Health Policies

Health Policies

Admission Health Requirements:  Contractual agreements between WSCC and the clinical agencies, require that all students must have on file a copy of the following: 
  • Current physical examination.

  • Current negative TB skin test or chest x-ray.

  • Documented Hepatitis B vaccine/titer/signed waiver.

  • Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR),

  • Tetanus,

  • Varicella, &

  • Polio immunity documentation.

  • Current CPR certification.

  • A Negative 10 Panel Drug Screen

  • Documentation of a current season flu shot (if required by clinical agencies). Students are responsible to provide documentation of their required health information and are strongly encouraged to keep a copy of such documentation.  Initial health documentation begins with the required physical examination prior to the first semester of the nursing programThe Physical examination must confirm that you are free from communicable disease and capable of performing all the duties necessary for the safe care of clients (See Nursing Capability Standards). A physician or an advanced nurse practitioner may complete this examination.  It is mandatory that a TB skin test be done each year that the student remains in the nursing program.  A copy of the annual TB test result must be provided to the nursing department via CertifiedBackground.Two-step TB skin testing is useful for the initial skin testing of adults who are going to be retested periodically, such as health care workers or nursing home residents. This two-step approach can reduce the likelihood that a boosted reaction to a subsequent TST will be misinterpreted as a recent infection. Therefore, if a student has not previously been tested for TB, a two-step TB skin test is recommended. 

  • Students with chronic illness or who are pregnant must provide regular certification by their physician that they are able and safe to perform all physical demands of lab and clinical rotations. 

Latex Advisory
Although attempts are made to provide latex-free environments, the use of latex/latex based products may exist in health care universal precautions and in environments such as, but not limited to, Health Sciences classrooms and training labs, hospitals, nursing care facilities, laboratories, clinical areas, and medical/dental offices. Individuals with latex allergies should seek advice from their health care provider so that they may receive information to make an informed decision regarding their exposure to latex in the health care field.
 
Accidents/Injury
Accidents that involve you or another person which occur in the classroom, laboratory, or clinical area must be reported to your instructor or the nurse manager immediately.  Though an injury may appear insignificant to you at the time, it must be reported because of complications which might appear later. An Incident Report form must be completed for both the clinical site and the nursing program - see your instructor.
 

If a student is injured during the course of clinical experience, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor immediately.  Hospital contracts demand that certain procedural steps may be taken in the event that a student becomes injured on the premises.  Students are expected to follow the procedural steps dictated by the hospital in such matters.  Depending on the agency policy, the student may or may not be billed for the initial screening care at the time of the incident.  The student will cover all follow-up care.  A copy of the Incident Report, or written summary of the incident, by the instructor, must be forwarded to the Director of Nursing and Allied Health at WSCC.

Health Insurance

Students are not provided with health insurance coverage by the college or the clinical agencies.  In no event will West Shore Community College or its affiliate clinical agencies be financially or otherwise responsible for medical care or treatment of a students.  Therefore students are advised to carry personal health insurance.  Occupational risks in Nursing include but are not limited to:

  • Risk of Contracting an infectious disease due to close contact with patients, excretions an purulent discharges

  • Infections due to the exposure to blood, body fluids or tissue specimens possibly leading to bloodborne diseases such as Hepatitis, or HIV

  • Fatigue and lower back pain due to long periods of work in a standing posture

  • Exposure to severely traumatized patients, victims of a disaster or catastrophic event, severely violent patients may lead to unexpected injury or post-traumatic stress syndrome

  • Latex allergy caused by exposure to latex gloves and other latex-containing medical devices

  • Skin irritation due to frequent use of soap and hand sanitizers, etc.

  • Slips, trips, falls

  • Cuts or stabs from sharp objects for example needle sticks

  • Exposure to radiation, chemotherapeutic or toxic agents Students are required to use safety measures to prevent occupational exposure or injury and understand the need to have my own personal health/accident insurance coverage.  I further understand that neither the college nor the clinical agencies will be responsible for providing any health or accident insurance benefits for me.  Students who are immunocompromised or pregnant are required to notify their instructor prior to clinical assignments. 

 
Students who are involved in an accident or become injured while on campus are responsible for reporting the circumstances immediately to the instructor and Director of Nursing and Allied Health.  Failure to report an incident and/or failure to complete the required documentation related to the incident may result in dismissal from the program.
 
 
Exposure to Blood and/or Body Fluids
A Body Substance Exposure (BSE) is defined as an eye, mouth, other mucous membrane, non-intact skin or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that results from the performance of the student nurse’s duties. 
Transmission of blood-borne pathogens [e.g., Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HBC), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)] from patients to healthcare workers (HCW) is an important occupational hazard faced by healthcare personnel (HCP). The risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission following occupational exposure depends on a variety of factors that include source patient factors (e.g., titer of virus in the source patient’s blood/body fluid), the type of injury and quantity of blood/body fluid transferred to the HCW during the exposure, and the HCW’s immune status. The greatest risk of infection transmission is through percutaneous exposure to infected blood. Nevertheless, transmission of HBV, HCV, or HIV after mucous membrane or non-intact skin exposure to blood has also been reported. The risk of transmission of these pathogens through muco-cutaneous exposure is considered lower than the risk associated with a percutaneous exposure. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013, accessed at http://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/PDFs/HPS-manual/exposure/3-HPS-Exposure-options.pdf )
 
The following precautions should be observed by all healthcare workers all times, regardless of a client’s diagnosis:
  • Wear gloves when contact with moist body substances, mucous membranes, or non-intact skin is likely.

  • Wear a gown or plastic apron to prevent soiling of clothing from body substances.

  • Wear masks or eye gear to protect mucous membranes of eyes, nose, and mouth from splattering of body substances.

  • Use good hand washing technique before and after each client contact and when gloves are removed, and if hands are visibly soiled.

  • Do not cap needles or other sharps. Place uncapped needles and sharp instruments in puncture-proof containers.

 

The student will report an exposure to a client’s body fluid/substance immediately to the clinical instructor. Any student/faculty who sustains a Body Substance Exposure while performing in the clinical setting will be offered immediate follow-up as outlined in the employee exposure policy of the agency in which the exposure occurred. All paperwork as described in the agency policy will be completed by the student under the supervision of the clinical instructor.

 

The clinical instructor will fill out the college incident report and turn in to the Director of Nursing and Allied Health. Students will be responsible for any expenses incurred as a result of the exposure. Students are responsible for continuing with follow-up and treatment as recommended by the clinical agency