Nursing Student Policy Manual

Associate Degree Nursing 2020-2021

Download a printable version of the Nursing Student Policy Manual
(PDF file – open with the free Adobe Reader)

Table of Contents

Published by the Nursing Program for information purposes and does not constitute a contract. The Nursing Program reserves the right to make changes in these policies.
(adopted 6/09, reviewed and revised annually)

General Program Requirements/Information

  • The nursing program is accredited by ACEN, Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000
  • North Carolina law requires a nursing student to be physically and emotionally healthy in order to ensure safe care of clients. The determination that a student is healthy and can participate in clinical practice must be made by a licensed medical provider (physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner). A student is admitted conditionally until a completed physical appraisal form, including the statement verifying the student is able to perform clinical practice, and documentation of all required immunizations/tests are submitted to the Castlebranch portal.
  • Clinical agencies accredited by The Joint Commission require criminal background checks and negative urine drug screens for nursing students. This is a requirement of the agencies and not the nursing program. Any student denied clinical access at any WPCC clinical agency due to the results of the criminal background check, drug test, or for any other reason will be dismissed from the program. Also, the North Carolina Board of Nursing requires a separate criminal background check on all program graduates prior to taking the NCLEX-RN Licensure exam. Specific information regarding this process is provided to students in the last semester of the nursing program.
  • Maintenance of current CPR certification for health care providers by the American Heart Association is required throughout the program.
  • The nursing student must meet the federal safety standards mandated for health care workers regarding exposure to blood borne pathogens. These criteria are met by the educational session in the first nursing course and by signing the form agreeing to abide by the policies.
  • The entering Student must meet the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards regarding confidentiality of health information. These criteria are met by the educational session in the first nursing course, signing a confidentiality statement, and upholding the standard throughout the nursing program.
  • Clinical experiences are provided through the utilization of area health care institutions which may require travel outside of Burke County. Students are responsible for providing transportation to clinical sites and for purchasing school uniforms.
  • Graduates of this program are eligible to apply and take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) which is required to practice as a Registered Nurse.
  • The ADN Program utilizes Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) supplemental materials for learning resources, assessment, and remediation throughout the curriculum. A fee for these materials will be included during registration each semester.
  • Students are required to purchase professional liability insurance each semester. The fees for these purchases will be included in registration fees.


  • Grading scale for nursing courses
    A = 93-100
    B = 85-92
    C = 78-84
    D = 70-77
    F  = < 69
  • A grade of “D” will not be rounded to a “C”; passing grades (C & B) will be rounded.
  • An explanation of the evaluation methods used in each nursing course are included in the course documents. Grades for tests, exams, and assignments are posted on Moodle in the grade book for student access.
  • A student must receive a satisfactory final clinical/lab evaluation and a classroom grade of “C” or better in each nursing course in order to progress to the next nursing course in sequence.
  • A satisfactory clinical evaluation requires the student to consistently meet all the outcomes on the clinical evaluation tool by the final evaluation for each nursing course. A student may be dismissed from the nursing program for “unsafe nursing practice” at any time during a nursing course.
  • If a student receives any unsatisfactory outcome(s) on the clinical evaluation a learning contract will be established for plans to meet the clinical outcomes satisfactorily.

Revised 5/14

Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI)

The ATI product you have purchased is a supplemental resource with learning modules that include evidence-based practice, content mastery using pre/post-tests, and practice and proctored testing utilizing computerized NCLEX-RN style test questions. It includes, at no additional cost focused reviews with remediation templates that are based on the individual content areas missed on practice and proctored exams.

A partnership will be developed between the faculty and students to facilitate learning, promote growth, and direct remediation. At the beginning of each semester, the course team leader may provide a proposed plan of study for the use of resources relevant to that course.

ATI Guidelines

  1. Take Practice Test A then complete a remediation on this Practice Test and take the appropriate “QUIZ”.
  2. Take Practice Test B then complete a remediation on this Practice Test and take the appropriate “QUIZ”. The Quiz results will be the ticket that allows you to take the Scheduled Proctored Exam.
  3. Take Scheduled Proctored Exam #1 in classroom with class and instructor.
  4. If you do not achieve the benchmark of Level 2 or higher you will be required to take Proctored Exam #2. You must have completed remediation on the Proctored Exam #1 prior to making your appointment. (Scheduled on your time by making an appointment with faculty or director).

