better EDC developer.
The knowledge that my horizons can be so much wider than I thought, that you can communicate and connect with people and make a home in a different place. I have come to embody a very different mentality. Being here has given me many opportunities, but one of the biggest changes has been having the time and money to travel, and of course, learn to speak a new language.
I hope this helps. I have found some useful resources and they are listed all over this blog. In the future, I plan to add more resources and training materials.
Amazingly, I think I can be sure for once I was in the right place at the right time.
Anayansi Gamboa, MPM, an EDC Developer Consultant and clinical programmer for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry with more than 13 years of experience.
Available for short-term contracts or ad-hoc requests. See my specialties section (Oracle, SQL Server, EDC Inform, EDC Rave, OpenClinica, SAS and other CDM tools)
As the 3 C’s of life states: Choices, Chances and Changes- you must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. I continually seek to implement means of improving processes to reduce cycle time and decrease work effort.
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Disclaimer: The EDC Developer blog is “one man’s opinion”. Anything that is said on the report is either opinion, criticism, information or commentary. If making any type of investment or legal decision it would be wise to contact or consult a professional before making that decision.