Policies

Campus Safety Policies and Procedures (partial compliance of A1.03g)

The institution addresses the safety of students on campus through the Safety and Security Department: https://www.dbq.edu/AboutUD/CommunityStandards/SafetyandSecurity/

University of Dubuque also publishes their annual safety reports in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act on their website: https://www.dbq.edu/AboutUD/CommunityStandards/SafetyandSecurity/CampusSafety/JeanneCleryAct/

Safety and security for students on clinical rotations are addressed during the clinical phase orientation. These rely on the personal safety and security measures in place for the staff at each clinical facility as documented on Site Visit Forms. The facility at which the rotation/experience takes place shall provide PA students access to the facility’s rules, regulations, policies and procedures with which the PA students are expected to comply, including, the facility’s OSHA standards, personal and workplace security and personal safety policies and procedures for all PA students and any instructors on site.

Personal safety measures also include student instruction in the application of universal precautions and risks of bloodborne pathogens during the program’s didactic phase prior to potential exposure.

All policies apply to all PA students (A3.01) The institution addresses the program's policy regardless of location

  • All student program policies apply to all PA students regardless of location.
  • All faculty/administrative program policies apply to all principal PA faculty regardless of location.
  • All faculty/administrative program policies apply to the program director/medical director regardless of location.

Informed policies (A3.02)The PA program will inform students of its polices in accordance with ARC-PA standards

PA students will be informed of program policies and practices in multiple ways:
  • Program policies are posted on the PA program website and in the MSPAS Student Handbook 2020-21.
  • During orientation, the student didactic handbook and policies are discussed. Students sign attestation of review to document their awareness of the policies and practices.
  • During clinical orientation, the student clinical handbook and policies are discussed. Students sign attestation of review to document their awareness of the policies and practices.

Student recruitment of clinical sites and preceptors (A3.03)The institution addresses clinical sites and preceptor policies in accordance with ARC-PA standards

  • Students are not required to solicit or recruit clinical sites and/or preceptors.
  • Refer to the Clinical Sites and Responsibilities section in the MSPAS Student Handbook for more information.

PA student employment policy (A3.04, A3.05, A3.06, and A3.14h) The institution addresses student employment

  • Training to become a PA demands a full-time commitment. Due to the rigorous nature of the curriculum, it is recommended students not engage in outside employment. If a student chooses to work during the program, the work schedule must not interfere with class performance or clinical rotation schedules.
  • Students are not allowed to work on behalf of the MSPAS program in any clerical, administrative, or instructional capacity.
  • While students may be asked to volunteer for a particular task or activity, students are not obligated to do so. Students who choose to volunteer do not receive remuneration for the task completed. Some students with significant experience or skill may function as a peer tutor during laboratory sessions; however, they will not function as instructional faculty for student assessment or employment.
  • During clinical rotations, students are not allowed to substitute for, or function as, clinical or administrative staff. Refer to the Clinical Sites and Responsibilities Section in the MSPAS Student Handbook.

Health, health insurance and immunizations (A3.07)The institution addresses health, insurance and immunizations according to ARC-PA standards

Once students have successfully been admitted to the MSPAS program, they are provided with a list of the mandated requirements which are expected to be maintained including a yearly physical examination, antibody titers, current immunizations, drug screening, and background checks. Students are given deadlines to submit the required documents prior to the commencement of classes in order to comply with matriculation standards. All students are required to have proof of current health insurance coverage and should consider current long-term disability insurance as well.

The physical examination, Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) tuberculosis screening, and influenza vaccination are required annually for continued enrollment in the program. Students who do not meet the mandated requirements are not allowed to register for classes or participate in a clinical setting. Students who fail to comply with program requirements are not eligible to attend off-campus clinical activities or clinical rotations until all requirements are met.

IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO UPDATE, MAINTAIN, AND RETAIN A COPY OF ALL RELEVELANT PERSONAL HEALTH RECORDS.

Immunizations

The MSPAS program developed its policy and immunization guidelines based on the guidelines issued by our affiliated clinical education sites and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html that apply to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attending any public or private university in the State of Iowa, specifically those involved in health care.

All immunization forms must carry the original signature of a physician or a licensed medical practitioner and the license number or office stamp with address. 

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella

State of Iowa pre-matriculation immunization requirements include documentation of measles, mumps, and rubella immunity for all students prior to registration for classes. As a prerequisite to matriculation or registration, the State of Iowa requires all students born after 1956 to present documented proof of immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. Consistent with Department of Health guidelines, acceptable proof of immunity constitutes documentation of two vaccinations of measles, mumps, and rubella or a blood antibody titer verifying immunity.

Students who cannot prove immunity must begin the 2 shot MMR vaccination series prior to the start of the program.

Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis

Based on the guidelines published by CDC, matriculating students who have not had a tetanus booster within the past ten years must receive the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine and are required to keep this current.

  • A single dose of Tdap must be given for adults aged 19 through 64 years who have not received a dose of Tdap previously.
  • Tetanus/diphtheria (Td) booster is not accepted.

