Healthcare Education

Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) COVID-19 Clinical, Field Internship, and Externship Safety Standards & Recommendations

Maricopa County Community College District’s COVID-19 Clinical, Field Internship, and Externship Safety Standards will be rooted in safety for our students, faculty, staff, and healthcare community we interact with. In order to ensure facilities maintain their healthcare workforce and a safe environment, healthcare students will be expected to adhere to the policies, processes, and requirements as established by MCCCD programs, MCCCD clinical partners, and the CDC.

If educational opportunities in the clinical environment are impacted by COVID-19, MCCCD will make every effort to assist students in completing their program of study.  Students must understand that completing clinical experiences comes with an inherent level of risk for acquiring a communicable disease.  The information below is designed to serve as a guide to lowering the risk of acquiring and transmitting COVID-19.

 


 

Submitting Program Applications

As a result of campus closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person applications will not be accepted. Please email your program application to the identified advisor at your campus. The advisor contacts can be found in the application packet. Applications may be submitted without completing Step #2 (Computer Entrance exam) until further notice. Applicants will be required to complete the Computer Entrance Examination once testing centers re open. We encourage students to utilize mobile scanning applications to provide documentation to your advisor.

 


 

Mitigating Risk 

Screen yourself each day prior to going to clinical, field internship, and/or externship. Stay home and inform your instructor if you exhibit any of the following:

  • Fever temperature greater than 100.4 F or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting

Note: this list does not include all possible symptoms

Practice safety while at clinical, field internship, and externship. This includes:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Face coverings are required while at the clinical, field internship, extern site. The type of mask will be determined by the facility. Masks may be provided by the agency. Please read the mask policy outlined by the agency.
  • Social distancing guidelines will be adhered to at the clinical, field internship, and extern site when possible.

Suggested measures to protect yourself and others after clinical, field internship, and externship experiences:

  • When you arrive home from your clinical experience, leave your coat, backpack, or other items away from items that belong to you or to your family members.
  • Leave shoes outside, in a garage, or by the door.
  • Keep outerwear separate from the rest of your family’s belongings.
  • If possible, take a second pair of clothing and change at the agency.
  • If you are unable to change at your experience, remove clothing immediately when you arrive home. Place your dirty work clothing in a dedicated bag or hamper so you can easily put them into the wash without having to touch soiled items.
  • It is recommended to take a hot shower before embracing family members.
  • Disinfect any belongings that you had during your experience such as cell phone, badges, lanyards etc. with using appropriate Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved chemicals with labels specifically claiming to be effective against emerging viral pathogens. CDC Guidelines for cleaning specific surfaces.
  • Continue frequent handwashing for you and your family.
  • Clean your cloth face covering after every shift.
  • If you live with high-risk individuals it would be recommended to limit their contact with you. CDC guidelines for people at higher risk.

 


 

Possible Exposure and Positive for COVID-19

  • Potential Exposure is defined as being within 6ft of a person with COVID-19 for a cumulative of 10 minutes or more within a 24-hour period, regardless of the use of face coverings.
  • Stay home and inform your instructor if you had a potential exposure to an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if you exhibit any COVID-19 Symptoms per the CDC.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommended steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick.
  • Seek emergency medical attention if you are showing any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19 or other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. This list does not include all possible symptoms and is subject to change.
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

 


 

Reporting Possible Exposure and Illness

Students must inform the instructor prior to accessing MCCCD properties, clinical sites, field internship, or externship if they have a member of their household who is ill with known or suspected COVID-19 and/or tested positive.

If a student has been exposed or tested positive for COVID-19, the Risk Management Department must be notified through the self reporting website.  If a student started clinical rotation, the student must self disclose exposure and/or positive testing of COVID-19 and adhere to agencies reporting guidelines.  Students must follow the isolation/quarantine requirements as established by the State Department of Health. CDC Guidelines for exposure.

See the CDC's guidelines for exposure to COVID-19.

 


 

Returning to Clinical

Students must follow agency clearance guidelines to return to clinical if a process is outlined. If the agency does not have clearance guidelines, students may return to clinical, field internship, and externship:

  • After 24 hours with no fever without the use of medication and respiratory symptoms have improved and 10 days since symptoms first appeared. 
  • Depending on the student’s healthcare provider’s advice and availability of testing, the student might get tested for COVID-19. If tested, student can be around others when there is no fever, respiratory symptoms have improved, and they receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.
  • If students have no symptoms and tested positive, students may return if ten days have passed since the test.

Students may be asked by the agency to wear a face mask at all times during clinical, field internship, and externship experiences. After exposure or testing positive, students are asked to resume self-monitoring of symptoms.

 


 

Completing Missed Clinical Time Due to Illness

Each program will be as flexible and accommodating as possible to assist the student in completing their clinical, field internship, or externship missed hours.

 


 

COVID-19 Clinical Restrictions

Students will be required to follow all the Infection Prevention and Control (IP & C) procedures that are in place for employees at each facility. Prior to the start of the rotation, students will be required to review materials outlining the agency’s policies related to PPE, masking, and hand hygiene.

If a student is considered to be at increased risk for severe illness, attending clinical may be prohibited. If you are unsure if you are high risk please visit the CDC guideline for people at higher risk. Students may not care for patients with known or suspected COVID-19.

Agencies may restrict students who have recently traveled from countries where there is widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19 CDC Travel Recommendations. They may also limit large group gatherings and ask to maintain caution and awareness about increasing the numbers of learners in the team rooms or clinic spaces.

See the CDC's COCID-19 travel recommendations.

Note: Restrictions may vary per discipline and hospital networks and are subject to change.