VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook

subsequent clinical activities. Students who test positive for HIV must speak with the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs for an altered clinical program that will protect both the student and patients’ well-being. The information will be confidential except in such clinical education situations where the student’s participation is altered and, in such situations, will be limited to those required for participation. The student will be informed in advance of sharing this information. Students who are HIV positive may have an altered clinical program following CDC guidelines. • The following vaccines are considered optional; however, VCOM strongly advises all students to discuss the appropriateness of each of the following vaccinations with their primary physician, taking into account their personal medical history, risk factors for contracting these diseases and potential for international travel. Students who have obtained the below optional vaccinations should document the dates and provide verification (physician signature or vaccination records) on the VCOM immunization form in the space provided. o Polio o Hepatitis A o Meningococcal Disease Chronic Infectious Diseases and/or Conditions with Increased Risk for Infection Students who have chronic infectious diseases or weakened immune systems may participate in patient care in certain settings as long as they follow the CDC guidelines. Students who have certain communicable diseases may require treatment prior to clinical participation according to the guidelines provided by the CDC (i.e. such as chronic hepatitis). Students who have viral illnesses or chronic infectious diseases may be assigned an altered clinical educational experience. Students who have certain immunodeficiencies or medical conditions that prevent them from patient care participation, will be reviewed to assure they meet Technical Standards for Admission and Continued Enrollment. Hepatitis B Hepatitis B is a serious infection that is spread by infected blood and body fluids and can lead to serious health risks including liver failure, cancer and death. Protection from the disease can often be obtained from a series of vaccinations and is recommended for all health care professionals. A small number of people can fail to develop immunity despite adequate vaccination and thus remain at increased risk of infection during the course of their education and occupation in the health care field. For vaccine non-responders (those without immunity after vaccination), it is critical they understand potential sources of hepatitis B infection, methods of transmission and the importance of seeking immediate medical attention if accidental exposure occurs. Meticulous adherence to blood and body fluid precautions is critical to preventing the spread of the disease and non-responders must use these and all other available methods of prevention to protect themselves. In addition, if a potential infectious exposure does occur, non-responders must seek immediate medical attention as protection may still be provided with the administration of hepatitis B immunoglobulin immediately following exposure. The availability of post-exposure prophylaxis with immunoglobulin does not in any way alleviate the need to practice universal precautions and hand hygiene. Medical students who are not immune to hepatitis B after appropriate vaccination are at increased risk for infection if exposed to infectious blood or body fluids. As a non-immune medical student, it is important for those students to understand that they may be exposed to potential infected patients and material, that the transmission rate of hepatitis B with an accidental percutaneous exposure is high and that the consequences of infection may be severe. These students are required to have a counseling session with the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs regarding Hepatitis B transmission, post-exposure prophylaxis, management of exposures to HBV, and steps to take to reduce o Yellow Fever o Typhoid Fever


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