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Medical Student Online Handbook

Administrative Guidelines for Students

Contacts
Regardless of your rotation assignment, your administrative contacts while a medical student in Chattanooga are:  Courtney Orloski, Medical Student Services Specialist, and Pamela Scott, Director of Graduate and Medical Student Education.  Both Ms. Orloski and Ms. Scott can be reached within Erlanger via extension 7442 (423.778.7442 from your cell phone).  The Office of Graduate and Medical Student Education is located on the first floor of the Whitehall Building, just across from the main hospital, Erlanger, in Suite 104, just across from the elevators.  If someone needs to reach a medical student by phone during a rotation in the hospital, they should call the hospital operators at 423.778.7000, explain to the operator that they need to speak with a medical student, and then ask that the student be paged to the phone.

Erlanger Procedures
Students must complete a Biographical Information Form prior to the first day of their rotation and orientation day.  Each student will be issued a photo ID badge from the Erlanger Human Resources Office and must wear the Erlanger photo ID badge throughout the rotation.  A $5.00 replacement fee will be charged for lost ID badges.  Students will be issued Erlanger parking placards and a security access card to allow access to various secure areas in the hospital, including the Medical Library.  Each student will be issued a Login and Security Password for the Erlanger hospital computer system (for patient care information).  Each student can elect to be issued a mailbox and key for the Erlanger Post Office.  The mailing address for students is:

John Doe, Medical Student
Erlanger Health System
975 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN  37403

Students may use the Erlanger Employee Fitness Room (2nd Floor, Erlanger Medical Mall via Elevator A).  The room has various exercise equipment and is accessible by a special code given to students at Orientation.

UT medical students who have paid their student activities fees can use the local UTC facilities (nearby undergraduate campus) which include an indoor pool, eight lighted tennis courts, two indoor tennis courts, six modern racquetball courts, a library, a gymnasium, and bookstores.  For information concerning how UT medical students can utilize these facilities, please contact the UTC staff  (Carol Oglesby) at 423.425.4064 once you have begun your rotation.

The UT Medical Library at Erlanger is located on the 3rd Floor of the Whitehall Building (the same building as the Office of Graduate and Medical Student Education and Skills and Simulation Lab on the first floor and the Department of Internal Medicine on the second floor).  The Library phone is 423.778.4798.  It is staffed M - F, 8:00 am through 4:00 pm.  Students, Residents, Fellows, and Faculty have secure access via their badges or pin codes 24/7.

Medical Care During a Rotation in Chattanooga

UT Students needing medical care or treatment while rotating in Chattanooga should contact the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Student Health Services for an appointment, identifying themselves as a UTHSC medical student.  The phone # is 423.425.2266.  UTC and UTHSC have an agreement whereby UT medical students will not be charged for basic medical services provided by Student Health.

Visiting students and UT students may choose to seek medical care or treatment from our UT Family Practice Center at their own expense. For anyone electing to use the UTFP, the student will need to schedule an appointment, identifying themselves as a medical student and bringing a health insurance card to the appointment, since personal health insurance will be billed and any charge not covered by insurance will be the responsibility of the student.  The phone # is 423.778.UTFP (8837).   If you have problems getting an appointment or do not get a phone call back, please contact Robbin Williams, C-TAGME, Family Medicine Residency Coordinator, at 423.778.2957 or Robbin.Williams@erlanger.org so she can assist with scheduling. Students may also choose to seek medical care from other providers in the area, but would need to determine physicians in network for their individual health insurance providers.

Other Information

Medical student overnight call rooms are available in resident call areas depending on the specialty.  Your security pin code will permit you access to these areas.  Please just check with your supervising resident if your rotation requires you to take overnight, in-house call.  Showers andnd bathrooms are also available.

Prior to leaving the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga, you will be sent an evaluation form and clearance form that should be completed and returned to your department.  The department staff will then return all items and the clearance forms to the Office of Graduate & Medical Student Education. These items include the Erlanger issued Photo ID Badge, meal card, etc..  They must be returned in order to have grades posted or forwarded to their medical schools.

If students have any questions, they should call Ms. Orloski or Ms. Scott at 423.778.7442 (extension 7442 if dialing within Erlanger), or stop by the Office of Graduate & Medical Student Education, Suite 104 in the Whitehall Building, directly across the street from Erlanger.

