Vaccine for Clinicals
Vaccine Mandates at Clinical Sites - May 2022
Dear EICC Pre-Health and Health Students:
I want to commend you on embarking on a journey towards a career in healthcare. You are choosing a profession in which you have the opportunity and ability to make a difference in the lives of others daily. With that comes the responsibility of also ensuring the safety and security of those same lives.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has required significant changes in healthcare, including the implementation of vaccine mandates. All EICC healthcare programs include clinical experiences at facilities that mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their employees and clinical students. Please read the following information carefully so you understand how this may impact you as a health or pre-health student.
VACCINE MANDATES AT CLINICAL SITES
Once you begin a health program, you must meet all of the requirements set by our clinical partners or you will not be allowed on the clinical site. If that happens, you may not be able to complete your nursing program because course requirements associated with clinical cannot be met.
Our largest clinical partner is not accepting any exemption requests. Our ability to place unvaccinated students at a clinical site that allows exemptions is extremely limited. Therefore, EICC cannot guarantee that an unvaccinated student with a medical or religious exemption will be able to fulfill their clinical requirements.
If you choose to request an exemption, you must file a request at EICC-HR@eicc.edu . Please note this process can take several weeks to complete. Filing for an exemption comes with additional risks.
- If a student’s exemption request is approved, there are no guarantees that the student will be placed for clinical rotation.
- If a student’s exemption request is denied, or you are placed at an institution where exemptions are not accepted, you will be unable to complete required clinical hours unless or until an alternate clinical opportunity becomes available.
- Students may continue to participate in lecture and lab courses with or without an approved exemption. However, unless an alternate clinical opportunity becomes available, students will need to withdraw from any course requiring clinical prior to the withdraw date to avoid a failing grade for the course/courses.
COURSE OR PROGRAM WITHDRAWAL
If a student withdraws from a course or the program due to their vaccination status, it will delay their progression within the program. To continue in the program, students are required to re-enroll and repeat the associated course/courses and clinical experience. Clinical experience can only be provided IF an opening occurs. Placement availability at alternate sites is limited; therefore, we cannot guarantee an opening will occur.
EICC continues to strongly encourage all students, especially those entering healthcare areas, to be vaccinated. Vaccination not only increases the protection of oneself, but also the safety and protection of those around you. If you have questions about the vaccine mandate or your clinical options, please let me know.
Dawn M. Boettcher
Dean for Health Programs
Dear EICC Health Program Student:
Over the last 18 months, the global COVID-19 pandemic has required significant changes in health care, including the implementation of vaccine mandates by a large majority of health care institutions in the area and across the nation.
All EICC health care programs include clinical experiences at facilities that mandate COVID-19 vaccines for their employees and clinical students. At this time our largest clinical partner is not accepting any exemption requests, severely limiting our ability to place unvaccinated students. For these reasons, we cannot guarantee that a student would be able to fulfill their clinical requirements without being vaccinated, even with a medical or religious exemption.
On August 12, EICC notified all health program students that many of our clinical partners would require students to be vaccinated in order to participate in clinical. Deadlines for students to obtain the vaccine have been set by individual facilities. Students must meet all of their requirements by these deadlines or they will not be allowed on site and will be pulled from current clinical experiences. In addition, they may not be able to complete their program because course requirements cannot be met.
Our three largest clinical partners’ vaccine compliance deadlines are as follows:
- Unity Point: November 1st
- Genesis: November 8th (not currently accepting exemptions)
- MercyOne: Deadline has passed
If you choose to request an exemption, you must file a request at EICC-HR@eicc.edu by Friday, October 22nd 2021. Please note this process can take several weeks to complete. Filing for an exemption does not mean the request will be approved, and again does not guarantee that you will be able to complete your required clinical hours.
If you file for an exemption and are denied, or you are placed at the institution where exemptions are not accepted, you will be unable to complete required clinical hours once the identified deadline has expired, unless or until an alternate clinical opportunity becomes available. You may continue to participate in lecture and lab courses. However, unless an alternate clinical opportunity becomes available, you will need to withdraw from any course requiring clinical prior to December 2, 2021 to avoid a failing grade for the course/courses. This withdrawal will result in a delay in your progression within the program, as well as require re-enrollment and repeat of the associated course/courses and clinical experiences if an opening occurs. Please note, placement availability at alternate sites is limited and we cannot guarantee an opening will occur.
