Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinical Student Handbook

Miscellaneous Clinic Operations and Procedures

Documentation for Clinical Internship

Intern Clinic Time Card:

A student’s clinical internship hours must be accurately recorded every term in the Intern Clinic Time Card. Blank forms are kept in the clinic conference rooms or at the front desk.

At the end of the clinic shift, the supervisor must sign the intern’s time card. The time card records the number of clinical hours, the number of new patients and the total number of patients for each clinic shift. Clinic shifts not recorded or validated by a supervisor’s signature will not be counted toward the intern’s total tally for clinic hours.

Completed time cards must be turned into the ACM Clinic Coordinator at the end of each term, no later than the last day of the trimester.

Misrepresentation of time worked is grounds for disciplinary action, including dismissal from the program.

Patient Records

The patient’s chart must contain the following items signed by the patient prior to treatment:

  1. Patient Consent for the Purposes of Treatment, Payment and Health Care
  2. Acknowledgement of Privacy Policies and Acknowledgment of Receipt of Clinic Policies form
  3. Arbitration Agreement form
  4. Acupuncture Informed Consent form

Patient Recruitment

Interns are encouraged to recruit patients for the NWHSU on-site ACM Teaching Clinics. Recruiting skills are important, both to ensure a full patient schedule and as practice for marketing techniques to be used in future professional practice. At hospital or external venues students may also be approved by supervisors to recruit patients from the immediate community and depending on the venue’s protocols.

All newly recruited patients should call the Clinic to request an appointment. The intern should also leave the patient's name with the front desk staff as a cross-reference. Every effort will be made to schedule the recruited patient with their intern contact, if so requested.

Patient Scheduling Policies on Site

At the NWHSU onsite teaching Clinics, telephone calls are answered during clinic hours by the front desk staff member and by an answering machine at all other times. Patients are scheduled according to the protocols listed below. Clinic staff discusses the nature of clinic services with new patients and sends intake forms to complete if there is adequate time for the forms to be returned before a scheduled appointment.

Interns should recommend a treatment plan that includes patient self-care, and follow up treatments. The intern then informs the front desk staff member how often the patient should return for treatments.

Protocols for Scheduling

For NWHSU on-site teaching clinics, appointments are made only by front desk staff using the University’s computerized patient scheduling system. At off-campus sites, appointments are scheduled according to the needs and requirements of each organization.

Assignment of Patients

Clinic administrative staff do not make medical triage decisions. As supervisors review patient files, they may reassign patients based on the difficulty of presenting complaints, intern caseloads and intern skill levels.

When students begin their supervised clinical internship in Trimesters 5 and 6, they will receive a maximum of two patients per 4-hour clinic shift with appointments scheduled for 90 minutes.

In Trimesters 7, 8 and 9 interns are expected to increase their patient loads each clinical shift. Students are encouraged to treat 3 patients, with the option to treat four with supervisor approval.

It is understood that some patients take longer than others to triage, diagnose, and treat. Students are also learning skills of time management, and follow-up care and although professionals make every effort to meet a patient’s needs, sometimes it is necessary to ask patients to return as part of a longer term treatment plan. While it is important to understand how to treat returning patients within a one-hour appointment patients should also be encouraged to return for subsequent visits if the treatment plan calls for it.

Infants and Children in Clinic

NWHSU Students may not bring small children and/or infants into clinical settings, unless the child is being treated as a patient.

Weather and Emergency Closures

In the case of inclement weather or any other emergency, the closing of any NWSU on-site clinic is made by the NWHSU Administration. Individual faculty members or managers are not authorized to make independent decisions to cancel classes or close departments or clinics.

Our efforts to communicate closings may include:

  • Text Message Service via RAVE Alert System. This service allows the University to send emergency notification and alerts to Northwestern email addresses and registered cell phone numbers.
  • WCCO TV – Channel 4
  • Posting to the University website

Clinic Procedures

The following tasks are the responsibility of each intern during their clinic shift. These procedures are also counted for clinical competencies.

  • Re-stock linens in treatment room
  • Replenish supplies as needed
  • Empty laundry basket
  • Prepare treatment table with sheets and pillow cases
  • Establish clean field
  • Check floor and treatment area for dropped needles, using visual inspection and Magic Wand.

Following the protocols of classroom training and in accordance with NWHSU’s Exposure Control Program, students must properly dispose of needles into the red, wall-mounted sharps containers and dispose of contaminated waste into biohazard waste containers in each treatment room.

Biohazard and Safety Issues

When sharps containers or biohazard waste containers need to be replaced or emptied, notify the Chair of Clinic Faculty. For further information, refer to NWHSU’s Exposure Control Plan.

  • Change sheets and pillow cases after each patient. Place soiled laundry in the laundry basket provided in each treatment room.
  • Plastic sheeting (located in the clinic supply closet) must be used under patients with open sores.
  • Provide patient with alarm bell before leaving the treatment room.
  • Cups must be washed in a dilution of HBV Spectrum Disinfectant and dried after each use.

Use of Moxa

When moxa is used for a treatment in campus clinics, the air purifier must be checked out from the front desk and turned on. Front desk check out in UHS, or from locked cabinet (keys at front desk) in NHCB is where the moxa equipment is found. Use the Pocket Torch to light the moxa stick, try to limit smoke as much as possible by having the stick lit for as minimal time as possible. Put stick in silver canister with lid to extinguish. Kidney basins should also be used near the patient’s body to catch falling ash or burning material that can easily burn treatment tables. Moxa is a fire hazard. Never leave burning moxa unattended.

Moxa must be entirely snuffed out after use. The "moxa extinguisher/snuffer" (small silver cylinder) should be used to snuff out each moxa stick. Make sure extinguisher/snuffer is cool before returning to front desk or putting back in locked drawer.

End of Shift Tasks

The following tasks are the responsibility of each intern. Some tasks are specific to individual clinic sites. Please discuss with your clinical supervisor if you have any questions or concerns regarding expectations during your shift.

In the Treatment Room

  • Dispose of unused, opened and exposed needle packets in a sharps container and return unused unopened needles to closet
  • Clean treatment table and countertop with disinfectant
  • Remove clean field paper and wipe clean field surface with disinfectant
  • Clean the kidney basin
  • Report sharps containers or bio-hazard waste containers that are at fill capacity to the ACM Chair of Clinic Faculty.
  • Turn off all electrical equipment (infra-red lamps, heaters and CD players)
  • Remove liner containing soiled laundry when it is more than half full and transport laundry to collection site
  • Search the floor for dropped items; pick up any needle packaging, tubes or insert tabs that may have dropped onto the floor, using Magic Wand as a final step.
  • Complete OSHA Housekeeping Log

In the Conference Room and Dispensary Work Rooms (For All Interns)

  • Complete patient files, sign and submit to receptionist
  • Clean work areas
  • Replace clinic reference books

In the Dispensary (CM Students)

  • Submit all prescriptions at least 30 minutes prior to end of the shift
  • Complete patient files, route to supervisor for orders, review and signatures
  • Clean up any messes in your own areas
  • Assist dispensary assistant if needed
  • Put away forms and replace clinic reference books