Debt Management Information
Debt management information can be found on the Association of American Medical Colleges website.
Exposure to Blood or Body Fluids (Procedure for Medical Students and UTHSC PA Students)

The Medical Student or UT PA Student should:  

  1. Notify your Supervising Resident and/or Faculty Member.
     
  2. Ask the Head Nurse (Charge Nurse) or House Supervisor in the area where the exposure occurred to assist in completing an Erlanger Exposure Form for Non-Employees so it can be reported to Erlanger Infection Prevention and Erlanger WorkForce.
    1. To reach the Erlanger Administrator On-Call or the Nursing Supervisor, call 423.778.6168.  If there is no answer, please call the Erlanger Operator at 423.778.7000 so the Operator can page the supervisor.
    2. The student should also notify the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga Office of Graduate and Medical Student Education as soon as the student reports the exposure by emailing mse@erlanger.org.

  3. The Administrator On-Call, Nursing Supervisor, or Erlanger's WorkForce Corporate Heath Office is authorized to order baseline tests (e.g., HIV and HBSAB) on the student as well as the source patient at no charge to either the student or patient.
    1. The student may be directed to report to the Emergency Department for screening or treatment.  If the patient is positive, immediate treatment may be authorized.
    2. Lab reports will be sent to the Erlanger WorkForce when completed.
    3. Students do not have to report to Erlanger WorkForce until the source labs are aback unless the source is a known HIV or HepC+ patient.
    4. If you are directed to report to Erlanger WorkForce, please bring a copy of the Erlanger Exposure with you.

  4. Recommendations for any additional follow-up will be given to the Medical or PA Student by WorkForce once all lab reports are reviewed.
    1. The UT Medical or PA Student will be responsible for any necessary follow-up, which will be coordinated between UTHSC Student Health Services in Memphis, WorkForce, Erlanger Infection Prevention, and the UT College of Medicine administrative offices.

  5. If the exposure happens after regular Monday - Friday hours, 8:30 AM - 4 PM, or on weekends or holidays,  the  Student should notify the Office of Graduate and Medical Student Education via email (mse@erlanger.org) and a phone call the next business day (423.778.7442).  If the patient is known to be positive, immediate treatment may be authorized.  This decision would be made by the Nursing Supervisor.

  6. Erlanger WorkForce Corporate Health Office is located at:
    1100 East Third Street, Suite G-150 (located on the back lower side of the UT Family Practice Center building and across from historic Engel Stadium)
    Phone:  423.778.4800
    Hours of Operation:  Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm
Lab Coats and Dress Code

Erlanger has established a dress code policy for residents and medical students that basically outlines appearance as "neat, clean, and professional." Men should wear business-type slacks with shirt and tie. Women should wear business type dress or suit, or slacks/skirt with neat blouse or top. Conservative dress shoes with socks or hose must be worn. Clean, conservative tennis or running shoes are permitted due to long work and call hours.

Residents must wear UT-issued white lab coats. These have the UT logo monogrammed and denote the individual's name. Each coat also indicates that the individual is a UT Resident in a specific department. Residents must also wear their Erlanger Photo ID badges with the personalized lab coats. Lab coats will be distributed to new residents at New Resident Orientation. Replacement coats for returning residents (with the UT logo and monogrammed name) will be distributed by the end of summer via the departments.

Blue scrub suits are to be worn only in restricted areas of the hospital (ICU, Labor and Delivery, operating rooms, etc.) and are not to be worn outside these areas. Violations of this policy can lead to infection control problems as well as depleting the hospital's supplies of scrub suits for the operating rooms and ICU areas. Erlanger's dress code policy does not allow any employee to leave the hospital in scrub suits.

Medical students follow the same dress code as do residents with a small difference–they wear the short, white lab jackets. UT medical students are required to have the UT Medical Student patch denoting their status as well as continuing to wear the Erlanger Photo ID badge which further indicates their student status.

Both residents and medical students are responsible for laundering their own coats and jackets. Erlanger does not provide laundry service.

Medical students may get scrubs from ScrubX Machines in a specified location of the hospital using their Erlanger issued pin code. As scrubs are taken from the machines, they must be returned to the machines before more are issued. As part of the exit/clearance process, students must have returned all issued scrubs or pay $20 per scrub set.

