Service Learning COVID-19 Guidelines

6/15/22 – Service Learning Update 

Clinical Service Learning (diagnose and treat clinics, screen and refer clinics, health fairs, testing activities and vaccinations):  The following steps need to be in place to allow students to continue UWSOM approved extra-curricular clinical service learning activities:

  • Triage procedures that consider common COVID 19 symptoms.
    • If the clinical partner/site is prepared to see patients under investigation for COVID (PUI), then students seeing PUI must wear medical masks  (KF94, KN95, (non-fit tested)N95+surgical mask)*, eye protection, gowns and gloves.
    • If aerosolizing procedures are conducted students must wear fit tested N95 masks in addition to the above personal protective equipment (PPE) (instead of medical grade masks). *During patient care, masks supplied from home should be worn with a procedure mask because they have not been directly vetted by hospital supply chains.  UW supplied industrial models (e.g. 9205+, BYD, 8210) should be covered with a procedural mask whenever there is concern for spray/splashes.   See Mask Guidance from UWMC 
    • If the clinical partner/site is NOT prepared to see PUI then patients should be triaged to other care sites.
    • All PUIs should be encouraged to get COVID testing.
  • Clear protocols for sanitization, social distancing, and glove wearing (when appropriate) in keeping with clinical practice standards.
  • UWSOM students, faculty and staff are required to wear medical grade masks (KF94, KN95, (non-fit tested)N95+surgical mask) for indoor clinical service learning events. PPE availability needs to be adequate for each site and clinical project.
  • All volunteers should refrain from participation if they are symptomatic or have a high risk exposure.
  • Agreements with community partners (clinical and non-clinical) about the above expectations and any additional community or project specific considerations.
  • The UWSOM WWAMI Foundations site dean and Service Learning Champion may decide to place further restrictions on service learning participation based on their expert understanding of local issues.

Non-Clinical Service Learning (health education, mentoring, advocacy):  Non-clinical service learning activities will follow the protocols laid out by local/state government.  Such policies are more nuanced and consider local COVID 19 infection rates and other public health considerations.  All UW students, faculty and staff should wear a medical grade surgical mask at minimum for community facing service learning activities.

  • Adaptation of projects to meet local stipulations around number of people allowed to be gathered (considering indoor/outdoor venues), and social distancing.

Non-UW Generated Community Service (Ex: Volunteering with the RedCross or local shelter in a lay person’s capacity):  Based on LCME considerations of both school generated service learning and community generated service opportunities being equivalent, our Service Learning Champions, and SLAC student representatives have connected students with non-UW generated community service activities with regularity.  Such opportunities can continue to be advertised locally as long as they again follow local/state guidelines for contact precautions and infection control, and students are not being asked to participate because of their unique preparation as medical students.