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Nursing & Health Professions | Additional Guidance for Nursing Laboratory and Clinical Experience

Additional Guidance for Laboratory and Clinical Experience

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Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens

Any accident or injury in the clinical setting that requires immediate attention will be treated at the nearest facility providing emergency care.  If a student is exposed to a blood or body fluid pathogen, the supervisor at the clinical site and the administration in the Nursing Program is to be notified immediately.  If the facility has an Employee Health Department, Clinical faculty will escort the student to the department and follow the agency guidelines for immediate treatment.  If there is no facility on-site, the nearest emergency department will be contacted and immediate treatment guidelines will be followed.  The student is responsible for contacting their personal health care provider for the necessary follow-up care.  Appropriate documentation of the incident will be kept in the student’s confidential health information file.

 Student Transportation

The student is responsible for his/her own transportation to clinical experiences related to the nursing program.  An effort will be made for students who lack a personal mode of transportation to be assigned to an agency which has access to public transportation; however the student is responsible for the cost incurred.

 Inclement Weather

The nursing program will comply with formal announcements by the University concerning cancellation or delay of classes. For bulletins concerning inclement weather and university delays or closing, check the www.trinitydc.edu web site.

  •  Should the nursing program decide it is necessary to cancel class, clinical and/or Campus Learning Lab prior to a University cancellation decision, a phone tree notification system may be instituted by course faculty if time permits.
  • Classes, Campus Learning Labs and Clinical courses cancelled by the Trinity Nursing Program will be rescheduled at the discretion of the faculty and clinical agency.  In addition, students are responsible for ensuring their own safety and should make travel decisions accordingly.

In the event the University cancels classes on campus, clinical courses may be held at the discretion of the clinical facility. Keeping everyone safe is of utmost importance. Students and clinical faculty are expected to use sound judgment on whether to attend the clinical class session,

Clinical Placements

Many agencies are used for placement of students in clinical courses.  Every attempt is made by the faculty to assign students to a variety of clinical placements in order to allow the students to care for diverse client populations and to interact with different groups of students within their clinical sections.

  • All attempts are made to facilitate professional growth and learning in the educational experience.  The clinical assignments are made in collaboration with faculty, student and clinical agency.
  • Students will not be assigned in a clinical area where they are currently employed.  Exceptions to this policy will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
  • In the event that an agency declines to accept a student for clinical placement or requests that a student not continue at the agency, the student may be dismissed from the nursing program.
  • Clinical placements may be held on day, evening, weekend, and holiday schedules.

 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Federal regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) include provisions designed to protect the privacy of patient information.  These regulations are commonly known as the Privacy and Security Rules.  Confidential patient information means information that identifies the patient, relates to the patient’s diagnosis or condition, the patient’s care, treatment or other services provided to the patient, or the patient’s billing and payment information.  It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with, understand and comply with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Examples of confidential information are listed below.  Failure to adhere to any of the HIPAA regulatory expectations may result in immediate removal from the clinical settings and additional academic sanctions, including course failure and if necessary dismissal from the Nursing Program.  The patient’s:

  • name, address, phone number, fax number, e-mail address
  • occupation, age or date of birth, place of birth, date/time of death
  • social security, driver’s license, license plate, and professional license number
  • medical record number, account number, health plan number
  • photographs, fingerprints, voiceprints
  • distinguishing physical characteristics, including height, weight, gender, race, hair and  eye color, presence or absence of facial hair (beard or moustache), scars, and tattoos
  • diagnosis and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes, narrative diagnosis, signs and symptoms, description of procedures
  • history & physical, discharge summary, physician orders/prescriptions, clinical notes
  • test results, imaging results, Web Universal Resource Locator (URL), Internet Protocol (IP) address number
  • Any other unique identifying number, characteristic, or code

Students are expected to maintain the privacy of individually identifiable health information (IIHI) by taking the following steps to protect against disclosure of IIHI:

  • Students must not share or discuss information outside the educational setting.
  • Students are expected to follow the HIPAA guidelines of the clinical placement setting.
  • Students should read, understand, sign, and follow confidentiality and privacy policy statements, which will vary by clinical site
  • Students are prohibited from taking any IIHI from a clinical setting back to the classroom.
  • must not bring IIHI acquired during their clinical coursework into the classroom
  • Students must remove any IIHI when discussing their clinical experiences as part of any coursework
  • Students should not retain any IIHI after the need to use it has ended
  • IIHI must be used only for research and/or education purposes

 Health Habits & Requirements

Maintaining good mental and physical health habits are essential to meet the stress of a demanding curriculum such as nursing.

  • Students encounter multiple stressors while in nursing programs.  Students must be able to manage stressful situations.
  • These stressors may be, but are not limited to, personal, patient & family care, faculty or peer, and or program related.
  • The student must be able to adapt to and function effectively to stressful situations in both the classroom and clinical settings, including emergency situations.

Performance expectations will not be modified because of a student’s work commitments.  Students may not work the preceding eight hours prior to attending a nursing clinical experience.

  •  Students must report, immediately in writing, to the Director of Nursing, any changes in health status which impact their safety, the safety of patients or others, or which significantly affect their progression in the nursing program.
  • Students are expected to comply with all agency requirements for placement in the clinical setting.  These include documentation of health and immunization requirements and current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and may include drug/toxicology screening or an updated criminal background check.  Failure to comply with these requirements may result in withdrawal from clinical courses with a resultant effect upon the progression in the Nursing Program.
  • Disciplinary action or dismissal from the Nursing Program may result from the following, whether or not they represent a current threat to practice:
    • Failing to fully disclose relevant health history or criminal background
    • Falsification or omission of information

Unsafe Practice

Unsafe practice is a behavior that threatens or has the potential to threaten the safety of a client, student, faculty member, or member of the health care team in the clinical setting.

  • Students are not allowed to practice in a clinical setting without the knowledge or supervision of a faculty member.
  • Any student who exhibits potentially unsafe practice during a clinical experience may be immediately withdrawn from the clinical setting. This decision may be made by the clinical faculty or at the request of the clinical agency.
  • Students who are at risk for unsafe practice may be prevented from attending their clinical practicum until the unsafe practice concern has been investigated and satisfactorily resolved.
  • If the concern cannot be resolved, the student may be subject to additional administrative sanctions and may be subject to administrative dismissal from the program.
  • The student has the right to follow the procedures for course failure or program dismissal.

For more information about Trinity's School of Nursing and Health Professions, please contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 492-6882 or via e-mail at admissions@trinitydc.edu.

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