Health and Safety

The following policies pertain to health and safety both within the academic and fieldwork settings. See the fieldwork education section of this manual for additional information specific to fieldwork education.

Emergency Contact Information

Students are required to report and update emergency contact information with the AFC. Students with deficiencies in this area will not be permitted to participate in fieldwork education experiences.

Health Insurance

All students enrolled in the Emory & Henry College OT Program are required to have health insurance coverage. Proof of current health insurance coverage must be provided prior to beginning the program and each year after. Injuries and accidents may occur during the course of a student’s educational experiences. If medical attention is required, any costs incurred with treatment are the responsibility of the student, not the OT Program or the College.

Student Health Services

See Heath Services section of handbook. Information will be provided to the students regarding use of the Smyth County Health Department and other health care provider groups in the Marion community.

Health Records 

The OT Program requires all students to have a Health Record/Medical Examination and Immunization record on file by the first day of classes of the first semester. The student is required to maintain a current health file during the length of the program.

The Health Record allows students to comply with OSHA recommendations and JCAHO requirements for all health care workers as it relates to current immunization record and a health physical verifying that the student is free of communicable disease.

Students cannot be assigned to a fieldwork site without a current Health Record on file.
All Health Record forms are kept confidential in accordance with HIPAA and FERPA regulations. It is strongly recommended that students maintain copies of their medical records in the event this information is requested by the fieldwork facility sites. Fieldwork sites will be informed that these records are complete and on file, however some fieldwork sites may request copies of immunization records and health physical reports.

Information and records relating to student performance are confidential between the facility and the College and may not be revealed to any other party without permission from the student.

Communicable Diseases

The Occupational Therapy Program approaches issues related to communicable diseases in the College population on an individualized case-by-case basis in accordance with medical advice of an attending physician and guidelines of the American College Health Association and the Center For Disease Control and Prevention.

Any student contracting a communicable disease will have his/her case reviewed by a task force of appropriate individuals. During the review process, the student and his/her attending physician will be consulted regarding the best procedure to follow for the welfare of the student as well as the safety of the College community and those individuals within the fieldwork education environment. The recommendations from the task force will be communicated with other persons needing to have this information so that appropriate action can be taken to safeguard the health of the student involved and to give maximum protection to the College community and the health care environments in which the student practices. Recommendations may include having a negative test or more than one negative test result prior to returning to campus. Recommendation may also include student completing quarantining for a certain time period depending on the disease.

If students have fever and flu like symptoms, they should not attend class, lab or clinic session. Students must notify the instructor prior to class or session. Students will need to make up time missed. Students may be asked to present a doctor’s note to the instructor.

Tuberculosis, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and “Chicken Pox” Screening

Most clinical sites require documentation that the student has current immunizations or verification that they are free of communicable diseases. The most common are:

  • PPD test annually (or annual negative chest x-ray)
  • MMR proof of immunity via titers to detect German Measles
  • Hepatitis B proof of immunity via titers
  • Tetanus or Tdap within 7 years (proof of vaccination)
  • Varicella (Chicken Pox) proof of immunity via titers

If a student has been exposed to Chicken Pox or Shingles, they are not eligible for any patient contact during the prodromal period. It is the student’s responsibility to inquire about requirements for health documentation and to provide needed documentation in accordance with fieldwork site policy.


There are areas of clinical practice and clinical skills laboratory that present hazards of potential danger to an expectant mother or unborn child. A student who is pregnant at the time of matriculation, or becomes pregnant at any time before graduation, is required to inform her faculty advisor and/or OT Program Director. A statement from the obstetrician regarding her ability to continue in the occupational therapy curriculum is required. Clinical experiences will be adjusted to minimize stress on the mother and baby. Missed time in class, laboratories, clinical experiences, clinical conferences and fieldwork due to pregnancy will be treated as any other absence. Please refer to the policy on attendance.


The School of Health Sciences, located in Marion, is a tobacco-free campus. This policy supports a healthy environment for all members of our college community. This means that all types of tobacco products are prohibited in all college buildings and on all college-owned properties, including parking lots and all outside areas. This policy is intended to encourage improved health by eliminating the use of tobacco products given the mission of this campus. It is not intended to send tobacco use from our campus to neighboring areas. All persons in the facilities are strictly prohibited from smoking including the use of smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Drug Screening

Students will be required to complete a drug screening prior to their level one fieldwork experience and just prior to their level two fieldwork. Per request of individual fieldwork sites, students may be required to undergo additional drug screening.

Unsafe or Impaired Behavior

The use of drugs and/or alcohol and/or chemical substances before or during class or during
clinical/fieldwork experiences will not be tolerated. In addition, as noted, many fieldwork sites have a “Zero Tolerance” policy regarding drugs, alcohol, and other substances. A student may be judged to be unsafe or impaired if s/he demonstrates any of the following behaviors: impaired ability to process information (e.g. inability to calculate math problems); impaired judgment or reasoning; weakness or abnormal movements; slurred speech; irrational behavior; or behavior inappropriate to the setting.