Hepatitis B

Students must show documented proof of vaccination and immunity to Hepatitis B, as described below. Students must document anti-HBs hepatitis B titer status.

  • If the titer is positive, no further action is necessary
  • If the titer is negative, the following steps are required:
    • Begin required three dose hepatitis B series immediately. Proof of receipt of at least the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine is required prior to the first day of classes. The remainder of the three-dose series must be completed 8 weeks prior to beginning the clinical phase
    • Repeat titer 6 weeks after completing the 3-dose series. This must be completed prior to beginning the clinical phase.
      • If the hepatitis B surface antibody titer is negative, the student is considered a non-responder
  • Students who continue to have a negative hepatitis B surface antibody titer receive individual counseling on how best to protect themselves and prevent hepatitis B infection and special procedures to follow should a needle stick injury occur.

Chickenpox (varicella)

Proof of positive (immune) varicella antibody titer is required. If immunity is not shown, completion of the 2-shot series 4-8 weeks apart is required and documentation must be submitted.

Influenza

Students are required to receive the seasonal flu vaccine annually and provide documentation to the program by November 1.

Meningococcal

Highly recommended for anyone with a risk factor (medical, occupational, lifestyle, or other indication), according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. We recommend discussing your meningococcal vaccine status with your health-care provider. This recommendation may be pre-empted by the clinic and hospital policies of the clinical rotation sites.

Polio (IPV)

Proof of vaccination must be provided. Students should consult with their healthcare provider.

Screening for Tuberculosis (TB)

Students are required to have an annual Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) to document absence of TB infection. Commercial names for these tests are QuantiFERON TB Gold or T-SPOT.

  • If the blood test is negative, students must repeat the IGRA annually
  • If the blood test is positive, students must follow up with their healthcare provider and submit documentation of chest x-ray results and tuberculosis questionnaire

Exposure to infectious and environmental hazards (A3.08)The program addresses its policies regarding infectious and environmental hazards

The MSPAS program follows the MSPAS Student Handbook guidelines regarding exposure to infectious and environmental hazards while on campus and the institutional policies of its clinical affiliates regarding exposure to infectious and environmental hazards while at clinical sites. The MSPAS program is diligent in educating students about precautionary infection control measures for airborne and bloodborne pathogens prior to students’ first contact with patients and first contact with human tissue, blood products, and body fluids. Ultimately, each student is responsible for his/her health and safety in the clinical/educational setting; therefore, it is the goal of the MSPAS program that all students learn appropriate policies and procedures to follow in the event that they are injured or potentially exposed to bloodborne pathogens or other communicable diseases.

All MSPAS students are required to take the designated bloodborne pathogen and OSHA training upon matriculation into the program.  Students may be required to take additional training at the discretion of a clinical rotation site, as their policies and procedures warrant. MSPAS students should understand site-specific policies prior to their work at each clinical affiliate site and should follow the established protocols at that site for immediate care and treatment after exposure.

All students with communicable diseases or conditions are not permitted to engage in patient care until such conditions have been treated and cleared as documented by a provider. A student who has a communicable disease or is unsure whether he/she should participate in patient care should seek medical care by a private medical provider.

The student’s personal health insurance plan is ultimately responsible for coverage of any incident that occurs during the pre-clinical or clinical phase of the program.

During the pre-clinical phase, students should notify the PA faculty in attendance immediately and be referred to the Campus Health Services Office. Students must complete an Exposure Incident Report (Appendix D) which will be filed by the program. The PA Program Director should also be notified by the student and faculty member within 24 hours. During Program hours the Campus Health Services Office will facilitate prompt student referral to the contracted clinic, UnityPoint Occupational Health.  Outside of normal Program hours, students should be referred to UnityPoint - Finley Emergency Department.

Campus Health Services
Stoltz Sports Center
563.589.3857

After Hours and Weekend
UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital Emergency Department
350 North Grandview Avenue, Dubuque, IA
563.589.2658

During the clinical phase, students should notify their preceptor and immediately follow the procedures established at the clinical facility where the exposure occurred. Should guidelines not be in place, please refer to Appendix C for procedures for care and treatment after exposure and/or injury. The student must also notify the PA Program Director within 24-hours of the incident and complete an incident report (Appendix D) which will be filed by the program. 

Guidelines are available online at https://www.osha.gov/ to protect students from the risk of occupational infection with HIV, hepatitis B, or other bloodborne pathogens, and to implement the United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 29 CFR Section 1910.1030 Bloodborne Pathogens.

Students are excused from clinical activities in order to seek medical care for bloodborne or airborne pathogen exposure. Should an infected student expose a patient, he/she is ethically obligated to report this as well.

If a student’s exposure results in the contraction of a disease or disability, the student is allowed to continue in the program with as little disruption as safely possible depending on the circumstances. The student’s specific medical circumstances are evaluated confidentially on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, students may be unable to participate fully in university life or meet MSPAS technical standards because of their illness. As applicable, cases will be reported to the appropriate Public Health Department having jurisdiction over the agency/institution where the exposure occurred.

Faculty as health care providers (A3.09)This policy addresses non utilization of PA faculty as providers for students

Principal faculty, the Program Director, and the Medical Director must not participate as health care providers for students in the Program, except in an emergency.

