As performance improvement and clinical research continues to grow in breadth and importance for everyday medical practice, it will become increasingly important for physicians to find a means of appreciating an ever expanding and dynamic body of knowledge. The Critical Care Academic Associates Program (CCAAP) exposes research volunteers to the exciting world of medical research and quality improvement through patient screening and data collection done in each of the adult Intensive Care Units (ICU)  at the hospital.  

Working within the ICUs provides unparalleled observation of critical care medicine as well as exposes the research volunteers to the myriad of health professions and disciplines that come in and out of the units.  Volunteers are staffed seven days a week with 4-hour shifts scheduled throughout each day.  Each volunteer is expected to work 1-3 shifts per week.

Education & Training

New volunteers attend lectures and conferences that provide detailed information regarding each topic of study (i.e. sepsis, VAP, performance improvement etc).  These sessions provide the foundation for training, allowing each volunteer to think critically about the patients they screen and the data they collect.  After learning the clinical aspects of a topic of study, volunteers are trained on specific information relating to each project.  This includes operational definitions of study variables, explanation of the electronic medical records system, and any other information required for the reliable and valid collection of data. 

A lecture series covering the regulatory and Industrial/Organizational aspects of clinical trials is offered bi-annually to the volunteers.  These lectures provide training in how to obtain informed consent, how to analyze and implement a research protocol, and required reporting for both the Institutional Review Board at OHSU and the FDA.

Additional education on Critical Care Medicine and Clinical Research can be gained by volunteers joining the morning rounds in OHSU's Cardiac and Medical ICU, or by attending the many regularly scheduled lectures and conferences offered through the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care.