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St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is inviting college students considering the health professions to join their research team in the emergency department (ED) as Research Associates (RAs). The summer sessions begin with a two day orientation. This includes instruction on the basics of clinical research ethical issues, such as confidentiality (including HIPAA training and testing) and informed consent safety concerns, such as respiratory isolation, universal precautions and hand washing the particulars of the studies underway in our ED In order to accommodate students on tri-mesters, there will be two orientation sessions: Summer 08 Session One Saturday and Sunday, June 7th and 8th Summer 08 Session Two Saturday and Sunday, June 21st and 22nd Attendance at both days of either session is mandatory. From Monday, 9 June through Sunday, 30 August, RAs will be volunteering a minimum of one 4-hour shift per week in the ED (for a minimum total of ten shifts): identifying and enrolling patients who are eligible for various research studies obtaining demographic and historical data being involved in the informed consent process facilitating the production of the research In the summer session, RAs are allowed to serve additional shifts as long as they are not taking more than one summer school course. Since studies looking at primary health care screening in the ED form the core of our research effort, RAs will be interacting with large numbers of patients presenting with the range of problems seen in an inner city ED. This summer, RAs will be approaching all adult patients and visitors looking to enter them in a study facilitating enrollment in a tobacco cessation program through the emergency department. Their performance will be evaluated on each shift by emergency physicians and nurses. These shift evaluations will be collated into an end-of-semester letter of assessment that will be sent on to you as their pre-health adviser. From this basic activity, the potential for additional research and didactic opportunities at this major teaching affiliate of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine is limited only by the student's initiative. The cost for the summer session is $175, that is $85 for drug testing and criminal background check (required of all employees and volunteers at St. Vincent’s), $40 for RA shirts x 2, and $50 program fee. There is the potential for on-campus housing at local universities. Complete information can be found on our web site, www.RAprogram.com. This includes application materials and required health forms. Potential RAs will need a simple letter of endorsement from their pre-health adviser on official stationary. For your convenience, a sample letter with the elements that we require is also on the web site.
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