Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinical Student Handbook


Clinical attendance is paramount not only for continuity of patient care, but for consistency in the clinical education experience. It is therefore important that clinical tardiness and absence from clinic shifts is minimized.

In order to encourage compliance with clinical attendance the following policy applies to all ACM clinical interns.

Documentation of Time:

Interns document actual time in clinic and obtain signature of the attending supervisor. In the event of a late start, the intern must document their start time as the point in which they were ready to initiate patient care. Fraudulent allocation of hours on the clinical time card will lead to disciplinary action.

Arrival to Clinic / Shift Start Time:

Interns are expected to arrive at least 15 minutes before the beginning of a shift to set up their treatment rooms and prepare for their first patient. If a patient is scheduled at 8:30, it is expected the intern will arrive by 8:15 be ready to begin the assessment promptly at 8:30.

Pre-shift setup is not documented on the intern’s time card; time may only be allocated from the beginning of the shift to the completion of the shift. It is however, part of the outcome measures and student evaluation.

Departure from Clinic / End of Shift:

Interns are expected to be present in clinic for their entire shift. In the event that the intern does not have a patient scheduled, this time is used to practice their skills by treating each other. The clinical supervisor may also assign duties or projects to be completed during this time. Interns are expected to monitor their time to ensure they are able to complete all of their patient care duties and clinical responsibilities before the end of their shift.

Late Arrival / Early Departure:

Late arrival to, and early departure from a clinic shift is unacceptable and unprofessional. Late arrival / early departure is determined as 15 minutes after a shift starts, or 15 minutes before a shift ends. These actions leave patients at risk, and fellow interns in compromised situations. Two incidents per shift may be tolerated only if the intern makes contact with the supervisor or front desk staff. Early departures must be approved by the supervisor. More than two incidents per shift will result in disciplinary action.

Anticipated Tardiness:

In the event that an intern is unable to begin their clinic shift on time they must:

  1. Contact the front desk of the clinic
  2. Contact their clinical supervisor
  3. Accurately document start time on their time card

If an intern anticipates late arrival they are required to inform NWHSU onsite clinic staff as soon as possible. If unable to reach the front desk staff, interns are to phone or text message the clinic supervisor.

Clinical Absence Policy:

See Appendix A for Clinic Attendance Policy

When interns are absent from their shift, it compromises the continuity of care that all patients deserve. Multiple absences affect not only patient management and clinical flow, but also severely compromise the intern’s educational experience. Multiple absences also make it difficult to accurately assess the intern’s skill sets and clinical progress.

Interns will receive grace for ONE ABSENCE (planned or unexpected) in each scheduled clinical shift during the trimester of clinical internship. For example: if an intern has three clinical shifts during a trimester, they will receive ONE absence for each clinical shift. They may not apply the excused absence from one clinical rotation to another. Excessive (more than two) absences from any one intern shift may result in disciplinary action to be determined by the Chair of Clinical Education, and could affect a student’s placement in future internship sites.


Documenting and Reporting of Clinical Attendance / Absences:

Clinical attendance shall be documented each shift by the shift supervisor on the “Clinic Internship Attendance Report” form available in the workrooms or front desk of the clinics. This form is separate from the intern’s individual Intern Clinic Time Card. Off campus supervisors will maintain their own files.

If a student volunteers to take an additional shift (such as subbing for another intern) and is absent for that scheduled shift, it will count as an absence.

** All hours from any absence must be made up in the term the absence was applied, or within the term-break during make-up shifts, and before beginning of the following term.

**Please note: Planned absences above and beyond the allotted absence are considered UNEXCUSED absences.

Requesting a Planned Absence:

In the event of a known or planned clinical absence it is the intern’s responsibility to ensure the following steps are completed:

  1. Complete a Clinic Shift Change form a minimum of two weeks in advance of the absence, or as soon as possible prior to the planned absence.
  2. Find an eligible and available intern to substitute during the proposed absence.
  3. Obtain the signature of the clinic supervisor during the shift (or Clinic Coordinator) AND the substituting intern.
  4. Return the completed Clinic Shift Change form to the Clinic Coordinator.
  5. Field trips – even if approved and sponsored by NWHSU – are not automatically considered approved absences. Our commitment to patient care and our clinic partners may require students to attend a shift. An excused absence during these times depends on a supervisor’s discretion based on clinic venue, and patient care.

Unexpected Absences (illness, injury, personal concerns etc…)

In the event of an unplanned or unexpected absence the students MUST contact the following individuals as soon as possible so arrangements can be made for scheduled patients:

  1. Clinic Coordinator by email: (for ALL absences):
  2. Front Desk Staff of NWHSU Clinical Site: 
    1. NHC-B: (952) 885-5444
    2. UHS/DRC: (952) 885-5415
  3. HPC and Off-campus Clinics:
    1. Contact your Clinic supervisor:
      1. Contact information provided by individual supervisor
    2. If unable to contact your supervisor:

      Contact the Clinic Coordinator at (952) 888-4777 Ext: 367 or

      1. the Chair of Clinic Education @ Ext: 315

Do not leave a message unless you absolutely must, and cannot contact someone in person. Continue calling until you reach someone in person.

Medical Leave of Absence Policy:

In the event that a Medical Leave of Absence is required, please contact the Student Success Center to coordinate the Medical Leave.

Filling Clinical Shifts

Student interns may want or need additional clinic shifts during a term to ensure that they meet program or licensing requirements, or to receive extra training.

Filling Vacation Vacancies

Additional clinic hours to cover vacation gaps will be allowed on a first come, first served basis. Assignments for covering vacations or approved leave situations are made through communications with the ACM Clinic Coordinator.