Becoming a health care professional in today’s environment is a noble and exciting choice. You are choosing a profession in which you have the opportunity and ability to make a difference in the lives of others daily. With that comes the responsibility of also ensuring the safety and security of those same lives. Please understand that the current mandates by health care employers may impact not only your ability to complete your clinical placement, but also your ability to get a job in your chosen field.
EICC continues to strongly encourage all students, especially those entering health care areas, to be vaccinated. Vaccination not only increases the protection of oneself, but also the safety and protection of those around you.
If you have questions about the vaccine mandate or your clinical options, please reach out.
Dawn M. Boettcher
Associate Dean of Health Programs
August 12, 2021
Health Program Students:
As a health program student at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC), the clinical portion of your program plays a critical role in ensuring you are prepared for your chosen career. EICC works closely with numerous healthcare facilities to provide clinical opportunities for our students each year. The affiliation agreements we sign with these partners outline requirements for the facilities, EICC and our students, including health and immunization requirements in order to interact with the facilities’ patients.
Several of our partner facilities have informed us that employees and students will be required to have the COVID-19 vaccination in order to work in their facilities. As an EICC student in the (Program Name) program, you will be required to submit to a physical examination and provide proof of immunization prior to placement at these clinical/health care facilities. Refusal of and/or failure to provide proof of immunizations may make you ineligible for placement at one or more of the clinical health care partner facilities where EICC students complete their clinical educational requirements. EICC will work with you and our partner facilities to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made, however accommodations and/or alternative placement cannot be guaranteed.
As a health care student and future health care provider, you are aware of the health risks associated with failure to maintain current vaccines, and you understand that vaccination requirements imposed by health care facilities are intended to protect both patients and care providers, including you as a clinical student.
EICC is committed to providing a safe learning environment for our students, as well as contributing to the safety of the communities we serve. We have succeeded in these efforts for the past year by working together, following protocols and caring for ourselves and those around us. With the rapid increase of the Delta variant, we urge all students and employees to get vaccinated and continue to follow EICC’s protocols. Visit https://www.vaccines.gov/results/?zipcode to learn about vaccine availability near you. The vaccine is free and usually available without an appointment.
Please know that our goal at EICC and within the health programs is to keep you safe so you can continue your educational journey and enjoy the success associated with completion of your educational goals.
Dawn Boettcher, Associate Dean of Health Programs
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges
FAQs Healthcare Facilities Requiring Vaccines
At this time, not all facilities are requiring it; however, the list of those that are is changing on a daily basis. The two largest regional providers of our clinical experiences are requiring vaccines.
The list of facilities requiring vaccines is changing rapidly. If we have facilities that are not requiring vaccines, we will work with students to match you to an appropriate facility. The facility must be able to provide the level of experience needed for the course. As some components of your training require specific experiences, availability of facilities can be limited. We cannot guarantee we will have any available sites or available opportunities within a facility that is not requiring the vaccine; therefore, we cannot guarantee we can place an unvaccinated student into a clinical setting that will fulfill your course/program requirements.
- Several of the facilities may offer exceptions/exemptions. Exceptions/exemptions are
typically based on religion, medical conditions, allergies, and potentially pregnancy
(similar to the flu vaccine).
- The healthcare facilities determine exceptions/exemptions, not the college. Students may have the opportunity to ask for an exception/exemption, however we are awaiting all the details on this process from those facilities that are requiring the vaccine.
If you have any on-site clinical experiences in your program and that healthcare facility requires the vaccine, in order to participate in that clinical experience at that facility you would either need to be vaccinated or file for an exception/exemption if the facility has that option in place. It would be up to that facility to grant the exception/exemption or not, as they do with the flu vaccine each year. (See also accommodations).
At this time we are not collecting proof of vaccination, however if the healthcare facility where you have clinical experiences requires the vaccine, we may need to collect proof at that time.
Deadlines are set by the healthcare facility. Many are following the same deadline as the flu vaccine. We will work to get you the information as we receive it.