Academic Affairs Office

Health and Liability for Nursing

 

Health Insurance

Students are not provided health insurance coverage by the College or the clinical affiliate agencies to which they are assigned. Therefore, students are advised to carry personal health insurance.

Health Status Evaluation

Students are required to have a health status evaluation done prior to beginning the first clinical nursing course; the cost of the examination and required immunizations is covered by student course fees.  Drug screening is a part of the health status evaluation and students who screen positive will be conferenced by the Nursing Program Director.  All students are subject to the drug-free workplace regulations outlined in the College Student Handbook under the heading Drug Free Campus.  Drug-free campus policies extend to all assigned clinical affiliate experiences.

Contractual agreements between the MCC Nursing Program and each clinical agency to which students are assigned require all nursing students to have met all health, CPR, and blood borne pathogen training requirements prior to participating in any clinical activity.  Students are responsible for the submission, maintenance, and record keeping of their own health information.  Although the Nursing Program must have the health and certification records of all students on file in its office, students are strongly recommended to keep copies in their portfolios.

Initial health documentation will begin with the required physical during the first term of the Program.   The purpose of the required physical exam is to assess the students’ ability to meet the essential functions of the occupation of nursing.  These functions include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Communicate effectively with clients, families, health care team members, peers, and faculty.
  • Stand and walk for six to eight hours/day.
  • Bend, squat, and kneel.
  • Assist lifting or moving clients of all age groups and weights.
  • Perform CPR, i.e., move above client to compress chest and manually ventilate client.
  • Work with arms fully extended overhead.
  • Use hands for grasping, pushing, pulling, and other fine manipulation.
  • Demonstrate eye/hand coordination for manipulation of equipment, i.e., syringes, procedures, etc.
  • Possess tactile ability to differentiate changes in sensation.
  • Possess auditory acuity to note slight changes in the client’s condition, i.e., lung sounds, bowel sounds, etc.
  • Possess auditory acuity to hear client’s calls for assistance without facing the client.
  • Possess auditory acuity to interpret various equipment signals and use the telephone.
  • Possess visual acuity to read and distinguish colors, to read handwritten orders, and other handwritten/printed data.
  • Possess visual acuity to clearly view electronic monitors and scales in order to correctly interpret data.

 

During the physical exam, immune status will be checked for Hepatitis B, rubeola, rubella, varicella, and mumps and immunizations will be administered as needed. (For advance placement students, this physical will be arranged upon acceptance into the Program.)    Immunizations are consistent with the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for health care providers and serve to protect both patients and students.

 

All annual health and certification documentation (blood borne pathogen training and CPR for adult and child) must be valid for the upcoming semester and on file in the Nursing Program Office prior to the below deadlines.  This may mean that some items will need to be updated in advance of their expiration.  (Example:  A CPR that expires in June is not acceptable for a May clinical start date.)

 

Target Clinical Semester

Items Need to Be Updated By

Items Need to Be Valid Thru

Fall Semester

August 15th

last day of the semester

Winter Semester

December 15th

last day of the semester

Summer Semester

April 15th

last day of the semester

 

If you are not valid for the entire upcoming semester by the above dates, you will be dropped and your spot will be given to a student who is waiting and current.  If you are dropped for incomplete health/CPR requirements, you are responsible for any registration fees incurred and you must meet all Program readmission requirements, including health and CPR requirements.

 

Latex screening is included with the required Program physical.  If further evaluation for a latex allergy is indicated, the student is responsible for the cost.  Since continued exposure places the student at a personal risk, a physician’s release must be submitted to the Program Director.  Depending on the severity of the condition, it may not be possible for the clinical facility to make accommodations for the student, which could result in an inability to complete the Program. 

 

No casts or splints are allowed in the clinical agency due to the risk of infection and injury.  If you incur an injury requiring an immobility device, see the Nursing Program Director to discuss your options.

 

Occupational Risks

Occupational risks in nursing include but are not limited to:     

  • risk of contracting an infectious disease due to close contact with patients, excretions and purulent discharges;
  • infections due to the exposure to blood, body fluids or tissue specimens possibly leading to blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C;
  • 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 or severely violent patients may lead to unexpected injury or post-traumatic stress syndrome;
  • latex allergy caused by exposure to natural latex gloves and other latex-containing medical devices;
  • skin irritation because of frequent use of soaps, detergents, disinfectants, etc;
  • slips, trips, and falls on wet floors, especially during emergency situations; and
  • stabs and cuts from sharp objects, especially needle-pricks and cuts by blades.

Students are required to use safety measures to prevent occupational exposure or injury.  Students who are immunocompromised or pregnant are required to notify their instructor prior to clinical assignments and are advised to notify the RN in charge when attending any observational experience that may increase occupational risk.

 

Liability Insurance

Students in the Muskegon Community College Nursing Program are required to carry liability (malpractice) insurance. A liability insurance fee will be assessed upon registration for each nursing course with a clinical component.