Meals
Medical students are issued meal cards with limited funding up to $30 every two-week block for meals and drinks in the Erlanger Employee Cafeteria (Crossroads). The cafeteria is located midway between the Red Cross Information Desk and the Post Office on the 1st floor of Erlanger and is open between 6:30 AM and 1 AM daily. Students should remember to wear their Erlanger issued Photo ID badge and use the white swipe card issued to them at the beginning of the rotation. Snacks are also available in the main Resident Lounge area (East Wing 7) at Erlanger after 5:30 each day.
Medical Student Role in Patient Care Areas
  1. All orders written by Medical Students must be signed and cosigned by a resident or attending physician before the orders are implemented by Erlanger staff.
  2. All invasive procedures performed (except routine venipuncture) must be supervised by the responsible resident and/or attending physician.
  3. A resident or attending physician will be present for all physical examinations done by the Medical Student when such examination includes procedures of an invasive nature. (Invasive procedures exclude pelvic exams and IV therapy.) A nurse chaperone will assist and remain with the patient during all pelvic examinations.
  4. Policy and Procedure information will be provided to the Medical Student as needed.
No Smoking and Damage Policy
View the policy and turn into UTHSC COM Chattanooga during orientation.
Pagers
Pagers are no longer typically assigned to Medical or UT PA Students with the exception of a few Pediatric JI rotations. Please check with your department or Ms. Orloski regarding those.
Parking

Medical and PA Students are able to park in the main Erlanger Parking Garage (levels 3 and above) and have their parking tickets validated at the main information desk as they enter the hospital.  The charges are waived while rotating as a student in Chattanooga.

Phones and Long Distance

In-house calls at Erlanger can be made by dialing the last four digits of the Erlanger phone #.

Outside local calls can be made by dialing 19 from any Erlanger phone and then the local #.  For example, dial 19.634.1900 to reach the Hayden Place Apartment Office if assigned to housing there.

Long distance calls pertaining to medical student matters can be made from your department office or the Office of Medical Education (first floor, Whitehall Building, Suite 104 just off the elevator).

Photo ID Badge (Erlanger Issued)

Contact: Erlanger Employment Office - 423.778.7434

Photo ID badges must be worn by medical students at Erlanger at all times. The badges are issued just after their initial orientation in the GME Office. The Employment Office is located on Hampton Street (pink building denoted by a "Human Resources - Employment" sign just up the sidewalk from the intersection of 3rd and Hampton Streets, behind the main buildings on Whitehall Building side of 3rd Street). The ID badge identifies you as medical student as required by both UT and Erlanger policy.  Wearing your Photo ID badge is important in assuring patients, families and staff that you are, indeed, a medical student who is adequately prepared to take care of patients and is supervised by attending physicians.

Wearing your Photo ID badge is also a requirement to receive free meals in both the Erlanger Employee Cafeteria.

Post Office Boxes and Mail

Contact:  Tyler Foran, Mail Clerk (423.778.7249)

Medical students may be assigned mail boxes in the main Erlanger Post Office (1st floor Erlanger near the E Elevator). Medical students may obtain a key from the Post Office when they arrive on campus.

The address to which to send medical student mail is:

John Doe, Medical Student
Erlanger Medical Center
975 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN  37403

Public Relations Office and Information to the Public

DO NOT GIVE OUT PATIENT INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC!

The Director of Public Relations, RN's, Nursing Supervisors, the Director of Nursing Service, and administrative representatives are the only Erlanger personnel authorized to release any information to the public about a patient's condition or treatment.  Inquiries from news media should be referred to the Public Relations Office or the Vice President in charge.  Requests for photographs of patients should be referred to the Public Relations Director.  Written permission is always required from patients prior to any photographs being taken.  If the patient is a minor, written permission from the patient or guardian is required.

UTC - The ARC (Aquatic and Recreation Center)
 Information on The ARC can be found here.
University of Tennessee Guidelines for Visiting Medical Students

The University of Tennessee College of Medicine has elective opportunities available at its sites in Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Jackson for students from other medical schools. 

UTHSC Policy concerning Visiting Medical Student Rotations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In keeping with the spirit of the recommendations of the Association of American Medical College and the Coalition for Physician Accountability to promote fairness across the country, and to reinforce our commitment to an equitable process for all, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine (COM) and its campuses will adhere to the following policy for the Academic Year 2020-2021. The COM suspended all in-person Visiting Medical Student rotations for the months of June and July 2020.  Visiting medical students were able to apply for rotations at UTHSC starting Block 8 (July 27, 2020).