Students are expected to achieve proficiency levels of 2 or higher on proctored ATI exams signifying mastery of the content. The rationale behind this requirement is to help students achieve the course and program outcomes. No points are awarded for ATI exams. ATI is a formative learning tool that presents material that is taught throughout the nation. This exposure to different material is intentional and will better prepare the graduate for the national licensure exam (NCLEX-RN).

Revised 1/20

Progression in the Nursing Program

  • All nursing courses require that the student have a final grade of “C” or better in the nursing class and a satisfactory clinical evaluation. If a student does not complete the clinical portion of a nursing course, then a grade of “F” will be recorded for the course.
  • A grade of “C” in each nursing course is required for progression to the next nursing course in the sequence according to the nursing program curriculum plan.
  • Non-nursing courses required for graduation with an ADN can be taken prior to, but not later than scheduled in the curriculum plan (see Appendix A).
  • A grade of “C” or better must be obtained for all required courses in the nursing curriculum including nursing, psychology, science, humanities, and English courses. All co-requisites and prerequisites for nursing courses must have a final grade of “C” or better.
  • In the fall semester of the second year, Nursing 114 is a co-requisite for Nursing 212 in A-term, and Nursing 211 is a co-requisite for Nursing 212 in B-term. This would require a student who does not progress to Nursing 211, to be withdrawn from Nursing 212.
  • The PPD test must be repeated yearly and documented (uploaded onto Castlebranch). Students who don’t submit the evidence of repeated PPD will not be allowed in clinical agencies and cannot progress in the program.
  • Current AHA CPR for Healthcare Providers certification is required to continue in the program (upload recertification onto Castlebranch).
  • A student who is denied access to any clinical agency which has an affiliation agreement with the WPCC ADN program will be unable to complete the clinical portion of the nursing courses and will be dismissed from the program.
  • Any student identified who i) presents physical or emotional problems which conflict with safety essential to nursing practice and do not respond to treatment or counseling within a time frame that enables meeting program outcomes, or ii) demonstrates behavior which conflicts with safety essential to nursing practice, will be dismissed from the program and unable to progress (see policy on Unsafe Nursing Practice).

Revised 5/17

Separation from the Nursing Program


  • Students may withdraw by contacting the course team leader either in person or via email. The instructor will process the withdrawal information process through WPCC’s electronic forms process, sending the information to student services.
  • A grade of “W” or “IW” will be recorded if withdrawal is on or before the fifty-percent point of the course, regardless of the procedure used for the withdrawal. After the fifty-percent point, a “W” or “IW” grade will be recorded if students were satisfactorily achieving the course outcomes at the time of withdrawal; otherwise a grade of “F” may be recorded.

Nursing Program-Initiated

  • Students who violate the attendance policy of a course may be withdrawn.
  • Students may be dismissed for unsafe nursing practice in the clinical setting, or violation of the ‘code of conduct’.
  • The nursing program director consults with the Dean of Student Services about student behavior that may warrant dismissal.
  • The Dean of Student Services informs the nursing student of the decision and the grounds for dismissal.
  • The student is informed of their right to due process and how to initiate an appeal. (The grade appeal process is located in the college catalog).

Revised 5/15

Readmission to the Nursing Program

  • A student may request a second admission to the nursing program.
  • Students dismissed for violation of policies, or for reasons other than academic, may not be considered for readmission.
  • Requests for readmission should be submitted in writing to the nursing program director.
  • Each readmission student must meet the nursing program admission requirements in effect at the time of re-entry. A student approved for readmission is required to follow nursing program policies, and must meet graduation requirements as specified in the college catalog at the time of re-entry.
  • A student requesting readmission who has been out of the nursing program for 2 years or who is unsuccessful in the first semester of nursing is required to return to the applicant pool and apply through the Office of Enrollment Management in Student Services.

