Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinical Student Handbook

Clinic Education Requirements

The following are the basic clinical education standards required for graduation. These expectations are not only University expectations but also the standards set forth by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (ACACM).

Students will work with the office of ACM Clinical Education Chair plan their clinical needs. Students will work specifically with the Clinic Coordinator for scheduling and record keeping needs. Interns are expected to monitor their clinical hours and patient numbers each term and are responsible for ensuring their completion of all clinical requirements in time for their graduation date.

Required Clinical Hours:

  • Clinical Observation Hours (addressed at length in later chapter):
    • 150 Hours
  • Clinical / Patient Care Hours (addressed at length in later chapter):
    • Acupuncture only program: 540 Clinical Hours
    • Chinese Medicine (CM) program: 720 Hours including a required minimum of 60 / maximum of 120 hours in specific Herbal Internship Clinic shifts

Total clinical hours for Acupuncture-only students and CM students will differ. Please refer to the current Program Catalogue for definitive requirements

Beginning with Trimester 5 all students must enroll in clinic internship during every trimester.

Each intern shift contains 60 clinical hours, all of which must be completed in order to earn credit. There is no “banking” of hours from one term to the next, and all hours must be completed before interns begin the next level of clinical internship. If the scheduled shift falls on a school, State or Federal holiday, NWHSU will adjust hours worked on that shift so that 60 hours can be completed by end of term or within the term break and before beginning the next term.

For example, if the term includes one or more holidays on Monday, NWHSU or our off-site site partners may require the shift to be open. If we know in advance that the shift will not be open we may adjust hours for that shift worked each week from a normal four-hour shift for 15 weeks, to a 4.5 hour shift for 14 weeks.

NWHSU reserves the right to make adjustments to operational hours of clinic shifts for any reason at any time if events or environmental factors would put interns and supervisors at risk for health or safety.

Any changes in scheduled clinic hours is made through the Office of Clinical Education in collaboration with our off-site clinic partners, the Program Director and Academic Dean.

Attendance is expected on all scheduled clinic days. Any clinical hours missed are the responsibility of the clinical intern and must be made up prior to commencement of the next term.

T-5 students begin their clinical internship in the UHS-DeRusha Clinic, T-6 students continue their clinical internship in UHS-DRC but in the administration may open the NHC-B clinic toT-6 students in the future. T-7, T-8, T-9 interns are able to choose among a variety of external clinic options outlined in Appendix A. Eligibility requirements apply for most sites, some depending on Grade Point Averages, term of study, and previous clinic evaluations. Students are limited to three shifts at any one site during the entire course of their internships.

With approval of the Supervisor and Clinical Education Department, students may complete more hours in their clinic experience for the term, and these hours may be reflected on their record but will not be carried over or banked for future terms.

It is suggested that:

  • in Trimesters 5 through 7 full-time students make every effort to complete approximately 120 hours of clinic internship per trimester in order to keep current with the total number of clinical hours that correspond with classroom lectures.
  • in Trimester 8, Acupuncture-Only students complete 180 hours of clinic internship in order to be eligible to sit for national board exams, and NWHSU’s own Exit Exam.
  • in Trimesters 8 and 9, CM students complete 180 hours of clinic internship in both trimesters to be eligible to sit for national board exams, and NWHSU’s own Exit Exam.

Although these numbers may seem daunting, interns enrolled in fulltime study at NWHSU typically meet these expectations by their final academic term. Numerous opportunities are built into the curriculum to help support the clinical expectations listed above.

Students who are concerned about the ability to meet these clinical requirements are encouraged to meet with the ACM Clinical Coordinator to develop a plan to address any possible or potential deficiencies.

Required Patient Visits:

For acupuncture-only students, supervised clinical practice must include at least 250 intern- performed treatments on at least 50 different patients.

For CM students, supervised clinical practice must include at least 350 intern-performed treatments on at least 50 different patients. CM students are also required to complete at least one specific “Herbal Intern” shift, which is offered at the same time as other intern shifts in NWHSU on- site clinics of DeRusha and Bloomington. An CM student may choose to use one additional intern shifts as an “Herbal Intern”, understanding that the focus of the shift is application of herbal medicine and not needling or other body-oriented technique.

Both acupuncture-only and CM students must complete the required minimum clinical hours AND treatment numbers prior to graduation.

Off-Campus Clinical Sites – Requirement:

As part of clinical internship, students must complete at least one internship at an Off-Campus Clinical Site. These sites may vary term to term, but may include: Aliveness Project, Courage- Kenney Center, Cerenity Senior Care, Pathways, Pillsbury House, Salvation Army, St. Francis Hospital, Abbott NW Hospital, Regions Hospital, the Journey Center of UMMC Hospital, Masonic Children’s Hospital, UMMC Riverside In-Patient. Some sites have application criteria; this information is found in the Appendices.

Withdrawal from Clinic Internship:

This happens when an intern withdraws from the program, or drops clinical internship within the term. The clinical hours the student has accumulated that trimester will be forfeited and not applied to future clinical internships.

Documentation and Paperwork of Internship:

Interns are responsible for obtaining the signature of their Clinical Supervisors as the daily shift completes to record numbers of patients, conditions, and hours worked on their treatment logs. It is the student’s responsibility to keep track of clinical hours and appropriate patient numbers.