VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook

• VCOM recognizes that students often practice their examination and treatment methods on other students when off campus in settings such as their homes. While VCOM is not recommending this occur, VCOM does recognize the occurrence. VCOM has no supervision, authority, or liability over such sessions. VCOM does recommend to students that if he or she is practicing techniques outside of the laboratory, that this should only be done with peer students and should not involve non-students, as this may be considered treating a patient without a license or supervision. A practice session that includes only VCOM students outside of the classroom or laboratory should include no less than three students to assure no misunderstandings occur. The student should not practice techniques in which the student is not skilled. VCOM assumes no responsibility for the practice of techniques outside of the classroom. • In all PPC/OMM laboratories where students are learning examinations or treatment, there are a minimum of 6 instructors and up to 10 instructors for each laboratory. The normal OMM laboratory provides a student to instructor ratio of 1 to 8, so all examinations and conversations are witnessed. Any inappropriate behavior should be reported to the Discipline Chair. • Students are advised that all osteopathic techniques provided in a medical practice necessitate informed consent. However osteopathic techniques performed in the educational laboratory setting for the purpose learning and acquiring skills and performed by a peer student or a faculty instructor in the act of teaching do not require informed consent. Informed consent is implied as the student is attending the laboratory and has observed the demonstration of the technique in the lecture and laboratory prior to having the technique performed. The student consent is therefore affirmed by the student’s voluntary participation in the laboratory to learn the technique (as well as enrollment in the course). • If a student chooses to see a faculty member as a physician for an osteopathic treatment as a patient and this is not as a part of a learning event, the student should see the faculty member in a medical practice environment where he or she will be required to sign an informed consent. Faculty do not provide medical treatment for students in the laboratory setting or outside of their medical practice. In such a case the student seeks care from the faculty member and the faculty member provides such care in their practice, the faculty member can no longer be considered the students faculty instructor and must avoid providing an academic evaluation of the student. This is the responsibility of both the student and the instructor to comply. • Peer physical examinations will also not be used for intimate exams or invasive procedures. VCOM will use simulation equipment such as partial task trainers for procedures such as intubation, phlebotomy, intravenous line insertion, and other invasive examinations or treatments. • As students must be able to examine and treat patients regardless of gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, and other factors, it is expected that students will participate in classes that include students of different backgrounds. Students, just as faculty, are expected to address their patients (in this case peers) in an appropriate manner. • During OMM lab small group instruction, it is possible for the student acting as the “patient” to request the student serving as the “physician” be a specific gender for specific examinations. While this is not possible for all instruction or testing, when appropriate and possible, the Discipline Chair will accommodate such requests. It is; however, a technical standard that the students must be able to touch/examine persons of both genders in order to meet technical standards for a practicing physician and this will be required during the student’s education. It is not possible for all male students to have only male examiners or all female students to have only female examiners. In addition, this does not educate students appropriately for their future practices. Any students who believes he or she has experienced inappropriate touching or other misconduct and believes he or she is experiencing gender-based harassment, sexual misconduct, or other harassment in the classroom or laboratory setting must report this to the Course Director or Discipline Chair on the day of the laboratory, or to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, or to Human Resources in confidence.


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