Requirements for Readmission

  • GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Achievement on ATI TEAS must be the proficient category or higher with a score of 63 or higher and taken within the past 3 years.
  • Validation of knowledge for nursing courses previous to the requested admission point by achievement of proficiency level 2 or 3 on applicable ATI assessments and/or satisfactory performance on National League for Nursing (NLN) achievement tests.
  • Students are responsible for the above testing fees.
  • Clinical competence for nursing courses previous to the requested admission point may be reviewed by nursing faculty.

Revised 8/20

Admission of Transfer Students

The Associate Degree Nursing Program annually determines the number of transfer students, if any, that will be considered for admission.  A transfer student is defined as:

A student who has successfully completed a minimum of one semester of nursing course work in the past two years in a State Board of Nursing approved nursing education program that prepares the graduate for licensure as a registered nurse.


  • Meet the ADN program admission requirements in place at the time of application. These are available on the college website.
  • Documentation from the Nursing Director at the school where the student is transferring from stating the student is leaving the program in good standing is required.
  • Validation of competence in knowledge of nursing courses prior to the point of entry. Assessment of competence is conducted using computerized testing and observation of clinical performance.
  • If accepted for transfer this must be the student’s second admission in any ADN program.

Transfer Process

  • Submit written request for transfer admission to the ADN Director.
  • Apply to the college and meet all the current admission requirements in place at the time of entry into the program.
  • Submit official copies of transcripts to Student Records for evaluation of transfer credit.
  • Submit nursing course syllabi from the transfer applicant’s nursing program for evaluation by the WPCC ADN Director.
  • Submit previous nursing program director letter of good standing to WPCC ADN Director.
  • Validation of knowledge for nursing courses previous to the requested admission point by achievement of proficiency level 2 or 3 on applicable ATI assessments and/or satisfactory performance on National League for Nursing (NLN) achievement tests.
  • Students are responsible for the above testing fees.
  • Clinical competence for nursing courses previous to the requested admission point may be assessed by nursing faculty.

Revised 8/20

Written Assignments / Electronic Equipment / Simulation / Laboratory

Written Assignments

  • All required written work must be prepared using guidelines set forth in the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA). Students are expected to show competency in writing at the college level and application of APA format to written assignments.
  • Internet resources are available to assist students with APA formatting of written assignments ( and the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL).
  • Students in need of individual assistance with writing skills are encouraged to utilize the WPCC Academic Success Center.

Electronic Equipment

  • All devices with audio capabilities must be silenced in the classroom and lab setting.
  • Mobile devices are not allowed in the clinical/lab settings including lunch and post-conference (leave your phone in the car). You will be given the phone number for the clinical unit should any personal emergency occur. Any student violating this policy will be dismissed from clinical for that day.
  • Audio/video taping or taking pictures in class or lab requires permission of the instructor(s) and should not be posted on social media sites.

Any student violating this policy will be asked to leave the instructional area.

Simulation / Laboratory

  • Students must attend lab in clinical uniform (see the Dress Code policy).
  • Students are expected to behave in a professional manner in the lab setting and will be dismissed for behavior that is distracting to the learning process of others.
  • Preparatory work for lab as assigned by instructors must be completed, or student will be dismissed from the lab activities for that session to complete the assignment.

Revised 1/18


  • Students should communicate with faculty through WPCC e-mail accounts or college telephones and messaging. In emergency situations students should call the Nursing Director (828-448-3533). Faculty will also communicate with students via Moodle e-mail.
  • Nursing faculty will post course announcements on Moodle between Monday morning at 0600 and Friday at 1700 to allow students to check for announcements at the college within an established time frame.
  • In the event of inclement weather students should check the WPCC website for information about cancellations and follow the college plan posted. The WPCC Messaging Service is a convenient way for you to voluntarily receive text or email messages about Certain Campus Emergencies and Inclement Weather Closing Announcements. Students can sign up here for this messaging service. If delays are anticipated students should not leave home for the clinical facility until 0600. Individuals can make their own decisions about traveling if they feel it is unsafe. Faculty will post announcements on Moodle about schedule changes and make-up time for class and clinical time missed (in the timeframe above).
  • Students using social networking sites need to be aware that these sites are public for anyone to see and that confidential information concerning clients, faculty, or college business should not be posted. Students are legally responsible for anything that is posted in social media forums. Students are expected to maintain the code of conduct and expected behaviors.

