Font Size:

The C. difficile Canine Scent Detection Program

  • Organization Vancouver General Hospital
  • Location Vancouver, BC
  • Closing Date May 6, 2019

Project Name: The C. Difficile Canine Scent Detection Program
Location: Vancouver General Hospital (899 W 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9)
Duration: June 3 – August 30, 2019. Maximum 225 total hours, days and hours of work are flexible.

Click here to download this job posting as a PDF.


The C. difficile (CD) canine scent detection program based at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) currently consists of a multidisciplinary team including two canine/handler teams, medical microbiologists, a project manager, infection control experts, clinical staff, environmental cleaners, and operational leads. The stars of the show are two Springer Spaniels named ‘Angus’ and ‘Dodger’. With their handlers, these teams search every unit in the hospital on a monthly basis while focusing on: a) clinical areas with the highest rates of CD; b) any unit with new CD cases; c) any unit with a previous history of high number of canine alerts; and d) units that have had recent cluster events with antibiotic resistant organisms.  The program is currently training two additional dogs and has started to assist other Health Authorities in detection of hidden reservoirs of CD.

The student will be an integral member of our CD scent detection program as we continue to grow and enhance our services.  Tasks would include (but not be limited to):

  • Observations of the current searching process to increase awareness, foster partnerships with clinical teams and develop educational initiatives and/or quality improvement projects related to the most common reservoirs of CD
  • Assist in the completion and compilation of the manuals and other program documents
  • Assist in copywriting and trademarking elements of the canine training and validation process
  • Assist in a scientific study to determine the lower limits of CD detection by the canine teams


This position is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. A love of canines and an interest in quality improvement are key.  Ideally the student should have a foundational knowledge of statistical software and Excel spreadsheet management.  Experience with PowerPoint is desirable.  The student should have excellent writing skills as we will be publishing on findings and reporting to our clinical teams.

Send resume and cover letter in a single PDF document by Monday, May 6, 2019 to:

Please indicate the project name(s) that you would like to be considered for when applying.

Only short‐listed candidates will be contacted.