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Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPE) Basics: Who, Where, When?

Where and when will my SCPE schedule be available?

The MHSPAS program reserves the right to schedule students based on rotation availability, location, and student experience. Every student is given a specific SCPE schedule for the clinical year which is posted NLT 5:00 p.m. EST on November 1 of the pre-clinical phase in eMedley. (Note: Occasionally there are circumstances beyond the Program’s control that require changes in a student’s clinical rotation schedule. Student flexibility is expected and appreciated.)

What should I do once I receive my SCPE schedule?

When you receive your clinical assignment, check eMedley for additional information. Once you have gathered some background information, and if the answers are not already in the Clinical Site Information, you should contact your preceptor to confirm when you should arrive, how you should dress, what you should bring (equipment, lunch, etc.) and any other details important for that SCPE (every clinic and preceptor is different). Please plan to contact your preceptor 2 weeks prior to the start of the clinic assignment, unless the information on eMedley directs you otherwise.

Is there a specific number of hours required for each Supervised Clinical Practice Experience?
Students hours for the entire four-week SCPE is a minimum of 152 hours. The goal is for clinical rotations to mimic the “real world”, so students should work 40+ hours during weeks 1,2 and 3 and 32+ hours during week 4 of the SCPE. Students are expected to follow the schedule set by their preceptors, which may include night or weekend shifts or on-call. Students may not front load clinical hours to meet the minimum requirement hours of the SCPE. Note: Some SPCEs (Inpatient, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, etc.) typically schedule shifts covering more than the required minimum hours (up to 80 hours per week). See Student Duty Hour Guidelines.

What if I receive my clinic schedule and it is less than the minimum of 152 hours?

If students are scheduled for less than 152 hours for the SCPE, students are required to request additional shifts be added before submitting their calendar to the Clinical Team. If students are unable to schedule additional shifts students should reach out to the Clinical Team for further guidance.

Review information available on eMedley.

What are the guidelines for communicating with a preceptor?

Two weeks prior to the start of your SCPE, contact your preceptor during normal business hours at the clinic office phone number or email address provided with your SCPE assignment in eMedley.  It is never appropriate to initially contact your preceptor via text-messaging.  If a student has not received a return email by Friday of the third week of their current SCPE, the student should call the site and ask to speak to the site contact person/preceptor listed in eMedley. If a student is still having difficulty reaching the site contact person/preceptor by the Tuesday prior to starting the rotation, the student should contact the Clinical Team for further guidance.

Should I send my preceptor a thank you after my SCPE?

Regardless of how you would evaluate an SCPE, it is expected that you will thank your preceptor for his/her time.  Preceptors and staff really cherish a personalized handwritten thank-you note. You may give this to the preceptor on your last day of the SCPE or mail it afterwards.  You may also choose to bring a food item, such as cookies, as a thank you. Other gifts of any kind, including gift cards, are not appropriate.

How far might my clinical placement be?

SCPE placements are allocated to four central hubs within North Carolina: Piedmont, Metrolina, Hanover, and Mountain. At least one rotation is required to take place in a medically underserved area. Students should be prepared to live away from their local residence during the clinical year for a minimum of two SCPEs. If a student is not currently residing in the Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham region, the student is responsible for arranging housing and transportation. AHEC Housing maybe be available for clinical rotation placements greater than 60 miles from the PA Program. Clinical phase students will return to campus throughout the second year to participate in Call Back days and evaluation exercises.

Where can I find clinical syllabi and objectives?

Clinical syllabi and objectives can be found on your Microsoft Classroom in Teams for each SCPE and on the preceptor information page on the program website.

No. You will receive an incomplete (“I”) for a grade until your assessment is received.

A potential preceptor would like to know the program's requirements of them. Where do I find preceptor requirements for SCPEs?

Preceptor Requirements for SCPEs can be found in the “Preceptor Handbook” found on the Preceptors page of the program website.  Potential preceptors are also encouraged to contact the Director of Clinical Education about precepting opportunities and requirements.

I would like to participate in a shadowing experience of interest in my free time during the clinical phase. Does the MHSPAS program allow for these types of opportunities?

See Student Shadowing During the Clinical Phase policy on the student policy and procedures website.

Are there any opportunities available for international SCPE's?

At this time there are no established policies and procedures available for international SCPEs.

How do I request elective SCPEs?