Revised 1/17



  • The faculty may change seating arrangements.
  • Multiple versions of a test or exam may be administered.
  • All items (book bags, beverages, hats, jackets, ALL watches, and mobile devices) are to be placed at the front of the classroom prior to beginning the test with electronic devices silenced.
  • Sweatshirts/Sweaters with hoods/pockets are not allowed. If you think the classroom is cold wear a long sleeve shirt or a regular sweatshirt. **If you come to class with a hoodie that has pockets and hood and you refuse to remove it you will be unable to take the test. **
  • The instructor may ask you to push your sleeves up to your elbow if you have long sleeves.
  • A clear (no label) disposable water bottle may be allowed.
  • No verbal or nonverbal communication is allowed among students.
  • Written information is not permitted in the vicinity of the student.
  • All students are to remain seated while testing.
  • Students should raise their hand if there is a need to communicate with faculty.
  • No questions are allowed during testing unless students notice a typing error.
  • All students will start the test at the same time.
  • Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late will not be allowed to take the exam with classmates. They will take an alternate test in the Academic Success Center when the instructor schedules it. The first time a scheduled test is missed may result in a loss of 2 points, the second 4 pts, and the third 6 points.
  • All tests must be handed in within the designated time limit.
  • No new marks are allowed on the answer sheets once the student leaves their seat to hand in the test.
  • All papers given to students by faculty during testing must be turned in with test paper.
  • In the event of an absence from a test, nursing faculty teaching in the course must be notified by e-mail or phone message on the day of the test. The first absence may result in loss of 2 points, the second absence 4 points, and the third 6 points.

Violations of this testing procedure will result in a grade of zero being recorded and averaged into the final grade.

Revised 8/20

Test Make-Up

  • The make-up test may be a different test and may include other types of questions.
  • Arrangements to make up the test/exam must be made by contacting the course team leader.  All make-up tests are given in the Academic Success Center.
  • A classroom test/exam must be made up the first day the student returns to the college campus, unless other arrangements have been made with the course instructor.
  • If the test is not taken on this day a grade of zero will be recorded and averaged into the final grade.

Test Viewing

  • Test viewing will be scheduled by faculty for the purpose of learning.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to review answer sheets during the scheduled time for errors in grading. There will be no further opportunity to make changes.
  • No notes may be taken during the test viewing.
  • No talking or non-verbal communication with faculty is allowed during test viewing until the test booklet and answer sheet are turned back in to the instructor.
  • Students requesting clarification for understanding of test questions are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with an instructor of the course.
  • Once the next test has been given, viewing prior tests is no longer an option.
  • When the tests are viewed, the student will be given his/her test and answer sheet.  Unless the test booklet and answer sheet are returned, a grade of zero will be recorded and averaged into the final grade.
  • Final exams will not be viewed by students.

Violations of this policy will result in the student being dismissed from the test review and no further opportunities to view the test will be allowed.                                                                                                                                                                        

Revised 5/18


  • Students are expected to attend and be on time for all classes, labs, and clinical.  (College Catalog)
  • Although an occasional absence may be unavoidable, it in no way excuses a student from meeting all requirements of the course and being responsible for all learning outcomes. (College Catalog)
  • All Nursing courses may require make-up for “Clinical” hours (this includes simulation in NUR 112, 113, 114, 211, and 212 as there are no ‘lab’ hours in these courses).
  • The student is responsible for providing personal transportation to clinical agencies.  If a student is unable to attend, he or she should leave a message for the course team leader via WPCC email or phone messaging system. If a student is unable to arrive to the clinical unit by 0730 they will not be allowed to attend their clinical experience that day and will be counted absent.
  • A record of student attendance will be kept in the academic file (on the clinical evaluation tools) and used by faculty when providing job references.
  • A student may be withdrawn from a nursing course and program when the total hours of absences exceed the percentage of hours stated in the specific nursing course syllabi.