Priority for visiting rotations will be given to:

  • Learners who have a specialty interest and do not have access to a clinical experience with a residency program in that specialty in their school’s system. An attestation letter from the student’s medical school will be required. 
  • Learners for whom an away rotation is required for graduation or accreditation requirements.
  • Students meeting the above criteria :
    • May not begin visiting rotations at UTHSC COM earlier than July 27, 2020.
    • Must be aware that UTHSC COM reserves the right to cancel a visiting rotation at any time.
    • Information regarding the pandemic is rapidly changing, so visiting rotations may be canceled based on current conditions at UTHSC COM on a campus-by-campus basis. cancellation will be based on prevailing university guidelines, municipal regulations, state mandates, and guidelines of our clinical affiliates.
    • UTHSC COM reserves the right to refuse or quarantine any visiting student entering from another state.
  • Will be required to be tested by RT-PCR and have a negative COVID test within 96-72 hours prior to starting the rotation. Documentation of this negative test must be submitted to the rotation coordinator prior to the start of the rotation.

Process to apply for a visiting rotation at the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga:

  1. The visiting student will submit an application through VSLO. For school’s that do not participate in VSLO, the visiting student must contact Courtney Orloski, Medical Student Specialist to determine if the shool has a formal exchange program with UTHSC or has an approved affiliation agreement with UTHSC.  Ms. Orloski's email address is MSE@erlanger.org
  2. The UT College of Medicine Chattanooga and UTHSC COM Office of Medical Education will review visiting student applications submitted through VSLO and approve eligibility only for those meeting the above criteria.
  3. The application will be reviewed by the appropriate clinical department for final approval.

This policy will be applied in conjunction with the guidelines established in the UT College of Medicine Visiting Student Policy #104 below:

POLICY

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine (COM) will provide elective opportunities at its sites in Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville and Jackson for students from other medical schools. This policy outlines eligibility criteria, procedural requirements and availability limitations for visiting students.

RATIONALE AND PROCEDURE

  1. Eligibility for a visiting elective is based on academic qualifications.  
    1. A visiting student must be a candidate for the M.D. or D.O. degree in good standing in his/her final year of training at an accredited medical school or from institutions with which UTHSC has a formal exchange program.
    2. A visiting student must have completed instruction in the basic history and physical examination, and have a working knowledge of general ward procedures.
    3. All electives require that the student has completed five core clerkships. 
    4. A student must have met the prerequisites of the elective to which they are applying.
    5. A student must have passed USMLE Step 1 or COMLEX Part 1.

  2. To be accepted as a visiting student, an individual must also:
    1. Pass a criminal background check;
    2. Pass a drug screen;
    3. Carry malpractice/liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1 million per incident and $3 million aggregate, through his/her home institution or other acceptable sources;
    4. Have health insurance;
    5. Have been immunized against measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, influenza, varicella and hepatitis B;
    6. Have two negative TB skin tests in the prior 12 months, and undergone TB mask fitting;
    7. Have been certified in CPR within the past year;
    8. Have completed HIPAA compliance and security training. 

  3. Electives will be made available to visiting students only after all UTHSC students have been scheduled which may occur up until 30 days before the start of the rotation. In aggregate, the elective experience for a visiting student at all campuses is limited to a maximum of 12 weeks during a medical school career.

  4. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Dean of the respective COM campus at the recommendation of the Department Chair, or their designees, who will assume responsibility for verifying that the above requirements have been met.

  5. Academic credit for the elective will be awarded by the visiting student’s home institution. No academic credit will be awarded by UTHSC. 

Currently, students who are regularly enrolled in another medical school and paying tuition at that school are not charged tuition at The University of Tennessee for brief elective periods. This policy may change in the future, and the school reserves the right to charge tuition at any time.

Criminal Background Check:  If your school already requires a criminal background check via VSLO, the UT College of Medicine requires that you submit a copy to Kimberlee Norwood, MA, Medical Educator with the Office of Medical Education at the main medical school campus in Memphis.  You can email Ms. Norwood with any questions about the criminal background check at knorwood@uthsc.edu or call her at 901.448.5506.  Her mailing address is:

Kimberlee Norwood, MA, Medical Educator
UT Health Science Center College of Medicine
Office of Medical Education
910 Madison Ave., Suite 1031
Memphis, TN 38163

If your school does not require criminal background checks and your Dean's Office is not familiar with how to request one, visit this link to obtain instructions for a criminal background check for medical students. 

The visiting student will be responsible for the cost of the background check.  If your medical school is not listed in the drop down list as you follow the directions, select UT Health Sciences Center - Memphis/College of Medicine.

If you have additional questions about rotations in Chattanooga, please contact Courtney Orloski at 423.778.7442 or via email:  MSE@erlanger.org.

Last Published: Sep 2, 2020