Clinical Year Site Visits Policy

ARC-PA 5th ed Standards A2.16, A2.17, B4.01, B4.02, C2.01

Site visits are required by the ARC-PA and provide the program with the opportunity to observe the student and preceptor at the clinical site. Additional site visits may be arranged at the discretion of the program.  Student clinical site visits will be conducted at least once during the clinical year and are typically conducted by the ADCE or any PA faculty member. The site visitor will complete the Clinical Site Visit Form.

To be completed before sending a student to a new clinical site or soon after initial student rotation starts. The purpose is to ensure the safety and appropriateness of the clinical site for the respective objectives to be covered.   

To be completed when it is deemed necessary by the DCE and ADCE.  The purpose is to ensure the site remains safe and appropriate for the fulfillment of the respective objectives. 

To be completed at least once during the clinical phase of the program.  The purpose of these visits is to allow faculty to observe the student and preceptor at the clinical site and address their questions or feedback. 

Acceptable methods for new site visits, ongoing site visits, and student clinical site visits include:

  • In-person site visit
  • Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, MS Teams, or any other video conference type software or application
  • Telephone-with qualifiers and supporting documentation as approved by DCE

Any of the following may complete all types of site visits:

  • Director of Clinical Education
  • Associate Director of Clinical Education
  • Any PA faculty member

Clinical Year Policy on Safety & Security

ARC-PA 5th ed Standard A1.02g

The DCE or ADCE is responsible for documenting appropriate safety measures at clinical sites during the clinical year. The department routinely assesses sites and safety measures utilizing the following: Initial Site Approval, Ongoing Site Visits, Mid-SCPE Self-Assessments, and Student Evaluation of SCPE site & SCPE. In addition, communication with the point of contact for the sites (including, but not limited to, office manager, practice manager, preceptor, or onboarding contact) reinforces the documentation of appropriate safety measures for the students.

Clinical year PA students are expected to comply with the Safety & Security Policies found in Part V of this handbook and policy manual. All GWU PA students must abide by the weapons policy at each clinical site during SCPEs.

Students should refer to the University Emergency Response Guide for additional information and instructions.

Policy on Impairment

Gardner-Webb University embraces a campus-wide policy regarding alcohol and drug use that applies to all PA students within the GWU Department of PA studies, didactic and clinical.  The student must be aware that SCPE site-specific policies and procedures related to alcohol and drugs supersede the Gardner-Webb University Gayle Bolt Price School of Graduate Studies Student Handbook. Students should see preceptor and SCPE site contact for specific details. If the student is removed from the SCPE site due to impairment issues, the student MUST notify the clinical team using the PA Clinical Emergency Call Number (704-406-2523). (The student should leave a voicemail, and the On-Call Faculty will return the student’s call as soon as possible.) While many states have legalized the use of marijuana, GWU continues to consider marijuana an illegal substance in adherence with the current federal law.

The GWU Department of PA Studies reserves the right to require random drug screens throughout a PA student’s enrollment in the university.  Should a GWU PA student be removed from a SCPE or the classroom due to impairment with illicit drugs or alcohol or found to have illegal substances on a drug screen (routine or random), the student will be brought before the Academic Progression Committee (APC) for review of their academic standing, to include consideration for dismissal.