Revised 5/18

Nursing Student Dress Code

  • The student uniform is to be worn only when engaged in clinical/lab nursing activities.
  • The uniform consists of black pants and ceil blue tunic top (29 inches or more in length to cover cleavage and buttocks). It must be loose fitting enough to allow for movement in client care.
  • Shoes must be solid black with closed toes and heels (no straps). The shoe fabric can’t be canvas or cloth (no TOMs, VANs, or Converse-type shoes). Regular tennis shoe material like nylon, leather, or man-made material is acceptable. Ankles must be covered with hose or socks.
  • Undergarments should not be visible at any time.
  • WPCC Picture ID on left side of uniform must be worn during lab/clinical experiences. (Not bringing ID will result in you being dismissed from the clinical setting) the clinical hours missed will count as a clinical absence.
  • Each student is required to wear an analog watch with a second hand, NO smart watches are allowed in the clinical setting.
  • Bandage scissors (except when otherwise indicated) are required for each student.
  • Fingernails must be finger-tip length, well-manicured, and free of polish. False fingernails, overlays, wraps, tips, or nail enhancers are not permitted.
  • Jewelry is limited to an analog wrist watch with a second hand, plain metal wedding band, and 1 pair of earrings (studs) the CHS-BR policy prohibits males from wearing stud earrings. (we must follow facility policy) Bracelets, chains, and other body piercing jewelry are not allowed.
  • Tattoos must not be visible at any time. The student is accountable for assuring that tattoos are covered when wearing their WPCC uniform in the clinical facility. Students may use either solid black tattoo cover sleeves or a black long sleeve t-shirt or compression garment.
  • Long hair must be appropriately secured and beards trimmed close and short.
  • Personal appearance must be clean, neat, and well groomed. Cosmetics and hair color are to be used conservatively.
  • Perfume, cologne, or other fragranced body products are not permitted.
  • The student with tobacco odor will not be permitted in the clinical setting.

Any violation of this dress code may result in the student being dismissed from the site.

 Revised 8/20

Student Code of Conduct & Expected Behaviors

The nursing student is expected to

  • Display good moral character and demonstrate professional conduct.
  • Comply with the Student Code of Conduct at Western Piedmont Community College.
  • Demonstrate strict maintenance of client confidentiality and privileged information.
  • Review only the medical records that are necessary for the care of clients to whom they are assigned by the nursing faculty.
  • Dispose of all printed materials that could be considered part of the medical record prior to leaving the facility.

Conduct for which a nursing student may be dismissed from the nursing program

  • Unsafe nursing practice
  • Dishonesty, including cheating, forgery, stealing, plagiarism, providing false information.
  • Possession, use, or distribution of any unauthorized drug, alcoholic beverage, or other controlled substance while on the college campus or in any clinical facility.
  • Failure to comply with any health agency’s substance use policy during clinical as a WPCC student.
  • Failure to follow social media policies of WPCC clinical agencies.
  • Confidential information related to individuals or agencies posted in any online forum or webpage.
  • The disclosure of client information obtained from clinical assignments in the nursing program (violation of HIPAA).

Revised 4/11

Unsafe Nursing Practice

The consequence of unsafe nursing practice for the following items if they occur on more than one occasion is dismissal from the nursing program.

  1. Failure to demonstrate transfer of theory into clinical practice.
  2. Failure to maintain communication with faculty and staff about client care.
  3. Performing interventions without adequate preparation or needed supervision.
  4. Failure to recognize the influence of own attitude, values, beliefs and behavior on the care of clients.
  5. Failure to follow safety precautions for client including but not limited to failure to follow principles of safe medication administration. Each case will be evaluated by dean, director, and nursing faculty.
  6. Failure to demonstrate an understanding of self-limitations in regards to client safety.

The consequence of unsafe nursing practice for each of the following is immediate dismissal from the clinical setting and the nursing program.

