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Fitness For Duty – Policy Addition Effective 4.29.2023

This policy is now officially added to PERCOM. It will be added to the Student Handbook on the next round of revisions but it is effective immediately:

Fitness for Duty

A fitness for duty evaluation may be required at any time by the PERCOM EMS Education Program Director or the PERCOM Program Medical Director(s) if there is a question about the student’s current ability to safely and competently perform the essential functions of a PERCOM EMS student (based on the Functional Job Description, Student Handbook, and Clinical Manual).

This may include assessment of infection risk, motor skills, cognitive ability and judgement or other issues which may adversely affect their ability to care for patients.

Any PERCOM EMS representative (or preceptor/staff of affiliated rotation site) that observes a student whose behavior is inappropriate, who is not performing his/her duties safely, appropriately, and effectively, or who appears to be impaired (the odor of alcohol or possible use of any illegal substance), must remove the student from his/her duty immediately and notify the PERCOM Program Director or PERCOM Clinical Faculty. The student will be subjected to a fitness for duty evaluation which may include testing for chemical (e.g., alcohol and drug) levels.

The site preceptor or other reporting party must document the reasons for the fitness for duty evaluation request by recording the student’s behavior and noting the names of any witnesses who observed that behavior.  Documentation clearly labeled “confidential” is to be submitted to the Paramedic Program Director as soon as possible.

At the time of the referral, the student should be informed that he/she is being relieved from duty pending an investigation and potentially the results of a fitness for duty evaluation.  The student is required to cooperate fully with the PERCOM EMS Education Program representative and medical personnel.

If it is determined that the student is fit for duty, the student may return to the course or his/her clinical or field internship site, provided he/she has not violated program policies that would result in dismissal. The PERCOM Program Director, in consultation with the PERCOM Medical Director(s), will determine discipline in situations where misconduct has occurred.

If it is determined that the student is not fit for duty, the Program Director, in consultation with the Medical Director(s), will determine whether or if the student will be allowed to return and the conditions under which a student may return to duty.  If a student can be returned to duty, he/she will be required to sign a Counseling Plan or other document, which sets forth the conditions under which the student may return.

All costs associated with fitness for duty testing/evaluations and/or recommendations/referrals for medical, psychological, or chemical dependency treatment are the sole responsibility of the individual student.