Physical Examination and Immunization Requirements
Standard Healthcare Services, College of Nursing requires that all full-time and part-time students must submit proof of a Physical Examination and immunization record. The forms required are available at this link: Physical Health Assessment Form
The institution’s vaccine policies consist of (1) the Clinical Vaccine Policy, (2) the COVID-19 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK Policy, and (3) the COVID-19 Policy.
The Clinical Vaccine Policy
During the admission process, applicants must provide evidence of a physical examination by a licensed health care professional, including immunizations, urine and blood tests. The physical examination must include the following:
- A negative tuberculosis skin test or chest x-ray, if the test is positive.
- An annual TB symptom screening questionnaire.
- A current Mumps, Measles, Rubella, & Varicella (Chicken Pox) schedule or blood titers showing immunity.
- Completed Hepatitis B vaccine series. If history of prior receipt of a complete series of hepatitis B vaccine is unknown, positive hepatitis B titer is required.
- Tetanus, Diphtheria-Pertussis Toxoid immunizations within the last 10 years.
- Annual Influenza vaccine is required yearly by clinical agencies.
- COVID-19 vaccine is required for clinical placement.
- A statement by the healthcare provider that the applicant has the physical and emotional health to complete the requirements of the program.
COVID-19 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK Policy
As a participant in a Standard College clinical facility, I accept the following conditions of participation, and I acknowledge that I have been informed of the general nature of the risks involved in this activity, including, but not limited to slips and falls, needle pricks, and contracting diseases such as COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus disease.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious respiratory disease that spreads from person-to-person. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – _ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The Centers for Disease Contraol and Prevention (the CDC) has found that regardless of age, specific condition increase a person’s risk of severe COVID-19 illness, including chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), obesity (BMI of 30 or higher), immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies, sickle cell disease, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 have a higher risk of exposure.
I understand that the clinical facility may have patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or may be recovering from COVID-19. I also understand that there are vaccines available to protect against COVID-19 and currently, one drug has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Remdesivir (Veklury®) is approved to treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infection. I understand that I may need to receive a COVID-19 vaccine prior to working at the Clinical site.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, fever or chills, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If I feel sick, I agree NOT to go to the clinical facility and that I will stay home for the period of time recommended by the CDC, which is typically ten days, but may be longer if I am still symptomatic or contagious. During this period of quarantine, I may leave the house to receive medical attention if necessary.
Additionally, while participating in the program, I agree to take all necessary precautions recommended by the CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including but not limited to, washing my hands thoroughly and often, wearing a mask to cover my mouth and nose, avoiding gatherings of ten or more people, , and practicing prevention measures when taking public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
I agree to abide by any and all specific requests by Standard College and the clinical facility for my safety and the safety of others, as well as any and all of the College’s and clinical facility’s rules and policies applicable to all activities related to this program. I understand that Standard College and the clinical facility reserve the right to exclude my participation in this program if my participation or behavior is deemed detrimental to the safety or welfare of others.
In consideration for being permitted to participate in this program, and because I have agreed to assume the risks involved, I hereby agree that I am responsible for any resulting personal injury or illness which may occur as a result of my participation or arising from my participation in this program, unless any such personal injury or illness is directly due to the negligence of the College and/or the clinical facility. I understand that this Assumption of Risk form will remain in effect during any of my subsequent visits and program-related activities, unless a specific revocation of this document is filed in writing with the Registrar, at which time my visits to or participation in the program will cease.
I acknowledge that I have read and fully understand this document. I further acknowledge that I am accepting these personal risks and conditions of my own free will.
COVID-19 Vaccine Policy
Vaccination is the most important tool to protect members of our community and to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines offer significant protection to individuals from becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, from being hospitalized and from dying. Research also suggests that fully vaccinated individuals are much less likely to become infected or spread the virus to others. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Clinical participation is one of the requirements students must meet in order to complete a nursing education, as mandated by the Virginia Board of Nursing. The majority of the clinical facilities that receive Standard College students require the COVID-19 vaccine and do not offer exemptions to students. Since the majority of clinical facilities share the same policy in regard to the COVID-19 vaccine, the school has adopted the policy of the majority and requires students to be fully vaccinated.