The MHSPAS program is fortunate to have well established elective sites/preceptors for most medical/surgical fields and specialties. Students may request the medical discipline and location for elective SCPE. Depending on scheduling and availability, the Clinical Team reserves the right to place students in an established elective clinical site/preceptor when necessary, regardless of specific requests from students. Refer to Medicine Elective I/II course descriptions for currently established opportunities. Students must submit their top 5 (in rank order of most desired as #1) Medicine Elective I/II desired medical/surgical fields and/or specialties no later than May 1 of the Clinical Phase of the program.

Evaluations & Assessments

Where are the evaluations and assessments?

The student evaluation of the preceptor, clinical site and self-assessment of program competencies is located in eMedley. The preceptor’s assessments (mid-point and final) of you is located in eMedley. You may access a pdf version of these assessments to print out for your preceptor from the course materials folder found within your Microsoft Classroom in Teams for the associated SCPE. Paper copies of completed evaluations must be returned to the clinical team by email in a clearly legible pdf format (no pictures) for processing to receive credit for completion. Illegible submissions will be returned with no credit awarded.

Will my preceptor see my evaluation?

No. We want to ensure that students give open and honest evaluations of their preceptors. Therefore, preceptors may only request feedback if they have had three or more students over one academic year or over a total of five years. If they have had at least three students and request feedback, we would provide general information where all evaluative information is de-identified.

What if my preceptor has not filled out my assessment and it is past the due date or grades are due?

It is your responsibility to contact your preceptor and kindly ask them to complete your mid-point and final assessments.  If they did not receive the link or would prefer we send another, please e-mail the Clinical Team and let them know what your preceptor needs.  We will provide one reminder email to the preceptor on your behalf.  If you continue to have difficulty obtaining your assessment(s), you can print off a paper version and schedule a time to personally take it to your preceptor.  If you continue to have difficulty after trying the above steps, please let the Clinical Team know.  To avoid this problem in the future, it is advisable to discuss setting aside time with the preceptor to complete your assessments and review the assessments by the appropriate due dates.

Does the preceptor assign my clinical course grade?

No.  Your clinical grade is assigned by the Director of Clinical Education, using feedback from preceptors, assessments, course requirements, professionalism standards and patient encounter logs.

SCPE Changes and Preceptor Issues

I received my clinical information very late or it just changed! What do I do?

Last-minute changes happen. Contact the site immediately upon receipt of the new information. Medical offices often have extended hours and work during holidays. If you are unable to contact them, don’t panic!

  • Always check the clinical site website and eMedley for potential site-specific information
  • Dress in business clothing (not scrubs—it’s better to overdress than underdress)
  • Bring all of your tools (if you don’t need them, so what, at least you will be prepared)
  • Arrive at the site at 8:00 AM (most offices open at 8:00 AM). If you are early, they will be impressed. If you are late, apologize and ask for the correct time for the next shift
  • Take a deep breath and dive into the SCPE
What if my preceptor is going to be gone one of my clinic days?

Determine if you can arrange to rotate with a different provider that day. If that is not possible, try to arrange to make up the day another time during the SCPE. If you are not able to make other arrangements, contact the Director of Clinical Education for further instructions.

Missing Clinic

How do I get permission to miss clinic?

Please refer to the Clinical Phase Attendance Policy in the student handbook and on the student policy and procedures website and contact the Director of Clinical Education should you have questions after reviewing this document. All requests for changes in scheduled shifts or absences (including religious accommodations) must be approved by the Director of Clinical Education. Preceptors and/or clinical site staff may not approve any requests unless directed by the Director of Clinical Education.

What do I do if there is inclement weather?

See Adverse Event Policy on the student policy and procedures website.

What if I am sick or there is an emergency?

Please refer to the Clinical Phase Attendance Policy in the student handbook and on the student policy and procedures website and contact the Director of Clinical Education should you have questions after reviewing this document. (Note: Anytime you miss clinic for an illness/emergency, you need to contact the Director of Clinical Education to discuss make-up options.)

What is the MHSPAS policy on clinical phase absences?

Please refer to the Clinical Phase Attendance Policy in the student handbook and on the student policy and procedures website and contact the Director of Clinical Education should you have questions after reviewing this document.

What if I am called to jury duty?

If you receive a jury duty summons that occurs during one of your SCPEs, plan to attend jury duty.  We cannot excuse you from jury duty. Notify the Clinical Team immediately upon receiving the jury summon and attach a copy of your jury summon to your email.  If you are called to report for jury duty on a clinic day, notify the Clinical Team and your preceptor so they know you may be absent or late to clinic.  Once at the courthouse, pick up an excused absence form and submit that form to the Director of Clinical Education once you are dismissed from the courthouse. Notify the Clinical Team immediately if your jury duty will require you to miss more than one day of clinic/class.