  1. Failure to take nursing action when such action is essential to the health and safety of the client.
  2. Performing nursing actions prior to proper client assessment and/or which are detrimental to the health and safety of the client.
  3. Attending clinical laboratory while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  4. Deliberately giving false or inaccurate information regarding nursing care.
  5. Failure to assume responsibility for completing nursing care.
  6. Performing a breach of confidentiality/HIPAA violation.
  7. Using profane language or behaving in a disrespectful manner in conversations with clients, visitors, staff, fellow students, or instructor.
  8. Neglecting or abusing/purposely injuring a client, visitor, fellow student, instructor, or other staff.

Revised 5/17

Appendix A

Nursing Program Curriculum Plan

Fall: First Year

NUR 111Intro to Health Concepts4668
BIO 168Anatomy & Physiology I3304
PSY 150General Psychology3003
ENG 111Expository Writing3003
Total: 18

Spring: First Year

NUR 112Health Illness Concepts3065
NUR 113Family Health Concepts3065
BIO 169Anatomy & Physiology II3304
ENG 112Writing/Research in Disc. OR3003
ENG 114Prof Research & Reporting3003
Total: 17

Summer Semester

PSY 241Developmental Psychology3003
Total: 3

Fall: Second Year

NUR 114Holistic Health Concepts3065
NUR 211Health Care Concepts3065
NUR 212Health System Concepts3065
Total: 15

Spring: Second Year

NUR 213Complex Health Concepts431510
ElectiveHumanities/Fine Arts3003
Total: 13

Humanities/Fine Arts – (ART 111, MUS 110, or PHI 240)

Appendix B

Western Piedmont Community College Associate Degree Nursing
Mission, Philosophy & Conceptual Framework


The Associate Degree Nursing program supports the missions of the North Carolina Community College System and Western Piedmont Community College. The faculty is committed to providing accessible high-quality nursing education to meet the diverse and changing healthcare needs of the service area. The goal is to promote the development of qualified students prepared for the professional role of a registered nurse entering into practice. Graduates of this program meet the education requirements to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Philosophy of Associate Degree Nursing Education

Nursing education at the Associate Degree level in the North Carolina Community College System facilitates the acquisition of knowledge skills and professional behaviors necessary to function in the role of an entry-level nurse. The Associate Degree Nursing program at Western Piedmont Community College provides an education that is flexible, progressive, and sensitive to the changing health needs of the individual, significant others, and community. Nursing education integrates teaching and learning in the classroom, simulation laboratory, and clinical settings. The faculty facilitates learning opportunities through an environment that fosters development of nursing judgment while promoting intellectual inquiry. Students are responsible for their own learning through interaction with peers and faculty facilitators, thus preparing graduates to become lifelong learners from which personal and professional development occurs.

The concept-based curriculum reflects current practice standards outlined by the National League for Nursing, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), and the North Carolina Board of Nursing. The curriculum also includes competencies of the Institute of Medicine components adapted for nursing by the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses initiative. The faculty accepts the responsibility for designing and implementing the nursing curriculum and for keeping it current through regular systematic evaluation and revisions.

Conceptual Framework

The domains of the individual, the healthcare system, and nursing provide the conceptual framework guiding the associate degree nursing curriculum. This model provides a design for the acquisition of knowledge related to concepts from simple to complex and provides the foundation for safe delivery of nursing care, including the need to identify and prioritize client needs and approaches to care. Outcomes and competencies of the graduate are based on the NLN Outcomes and Competencies for ADN graduates (2010) and include using informatics, employing evidence-based practice, providing client centered care, collaboration, and participating in quality improvement processes. The core values developed by the NLN (2010) are threaded throughout the program and include: caring, diversity, ethics, excellence, holism, integrity, and client centeredness.

End of Program Student Learning Outcomes (EPSLOs)

  1. Make judgments in practice substantiated with evidence that integrates nursing science in the provision of safe, quality care that promotes the health of individuals and groups.
  2. Communicate effectively with individuals (including diverse populations), significant support person(s), and members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team.
  3. Advocate for individuals, families, and communities in ways that promote self-determination, integrity, and optimal health.
  4. Demonstrate a spirit of inquiry to improve the quality of nursing care.
  5. Demonstrate Client-centered care by incorporating knowledge of the concepts of the holistic individual in the promotion of health, wellness, and illness.

