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Rotations Paperwork and Documents – Important Issues

Some students complain about the turnaround time from when they send in their clinical paperwork/documents and do their drug screen to when they actually finally receive clearance and a shirt, nametag, etc.  Please understand that when you submit your paperwork, each item has to be reviewed individually to assure it meets the standards and if not, Anne Davila has to send a form back to you letting you know what you need to redo or what you lack.  She works Wednesday through Friday so anything received after about noon or so on Friday will wait for processing until the next Wednesday.  Sometimes there are delays in turnaround on your drug screen, especially if you test positive for some types of medications but did not tell them at the test site and present your prescription.  But once ALL your documents are cleared and checked in and the drug screen is back and clear, Anne sends an email to Sherri Carson in the main office and posts the clearance on our tracking sheet online.  Sherri Carson works on these one day each week, and it is a process. She has to ensure that you submitted a usable headshot photo, submitted your shirt size that you need, the tablet PC agreement is completed correctly and signed, and then she has to make your nametag in the computer, print, laminate, etc.  Then she must gather your needed items and process them for shipping.  We ship by priority mail so that can take up to 3 to 5 business days, depending on USPS and their issues at the time.  In the meantime, Tammy Williams typically emails you instructions that you must read, sign and return VERIFYING that you read them and understand.  You can then request sites and rotations dates.

There are reasons for the 30-day date notice for rotation requests (and minimum 2-week notice if the requests are dates you have worked out with your employer site if indicated).  For many sites, there are numerous documents that must be sent from PERCOM to them (from the clinical paperwork you submitted) to get you cleared for the first rotation with that site.  Some also have other documents at that point they will send back that we have to get you to complete, return, and for us to return to them. Some have committees that have to review certain documents before they will approve the request.  Even others have online or face-to-face orientation classes that they will require that we help schedule you for and for you to complete before they will even consider the dates.  Once you are approved for the first shifts at a particular site, it is easier to get subsequent ones approved in most cases for the same site but we still need at least 2 week notice on those because we have other students as well that all need things and have to work through everyone’s requests, follow up when the site doesn’t respond in a timely manner, and finally post it all in Platinum Planner before you go.

You can each help yourselves and have fewer delays by doing the following:

  1.  Start preparing all your clinical paperwork right after you receive course access after enrollment and have it ready to submit within 60 days of when you think you will want to start rotations.  Do not submit greater than 60 days out or you might have to repay and redo your drug screen.  Remember, HepB vaccinations are either 3 months or 6 months to complete, depending on which series your can get.  If you do not have this, start right after course access.
  2. Make sure your submissions are COMPLETE and have your name, clinic/doctor’s names for immunizations and physicals, etc.  Incomplete or unusable submissions will delay you.  Be sure you have read the Immunization policy in the Student Handbook.  Remember, many sites will require COVID vaccines and boosters. Some will allow a request for exemption but that is another form you will have to submit (sometimes specific to site) and you may or may not be approved.
  3. Make sure you are finished with didactic by your original deadline(s) and complete skills promptly.  Your original criminal background check is only good for 1 year, and if it takes you longer to start rotation shifts, you will have to redo it at your expense.
  4. Some sites require criminal backgrounds or drug screens closer to the time of rotations starting than PERCOM policies and if that is the case, you will have to pay for and redo them before you can start.
  5. PLAN AHEAD.  When you have submitted all your paperwork for rotations and Anne has let you know that she is marking you clear, give your rotation dates (30 days out +) so that Tammy and Anne can start working on this while your clinical packet (nametag, shirt, etc) is being processed and shipped to you.  Give as many dates as far out as you can and send in with a list of requested sites or area where you prefer to rotate. If you have to wait to get more dates, again, go give more dates as soon as possible to follow the ones you have already given.  The more notice and the more dates you can give, the easier it will be to place you and keep you from having to wait.
  6. Be flexible.  This is an online program and travel is just part of it.  The farther out you can agree to go from where you live, the easier it will be to place you.  If you are rigid and insist that you HAVE to go to a specific site or sites, the more likely you will experience delays if those sites are difficult for us to get you placed.  Sending in request forms with information for new sites is great but you need to do this early in your course, not when you are being cleared for rotations.  Even if they agree, the process to get the agreement signed, all census info we are required to obtain, and get preceptors trained takes time (can be weeks or even months if the site is slow on getting info or preceptor quizzes back to PERCOM).

Last be reasonable, patient, professional and diplomatic.  Do NOT send in requests with less notice than required and make demands.  We are sorry but we cannot accommodate you that way and making demands that we do things for you in less time than we do for the students who follow the rules and plan accordingly is not fair to the faculty, and it would not be fair to other students if we bend to your demands.

Do NOT call or text the Clinical Faculty outside of their posted office hours unless it is an emergency. An emergency for rotations is something that cannot wait (i.e. cancellation of a rotation that is within a couple of days due to illness/injury or other emergencies, problem during a rotation or when you get to a rotation that has to be resolved quickly, complaint by a preceptor during a rotation, injury to a patient or yourself, or your shift is not in Platinum when you arrive but you had confirmed with Clinical Faculty that the date was approved.)  Changing rotations dates, stressing because it is getting close to time for shifts that have not been approved and placed in Platinum, questions about paperwork, or other issues like that are NOT EMERGENCIES and can wait. Send your email and wait for your response.  Do not email both Anne and Tammy – email one or the other to avoid confusion.  Tammy works Monday through Wednesday, and Anne works Wednesday through Friday – normal business hours.  If you email or text outside of those hours and it is not an emergency, they will not answer. If you call outside of those hours, they will not answer. If it is an emergency, call and leave a voicemail so that they can hear the problem and if it is an emergency, your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Thank you for being our students. Please remember, we are here to help but also ask that you work WITH us to help you.