Clinical Rotation Conduct Requirements
CLINICAL ROTATION CONDUCT RELATED REQUIREMENTS
Students enrolled in a program of study in Allied Health Services are responsible for conducting themselves in a professional manner at all times. Some specifics of professional behavior include:
(a) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
The first federal privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health related information provided to insurance plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers took effect in April 2003. The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, developed by the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), set national standards for the protection of certain health information and provided patients with access to and more control over their personal health information (PHI).
Since the faculty and students of the Tulsa Community College Health Sciences Programs will be required to review selected patient/client health information in the course of their educational assignments, the College must, and the College shall require the Clinical Instructors, Instructors and Students to, appropriately safeguard the protected health information of patients, in accordance with applicable provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as it may be amended from time to time (“HIPAA”) and applicable law.
In accordance with HIPAA standards and their guidelines for educational purposes, all verbal, electronic and written information relating to patients/clients and contracted agencies is considered confidential and is not to be copied or discussed with anyone or removed from a health care facility unless written permission has been given by the clinical agency to remove such information. Instructors and Students may use and disclose protected health information solely for education and treatment purposes. With respect to information obtained or received from the Facility, the Clinical Instructors, Instructors and Students shall: (i) not use or further disclose the information other than as permitted or as required by law; (ii) use appropriate safeguards to prevent use or disclosure of the information; (iii) report to the Facility any use or disclosure of the information of which the College becomes aware; and (iv) require that any agents, including a subcontractor, to whom the College provides protected health information received from, or created or received by the College on behalf of, the Facility agrees to the same restrictions and conditions that apply to the Facility with respect to such information.
Materials regarding the HIPAA responsibilities and requirements are distributed to Health Science students at orientation to their Health Science program in a mandatory HIPAA Level I training session. All students sign a confidentiality statement to demonstrate their understanding of the HIPAA Standards and guidelines and to agree to maintain confidentiality in the use and distribution of a patient’s/client’s health information. A breach of confidentiality will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the program and/or course
(Refer to the Student Confidentiality Agreement).
(c) Use and Distribution of Protected Health Information (PHI)
The HIPAA Standards also apply to information transferred via any media including Internet and/or handheld computers (such as PDA’s). There cannot be any syncing of data on any devices (examples but not limited to: PDA, cell phones, flash drives, laptop computers, etc) when in the clinical setting. All materials needed for care plans must be hand written. In addition, computers in the clinical setting can only be used for entering patient data. All copies of patient data used to plan care must be placed in the shredder before leaving for the day. This is in compliance with HIPAA regulations and must be adhered to at all of the clinical facilities (violation of this policy will be grounds for dismissal from the program).
(d) Social Networking
As members of Tulsa Community College (TCC) and the Health Sciences Division (HSD), health students represent the college and are subject to public scrutiny. While social networking on websites such as Facebook, YouTube and MySpace are great ways to communicate, express yourself and connect with others, health students must understand that any information (identifiable or not), still photographs, video and audio as well as comments they post, or others post about them may:
(a) adversely impact a health student’s personal safety,
(b) impugn personal or institutional character,
(c) violate federal, state and local laws (e.g. HIPAA, FERPA, OSRHE),
(d) affect accreditation status of health science programs (regional and/or programmatic),
(e) violate professional code of ethics for health science programs,
(f) violate college policy and health science program policy,
(g) undermine any current or future employment,
(h) jeopardize participation in jurisprudence and/or credentialing examinations,
(i) jeopardize attainment of a practitioner’s license,
(j) incur legal liability for anything written or presented online.
Inappropriate conduct on social networking websites includes, but is not limited to:
(a) threatening language
(b) depictions or presentations of hazing, substance abuse, violence
(c) sexual harassment
(d) defamatory comments disrespecting a patient, client, student, clinical affiliate or college personnel
(e) partial or total nudity; sexual conduct; possession of a weapon or obscene gestures.
Exercise extreme caution before posting anything on a social networking website. Understand that anything post online is available to anyone in the work and collee official may monitor the website.
(e) Personal electronic devices:
Pagers, cellular telephones and other personal electronic devices (PED) must be turned off and out of sight during lectures, labs and clinical experiences. At no time may students use a PED to take photographs of any patient or any part of a medical record or medical facility. Any personal electronic device in sight may be confiscated by the instructor and kept until the end of the day’s activities. Any use of a personal electronic device during quizzes, tests, exams and other academic activities will be construed as cheating and treated accordingly. Any response to a PED must only be completed during break using the PED or a public telephone.
It is important to recognize that students are not an employee of the clinical affiliation and that they are guests of the facility and are not “entitled” to smoke while at their clinical assignment.
While providing patient care, students are in close proximity with patients and patient care does not wait while students are taking a “smoke break”. Third Hand smoke poses an immediate danger to many persons with respiratory disease and/or impairment. Students who smell of smoke are not especially pleasant to be around, especially if one is ill and the smell of smoke may cause an allergic reaction for the patients or their families.
If the student requires a cigarette during the clinical assignment, it must occur during an approved break, preferably the lunch hour and will be off the clinical facility campus. Students who resume patient care after a smoke break must rid themselves of all evidence of smell or debris from the tobacco before returning to the clinical assignment. This may require the student to change clothes upon arrival or wear a removable outer garment while smoking that will be left outside the building.
If a student violates this policy, the Clinical instructors are instructed to send the student home. Students who violate the policy a second time will be removed from the clinical facility and will not be returned to a clinical assignment until they can be in compliance with this policy. This may delay the students’ scheduled graduation.
Exhibiting healthy behaviors for our patients is a good thing for health care providers to do, plus as a future health care provider you are aware of the detrimental effects of smoking. If you need help with tobacco free strategies, contact the student health services.