Once accepted into the Gardner-Webb Physician Assistant Program, the following conditions must be met and completed by the stated deadlines in order to matriculate into the program.
- Technical Standards form
- Health Information Release form
- Annual Health Assessment form
- Health Insurance documentation (policy statement from insurance provider)
- Immunization History, TB Screening, Background Check and Drug Screen
- HIPAA Certification and OSHA Certification
- Infection Control Certification
- Basic Cardiac Life Support
- Official transcripts for all outstanding coursework sent to Graduate Admissions (PA Admissions, Gardner-Webb University, P.O. Box 7296, Boiling Springs, NC 28017-9903) by September 15
- Compliance with all conditions of acceptance by the deadlines provided by the program
All students must meet the minimum technical standards necessary to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of an entry-level physician assistant. Candidates offered a seat in the program are required to sign a statement attesting they meet the technical standards. This form can be found in the student handbook.
The Gardner-Webb University (GWU) Physician Assistant Program has a pre-matriculation immunization policy that is based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) immunization recommendations for health care personnel and is periodically updated to comply with those changing recommendations. Prior to matriculation, all applicants to the GWU PA Program must submit certification of immunizations or proof of immunity by November 1 via www.castlebranch.com. Failure to maintain current immunizations will prevent a student from progressing in the program. The list of required immunizations includes:
- Hepatitis B: 3-dose vaccine series being administered on schedule and records of titer validating current immunity. Ideally the titer is performed one to two months after the third vaccine. If the quantitative titer is negative, another three-dose Hepatitis B series should be completed and a quantitative titer again drawn one to two months after completion of the re-vaccination series. If this titer is negative please contact the program for further CDC/ACIP recommended instructions.
- Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR): Record of titer validating current immunity.
- Polio: Documentation of the completed primary series. There must be a record of at least three vaccinations.
- Varicella: Record of titer validating current immunity.
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis: Record of having received one dose of Tdap within the last 10 years and Td boosters every 10 years thereafter.
- Influenza: Record of having received one dose of the influenza immunization preceding matriculation and provide proof of having received an influenza immunization annually no later than October 1 of each year while enrolled in the program.
- Tuberculosis skin test (TST) or Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRA-TB blood test): A two-step TST or alternatively an IGRA must be completed within the four months preceding the first day of classes. BCG vaccination does not prevent testing. For students who have received the BCG vaccine, an IGRA, either QuantiFERON TB Gold (QFT-G) or T-Spot, is preferred. If TST or IGRA is positive, or if you have a history of previous positive TB testing, an infectious disease clearance and a negative chest x-ray is required within the four months preceding the first day of classes. If you are allergic to TB testing, you must have a chest x-ray. If a student has recently received a live virus vaccine, TB testing should be delayed for four weeks.
It is recommended that students enrolled in the PA Program consider the following additional vaccines: Meningococcal and Hepatitis A.
Clinical sites may require additional vaccinations and documentation.
Students are required to maintain and demonstrate personal health insurance during enrollment in GWU’s Physician Assistant Program. Proof of insurance coverage must be provided prior to matriculation. Students are responsible for all personal health care costs incurred enrolled in the PA program. These costs may include but are not limited to: immunization, illness, PPD testing, health evaluation post exposure to a communicable disease, or other accidental injuries sustained during program mandated training activities.
Background Checks & Drug Screenings
Prior to matriculation, students offered a seat in the program must complete a criminal background check and drug screen via CastleBranch services. Thereafter, students may be required by clinical sites to undergo repeat drug screening and criminal background checks, including but not limited to, prior to beginning clinical rotations. Students are responsible for all expenses related to meeting drug screening, student health requirements and background documentation. Students who at any point in the program delay or decline to participate in a requested alcohol and/or drug screen will have that action considered equivalent to taking and failing a drug/alcohol screen. Applicants accepted into the GWU PA Program who answered "no" to questions relating to criminal background in their CASPA application and found to have a subsequent positive criminal background check are likely to be dismissed from the program on the basis of misrepresentation. In the event of a reported incide nt, a determination about the applicant’s/student’s continued progress in the academic program will be made by Gardner-Webb University in accordance with University procedures. Applicants who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be denied certification or licensure as a health professional. Information regarding eligibility may be obtained from appropriate credentialing boards. Clinical rotation sites may not permit participation in the clinical experience. This should be considered seriously by the candidate prior to application and matriculation. Applicants are advised that results of criminal background checks and other required background screening will be released to third parties involved in their clinical education. Criminal offenses incurring after the student matriculates may result in the student’s dismissal from the program; if this occurs, tuition and fees will not be refunded.
Immunizations, TB, Background, Background Check and Drug Screen Release
Each supervised clinical practice experiences site requires a copy of the student’s immunization history, tuberculosis screening results, background check, and drug screen. In order to facilitate provision of this information, the Physician Assistant Program requires admitted applicants to provide a release that authorizes the program to:
- Maintain a copy of this information in their program student record, and
- Release copies of this information to the clinical sites to which students are assigned for training
- Evidence of compliance with any other conditions noted in the applicant’s conditional letter of acceptance and within the deadline provided