Revised 3/20

Program Outcomes

  1. Maintains a graduation rate (# of students who complete the program within 150% of the stated program length) of 50% or greater.
  2. Maintains a 3 year mean of NCLEX-RN pass rates at or above the national mean for the same 3 year period.
  3. Produces graduates that become employed in nursing within 6 months at a rate of 90%.

Revised 8/18

Appendix C

Western Piedmont Community College
Division of Health Services

Standard Precautions (Universal Precautions)

Purpose:  The use of standard precautions will protect employees and students who have occupational exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials.

Hand washing:

  1. Hands must be thoroughly washed between all direct patient contacts
  2. Hands must be washed after handling soiled or contaminated equipment
  3. Hands or other skin surfaces must be washed immediately or as soon as possible after contamination with blood or other potentially infectious materials
  4. Hands must be washed immediately after gloves or other personal protective equipment (PPE) are removed

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • PPE must be routinely used when there is a potential for exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials
    • Gloves
      • Gloves must be worn when there is potential of direct skin contact with blood or other infectious materials
      • Disposable single use gloves must be changed as soon as practical when visibly soiled, torn, punctured, or when their ability to function as a barrier is compromised
      • Disposable single use gloves cannot be washed or disinfected for reuse
      • Gloves must be changed after contact with each patient
    • Lab coats, Gowns, Aprons
      • Protective body clothing should be worn in occupational exposure situations
      • Type and characteristics will depend upon the task and degree of exposure anticipated
      • Fluid resistant lab coats are required when there is a possibility of exposure to adequate volumes of blood or body fluids which could pass through to street clothes
    • Masks, Eye Protection, Face Shields
      • Facial protection must be worn whenever splashes, spray, droplets, or spatters of blood or other potentially infectious materials can be reasonably anticipated to contaminate the eye, nose, or mouth
      • Prescription eyeglasses must be equipped with solid side shields if used for eye protection
      • Protective eyewear must be worn by persons wearing contact lenses when there is potential for eye contamination
  • Additional PPE:
    Mouth pieces, resuscitation bags or other ventilation devices should be available to minimize the need for emergency mouth-to-mouth resuscitation


  • Sharps include needles, lancets, scalpel blades, and other sharp instruments
  • Sharps disposal
  1. Immediately after use or as soon as possible, dispose of sharps into a puncture resistant, labeled container which is leak-proof. 
  2. All needles should have a safety cap which is engaged before disposal and the entire unit should be disposed of; do not disassemble
  3. Sharps disposal units will be easily accessible and located in the immediate area of use
  4. Sharps containers must be replaced routinely and not allowed to be more than three fourths filled
  5. Filled sharps containers must be closed immediately upon filling and disposed of in a biohazard container.
  • Needles and sharps used should meet the standards outlined in the Federal Needle stick Safety and Prevention Act.

Exposure Precautions:

  • Eating, drinking smoking, chewing gum, applying cosmetics or lip balm and handling contact lenses are prohibited in work areas where there is potential for exposure to biohazardous materials
  • Food and drink shall not be stored in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets or countertops where biohazardous materials are stored
  • Mouth pipetting of biohazardous materials is prohibited


  • Work Surfaces
  1. Body fluid spills should be cleaned using a fresh 1:10 dilution of sodium hypochlorite or an EPA- registered germicidal detergent
  2. Gloves must always be worn for cleaning spills of biohazardous materials


If a student has an accident in a clinical affiliate or on the WPCC Campus which exposes the student to blood or body fluids, the student will:

  • Go immediately to the nearest Hospital Emergency Department and follow the Post Exposure Protocol of that facility.  Request that the Source accompany you to be tested, if the Source is not already a patient in that facility, or request permission to have their blood tested.
  • Notify their immediate supervisor/WPCC instructor.  The instructor will notify the Dean of Health Sciences.
  • Complete the Post Exposure Record as soon as possible.

Any costs incurred in fulfilling the Post Exposure Protocol will be the responsibility of the student.  To obtain reimbursement for the standard and usual costs of the treatment, the student must file a claim for accident insurance at the WPCC business office.

The student insurance claim must be submitted in a timely fashion following the incident.