Medical and counseling services (A3.10)This policy addresses access to medical and counseling services

UD’s Counseling Services was established to provide helpful and effective programs, counseling, and crisis management services to students. Counseling Services works collaboratively with students, academic and co-curricular departments, faculty and staff members, and other pertinent departments, as well as off-campus resources to enhance academic, personal, and career success.
 
UD’s Counseling Services are available to students at no extra fee. Students who receive services by off-campus providers and/or treatment services are financially responsible for those off-campus services.
 
All appointments are attempted to be scheduled by the Call Center within five business days of the dated call. If a student requests to be seen on the same date of the call, UD’s Counseling Services Team is notified by the Call Center and accommodates the request.

Walk-ins are welcome, however, counselors may or may not be able to see students depending on their availability and the nature of the visit (i.e., students in distress). However, if a distressed student presents on their own or accompanied by a fellow student, faculty, or staff member UD’s Counseling Services Team will accommodate the distressed student within 30 minutes of the request, by the first available team member.
 
Calls received for UD’s Counseling Services are answered 24 hours/7 days per week by its contracted confidential Call Center at 563.589.3911, which is certified in HIPAA compliancy. Per the caller request, they will be patched immediately to the on-call Crisis Counselor 24 hours/7 days per week, in collaboration with Iowa Helpline/Hillcrest Family Services, however if the situation warrants, the Call Center will notify first responders (911). If UD’s Counseling Service Team members are not available and the situation does not warrant first responders (911), the University collaborates with Hillcrest Family Services and their Crisis Mobilization Unit to guarantee an on-campus Crisis Counselor to a distressed person within 30 minutes of the initiated request.

UD’s Counseling Services works collaboratively with the University’s Disability Services/Academic Success Center.  The Disability Services assists students with all disability services at the University by verifying, recommending accommodations, and providing information. Once any student contacts UD’s Counseling Services regarding a need for accommodations, this takes precedence and facilitation of an appointment is made as soon as a provider is available and/or an identified off-campus provider is available.

UD’s Counseling Services also works collaboratively with the campus Health Service Administrator Office.  Once any student contacts the Health Service Administrator Office regarding a need for off-campus resources for brain health/mental health, this takes precedence and facilitation of an appointment is made as soon as the identified off-campus provider is available.

Student grievance and harassment policy (A3.11, A3.17d, A3.17g) This policy addresses student grievance and harassement

Grievances

There may be times when an MSPAS student seeks an investigation and possible resolution to a grievance. MSPAS students are encouraged to informally resolve a grievance as soon as possible through a meeting with the instructor (or the Clinical Education Director during the Clinical Phase). If the matter cannot be resolved, or if the professor cannot be reached, the student should meet with the Program Director. If the student’s grievance is against a MSPAS committee, the students must meet with the committee chairperson and the Program Director to attempt an informal resolution. A mutually agreeable resolution to an informal complaint shall be formalized through a notation in the student’s file/record that is initialed by the student and the professor or committee chairperson.

Formal Grievance Procedure

In any disagreement over the interpretation of academic regulations or the existence of extenuating circumstances that might justify special consideration, the student may file a formal grievance.  Students wishing to file a formal grievance should consult Appendix A of the Graduate Student Catalog & Handbook.

Harassment

The University of Dubuque strives to foster respect for the dignity and worth of all members of the University community by providing an educational and professional environment free of unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct that is oppressive or intimidating. The University has a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual harassment.

Please refer to the Title IX Policy: Discrimination on the Basis of Sex & Sexual Misconduct, which can be found at: http://www.dbq.edu/AboutUD/CommunityStandards/TitleIX/. Students with questions or concerns about the above issues should immediately consult the Title IX Coordinator (563.589.3619).

Faculty grievance and harassment policy (A3.12)This policy addresses faculty grievance and harrassment policy

Institutional policies and procedures for processing faculty grievances (Section 2.16) and allegations of harassment (Section 2.9.10) are found in the University of Dubuque Faculty Handbook

Advanced Placement (A3.15c, A3.18) This policy addresses advanced placement and experiential learning

  • The PA program does not offer advanced placement for students with prior graduate or doctoral work.
  • The program does not accept transfer students or provide credit for experiential learning.
  • The program does not give credit for prior student experience working in the health care field.
  • All incoming students will take all the courses outlined in the program curriculum.

Student dress code (B3.01) This policy addresses the dress code of students while in supervised clinical practice experiences.

Students must be clearly identified as PA students in clinical setting at all times. UD PA students must clearly identify themselves as a UD physician assistant student by wearing their UD PA student ID and embroidered lab coat. IDs are to be worn at all Program-related activities (both on and off campus) that relate to training as a UD PA student. PA students must be clearly identified in the clinical setting to distinguish them from physicians, medical students, and other health profession students and graduates. While in the Program, students may not use previously earned titles (i.e. RN, MD, DO, PhD, PharmD, etc.) for identification purposes.

It is both a professionalism and curricular expectation that students adhere to the dress code in all settings.