Accordingly, in order to participate onsite at the clinical facilities, all Standard College students must establish that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As of August 11, 2021, a student is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-does vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) or one does of a single dose vaccine (Janssen). Any vaccine authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be accepted. At this time, the vaccine is not required in order to return to campus for the skills lab or to take course exams. Getting vaccinated remains the best way to ensure that we have a full and rich experience as a student at Standard College. Every faculty member, staff member and student plays a vital role in the health and safety of our community.
Participation at Clinical Facilities
Students must (1) provide proof of being fully vaccinated and (2) sign the COVID-19 Acknowledgement of Risk Form prior to participation at the clinical facility. Students who do not engage in the clinical practicum may not progress in the program because they will not be fulfilling program requirements. This means, that in order to progress in the program, a student must receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In the event a student decides not to get the vaccine, the student will not be allowed access to the clinical facilities, and accordingly, the student will no longer have the opportunity to continue in the program. An unvaccinated student will be obliged to take a leave of absence or withdraw from Standard College after completing the current course he/she is enrolled in.
By law, students may apply for a religious exemption to the school’s vaccination policy. A religious exemption represents a sincerely held religious belief that prevents a person from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. A religious exemption is not granted on the basis of a moral, philosophical, or conscientious objection. As the law requires, the school must make reasonable accommodations for a student’s religious beliefs, as long as the accommodation does not impose an “undue hardship” on the school, as that term is defined by applicable law. This means, in the event an accommodation poses a burden on the school in terms of scheduling and logistic matters with the clinical facilities, the exemption may not be granted. The clinic is not required to grant an exemption granted by the school. The School does not control the clinic and cannot require it recognize the exemptions granted by the School.
How to Apply for a Religious Exemption
Students interesting in applying for an exemption must complete the Religious Exemption Form. The form can be found here. In order to submit a request, you must:
- Read the CDC COVID-10 Vaccine Information;
- Initial and sign each page of the form;
- Complete the Personal Statement Form;
- Have your religious leader complete the Religious Organization Statement Form; and
- Submit the completed documents to Heather Ettus at email@example.com.
The assessment of each religious exemption request will be carefully reviewed on a case-by-case basis. After the request has been reviewed, you will be notified in writing if an exemption has been granted or denied. The decision of Standard College is final and not subject to appeal. Individuals are permitted to reapply if new documentation and information should become available. Religious exemptions must be requested annually. If approved, the religious exemption will remain in effect for one year.
By law, students may request a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine. In order for the school to consider the request, the student must complete a Medical Exemption Form and submit a note from a medical professional. The doctor’s notes must state the reason why it is medically contraindicated for the student to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The completed form, accompanied by the doctor’s note, must be sent to Heather Ettus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Apply for a Medical Exemption
Students interesting in applying for an exemption must complete the Medical Exemption Form. The form can be found here. In order to submit a request, you must:
- Read the CDC COVID-10 Vaccine Information;
- Initial and sign each page of the form; and
- Submit the completed forms to Heather Ettus at email@example.com.
The assessment of each request for a medical exemption will be carefully reviewed on a case-by-case basis. After the request has been reviewed, you will be notified in writing if an exemption has been granted or denied. The decision of Standard College is final and not subject to appeal. Individuals are permitted to reapply if new documentation and information should become available. Medical exemptions expire when the medical condition(s) contraindicating COVID-19 vaccination changes in a manner which permits vaccination or upon graduation. The assigned expiration is at the sole determination of Standard College.
Granting an Exemption
When a religious or medical exemption is granted, Standard College will work to accommodate the student’s request, acting as a liaison between the student and clinical facility. Again, even if an exemption is granted by the School, there is no guarantee the student can be placed at a clinical facility. Placement will depend upon whether the clinical facility is willing to accept the unvaccinated student and space availability. If the facility is willing to place an unvaccinated student and space is available at that facility, the student with an exemption granted will be given the opportunity to be placed at the facility. In such a case, the student would need to be aware that his/her graduation may be delayed, and that the clinical facility may change their policies at any point in time. As stated above, Standard College does not control the policies of the clinical sites. In addition, the exemption will be reviewed on an on-going basis. There could be a change of circumstances, such as an updated clinical site policy, which could directly impact the accommodation provided, such that the accommodation becomes an undue burden to the school. In this case, the accommodation previously granted will no longer remain in effect.