What if I receive orders to appear for military duty?

If your receive orders to appear for military duty during one of your SCPEs, plan to report for duty. We cannot excuse you from reporting from military duty. Notify the Clinical Team immediately upon receiving your orders and attach a copy of your orders to your email. If you are called to report for duty on a clinic date, notify the Clinical Team and your preceptor so they know you will be absent from clinic. Depending on the specifics of your orders, a leave of absence or deceleration may be required to continue studies upon your return.

What if I have a job interview during a scheduled shift?

Scheduling a job interview during your SCPE scheduled shift may be approved by the Director of Clinical Education, if requested per the excused absence policy, and at the Director of Clinical Education’s discretion (based on the student’s absence requests, pattern of absences and SCPE/clinical site at the time of

the request).

Vacation, Breaks, & Leave of Absence

Are there any vacation/breaks during the clinical phase?

Students are required to work all scheduled shifts during their SCPEs.  This may include some holidays and university breaks. All requests for changes in scheduled shifts or absences (including religious accommodations) must be approved by the Director of Clinical Education. Preceptors and/or clinical site staff may not approve any requests unless directed by the Director of Clinical Education.

What is the policy for requesting a leave of absence?

Please refer to the Leave of Absence Policy in the student handbook and on the student policy and procedures website and contact the Director of Clinical Education should you have questions after reviewing this document. Formal requests for a leave of absence must be completed on the Student Leave of Absence Request Form and submitted to the Program Director for approval.

AHEC Housing

What is AHEC Housing?

The Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) provide housing for UNC health professional students who need housing for SCPEs in North Carolina that are >60 miles from the UNC Medical Campus.

How do I know if I am eligible for AHEC housing?

You will need to log into the AHEC system to request AHEC housing.  An AHEC representative from the respective geographic area will contact you to coordinate your stay between you and your host.  Should there be an issue with housing, AHEC typically contacts the student as well as the Clinical Team. See eMedley for information regarding AHEC and the housing request process.

What is the travel distance to qualify for AHEC housing?

The current policy is that you must travel a distance of 60 miles one way from the UNC Medical Campus in order to meet the requirements for AHEC housing.

What are the policies regarding AHEC housing for students?

See eMedley for more information. Requests for AHEC housing should be made as soon as possible upon receiving your SCPE placements.

Credentialing and Compliance

What immunizations are required for the Clinical Phase of the Program?

Students are required to be up to date on all immunizations as outlined by the NC Required Immunizations requirement and those required of all Health Sciences students and the CDC. Vaccinations for Influenza (current season) and Tuberculin Screening (IGRA Blood Test (preferred) OR a 2-step TB skin test (TST)) are required annually. It is the responsibility of all students to provide appropriate documentation to the UNC MHSPAS program through Castle Branch, Inc. to show compliance by December 1 prior to entering the clinical phase of the program. Students may monitor the status of their immunization compliance in CastleBranch. Immunizations expiring during a student’s enrollment in the program could result in a referral to the Academic Excellence Committee (as this is considered a professionalism concern), a delayed clinical experience or SCPE start and/or a forfeited SCPE, which could result in additional costs to the student and delayed graduation.

What compliance trainings are require to participate in SCPEs?

Students are required to be up to date on all annual LMS, HIPPA and EPIC training modules. Annual LMS training modules online courses are important for ensuring the safety of our patients and our workplace and are required by many regulatory organizations. It is the responsibility of all students to provide appropriate documentation to the UNC MHSPAS program through Castle Branch, Inc. to show compliance by December 1 prior to entering the clinical phase of the program. Students may monitor the status of their compliance trainings in CastleBranch. Training compliance expiring during a student’s enrollment in the program could result in a referral to the Academic Excellence Committee (as this is considered a professionalism concern), a delayed clinical experience or SCPE start and/or a forfeited SCPE, which could result in additional costs to the student and delayed graduation.

Is an updated Criminal Background Check required for participation for the Clinical Phase of the Program?

