Outpatient/Inpatient Clinics SUPPORT

The Outpatient/Inpatient SUPPORT Program has been temporarily suspended.  Please periodically check the website for updates on resumption. Thank you for your interest in the Outpatient/Inpatient SUPPORT Program. 

What is the purpose of this program?

Volunteers for the Outpatient/Inpatient-Clinical SUPPORT Program function as specialized hospital volunteers. Volunteers will be trained to help screen and enroll eligible patients into several clinical research studies that are currently recruiting in the CHEO outpatient/inpatient settings. The specific goals of this initiative are to facilitate and support research and quality improvement activities involving patients throughout CHEO.

What will I be doing? 

As a SUPPORT volunteer, you will be scanning the EPIC CHEO patient tracking system to capture possible patients for several clinical studies. This will entail determining eligibility of patients for the various studies and interacting with families and/or clinical staff to collect research-related data. SUPPORT volunteers may often be responsible for determining a patient’s willingness to discuss participating in a study with a research assistant and completing the screening process by documenting activities on a screening log (one for each clinical study). Importantly, you will be liaising closely with the program coordinator who is committed to educating the SUPPORT participants and ensuring a high performance standard.

What is required?

A commitment of one shift per week (same weekly shift) every week, for six months is mandatory. Volunteers will choose one of 10 available shift times from Monday through Friday. Each volunteer is entitled to 3 vacation days and 5 personal/sick days (these 5 must be made up), and must complete a total of 23 shifts over a 26-week term. The program operates five days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is divided into two shifts:

8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • The program runs from October to April and from April to October. All selected volunteers must:
  • Meet CHEO’s occupational health and safety requirements (two-step TB test & up to date immunizations)
  • Submit a Police Records Check for Service with the Vulnerable Sector (Valid within 2 years)
  • Complete paperwork as required by CHEO Human Resources
  • Complete online ethics training and obtain a Tri-Council Policy Statement (TCPS-2) ethics training certificate
  • Complete WHMIS training or provide a WHMIS certificate from previous training
  • Attend the SUPPORT orientation evening and training shifts 
Who is eligible?

Current registered students (priority will be given to third and fourth year undergraduates) or recently graduated students (less than 12 months) from an accredited post-secondary program (e.g. undergraduate, graduate, or nursing school) are eligible for this training program. No previous formal research training is necessary. International Medical Graduates are not eligible to apply for this program.

To be considered for the position, you should possess:

  • Excellent attention to detail and efficient time management skills
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to be self-directed, resourceful, flexible and take initiative
  • Be comfortable working independently or as part of a team
  • Previous customer service skills and/or experience working with the general public is an asset 
Will I be paid?

This is a volunteer opportunity. At the end of your six-month commitment, you will receive an official certificate of completion of the Outpatient/Inpatient SUPPORT Clinical Research Training Program and a reference letter upon request (only if you have completed 23 shifts).

How might this experience help me?

This position primarily provides the opportunity to learn about the practicality of conducting research in a clinical setting. CHEO has an international reputation for high-quality clinical research, and during each six-month term, you may receive some formal training on research methods. If you plan to pursue a career in clinical research or healthcare, you are likely to benefit from having clinical research experience on your resume. Some motivated SUPPORT participants, either alongside or following their SUPPORT experience, have had the opportunity to be involved more extensively in individual research projects

You will gain valuable clinical experience communicating with families in the Outpatient/Inpatient Clinic. In addition, having the opportunity to work alongside experienced clinical staff provides better insight into pediatric medicine and offers the opportunity to cultivate collaborative relationships with medical professionals, which may be helpful if you are considering a medical career.