University of Southern Indiana

Clinical Learning Policies

Students will have access to confidential medical/personal client and family information, and to sensitive agency information as part of the clinical learning experience.  It is of utmost importance that client/agency confidentiality is observed.  Information concerning a client/family or agency is not to be discussed after leaving the clinical unit, agency or classroom.  Violation of this policy may result in dismissal from the USI nursing program.

Clinical and Skills Lab Experiences
The clinical and skills lab experience is a scheduled part of the nursing courses where students have the opportunity to observe and apply knowledge of nursing. With the guidance and supervision of an instructor, students provide nursing care for selected clients.  Student appearance and conduct must be appropriate to comply with the high standards of the profession.

1. Students are to report to the instructor on the assigned clinical unit 10 minutes before the scheduled hour for clinical experience.
2. The client's name must not be placed on information removed from their record. The client's initials may be placed on client care plans and other written
3. Students are to remember the hospital/agency is a quiet area and should avoid loud behaviors when in the clinical area.
4. Students going to the clinical unit to gather information for clinical assignments must be in proper attire (see Dress Code Policies) and should not give client care.
5. Periodic conferences will be held to evaluate the student's clinical performance during the course. Student comments are encouraged. The student and faculty will share responsibility for evaluation of the student's progress during the course. The   faculty are solely responsible for assigning the pass/fail grade to each student’s clinical performance.
6. Students are required to abide by the policies and procedures of the agency in which they have clinical experience.
7. In the event of a disaster, students on the clinical units will be free to participate in the implementation of the agency's disaster plan. Utilization of students will be based on the individual unit's needs and the clinical faculty's discretion.

Students may be required to travel up to 70 miles for clinical experiences.  Students shall provide their own transportation to any agency or institution included in curriculum requirements.

Errors and Incidents in Clinical Laboratory
It is the College policy that all incidents occurring in the clinical laboratory be reported for the purpose of generating and maintaining a record of such incidents. This information is considered confidential and is retained only for the period of time a student is enrolled in the nursing program. Students who participate in or observe an incident involving students and nursing program personnel must take responsibility for notifying the appropriate persons and submitting a report to the faculty responsible for the area. A student responsible for or a witness to an incident shall make out an agency incident report as appropriate.

Review of Medical Records
Written permission must be obtained from the faculty to review a client's medical record which is in the Medical Records Department. Records cannot be removed from the facility’s Medical Records Department and information must be considered confidential and for educational purposes only.

Patient records may not be removed from a clinical agency, photocopied, or electronically transmitted. No computer-generated patient information may be removed from the unit. Any information that identifies a specific patient in the clinical setting must remain in that setting. No chart may be reviewed for personal reasons.

Child Abuse 

If for any reason a student suspects child abuse during any clinical experiences, the course/clinical coordinator and or the assigned clinical faculty should be notified immediately and the policy of the institution will be followed.

Clinical Experience
Clinical rotations will be organized based on nursing unit or agency availability and course requirements. Preceptors may be used in selected nursing courses with faculty coordination. Input from preceptors will be an integral component of the clinical evaluation.  Faculty are responsible for awarding the final clinical grade in each course. Faculty may move students from one course section to another based on clinical site availability and on student progression.

Dedicated Education Unit
In partnership with St. Mary’s Medical Center and with Deaconess Hospital, main campus, the CNHP has established Dedicated Education Units (DEUs) for student clinical experiences. Nursing staff known as preceptors are recruited by the unit nursing manager work individually with students. The preceptors attend an intensive training session provided USI faculty that focuses on teaching principles and management of students in the clinical setting. The DEUs are used exclusively by USI to ensure excellence in clinical education and student progression.  Nursing students placed on the DEUs must agree to clinical hours that match their assigned preceptor which could involve night and weekend shifts.

Contact Dr. Constance Swenty


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