Please refer to the Student Criminal Background Check Policy in the student handbook and on the student policy and procedures website. It is the responsibility of all students to provide appropriate documentation to the UNC MHSPAS program through Castle Branch, Inc. to show compliance by December 1 prior to entering the clinical phase of the program. Students may monitor the status of their criminal background check in CastleBranch. Criminal background checks expiring during a student’s enrollment in the program could result in a referral to the Academic Excellence Committee (as this is considered a professionalism concern), a delayed clinical experience or SCPE start and/or a forfeited SCPE, which could result in additional costs to the student and delayed graduation. (Note: Some clinical sites may require more frequent criminal background checks for credentialing purposes.)

Is an updated Urine Drug Screen required for participation for the Clinical Phase of the Program?

Please refer to the Student Urine Drug Screen Policy in the student handbook and on the student policy and procedures website. It is the responsibility of all students to provide appropriate documentation to the UNC MHSPAS program through Castle Branch, Inc. to show compliance by December 1 prior to entering the clinical phase of the program. Students may monitor the status of their urine drug screen in CastleBranch. Urine drug screens expiring during a student’s enrollment in the program could result in a referral to the Academic Excellence Committee (as this is considered a professionalism concern), a delayed clinical experience or SCPE start and/or a forfeited SCPE, which could result in additional costs to the student and delayed graduation. (Note: Some clinical sites may require more frequent urine drug screenings for credentialing purposes.)

What items are required for credentialing and when are they due?

Required items for credentialing will be made available in a student’s Castle Branch, Inc. Bridges platform and are due no later than December 1 of the preclinical phase of the program for UNC Hospitals. Clinical site specific credentialing requirements will be made available to students one month prior to their next confirmed SCPE and must be completed 2 weeks prior to the start of their SCPE. Unforeseen circumstances may cause unexpected SCPE schedule changes requiring students to complete credentialing requirements in an expedited fashion. Student flexibility is expected and appreciated during these circumstances. Failure to submit credentialing documents on time could result in a referral to the Academic Excellence Committee (as this is considered a professionalism concern), a delayed clinical experience or SCPE start and/or a forfeited SCPE, which could result in additional costs to the student and delayed graduation.

Academic, Wellness, Health & Safety

What if I am on a SCPE and I need access to services to address academic and/or personal concerns that may impact my progress in the program?

UNC Main Campus

Students may contact any of the following resources for assistance with addressing academic and/or personal concerns:

Non-UNC Main Campus Locations

Students may contact any of the following resources for assistance with addressing academic and/or personal concerns:

What do I do if I have a needlestick or bloodborne pathogen exposure?

UNC Main Campus

In addition to the above, all concerns must be reported directly to the Director of Clinical Education.

Non-UNC Main Campus Locations

  • See Bloodborne Pathogen/Needlestick Campus Health Procedures
  • See Student Exposures Policy
  • Review Clinical Phase Orientation Slides
  • Complete Student Incident Report
  • Follow policy and procedures outlined by the Clinical Site Administrator/Preceptor provided during clinical site orientation and clinical site LMS modules located in CastleBranch, Inc ProTracker/CB Bridges for the assigned SCPE/Clinical Site.

In addition to the above, all concerns must be reported directly to the Director of Clinical Education.

What do I do in case of a fire/security/active shooter?

UNC Main Campus

Students should review the following policies:

In addition to the above, all concerns must be reported directly to the Director of Clinical Education

Non-UNC Main Campus Locations

In addition to the above, all concerns must be reported directly to the Director of Clinical Education.

How do I report student mistreatment and learning environment concerns?

What do I do if I have concerns about the wellbeing of another UNC Chapel Hill student/Faculty/Staff/Preceptor/Visitor/etc.?

UNC Main Campus

  • Please contact the UNC-CH Care Team.
  • If you are reporting a situation involving an imminent threat of harm to self or others, please call UNC-CH’s Department of Public Safety at 919-962-8100 or call 911.
  • For a crisis requiring an emergency or first responder response, please contact 911 to connect with your local law enforcement agency or the UNC-Chapel Hill Police Department if you are on-campus.
  • To connect directly with the UNC-Chapel Hill Police Department for non-emergencies you may call at (919) 962-8100.
  • Non-emergency, anonymous reports can be made to the police department through their Silent Witness reporting form, as well.

Non-UNC Main Campus Locations

  • Please contact the UNC-CH Care Team.
  • If you are reporting a situation involving an imminent threat of harm to self or others, please call 911 to connect with the local law enforcement agency.
  • For a crisis requiring an emergency or first responder response, please contact 911 to connect with the local law enforcement agency.
  • For non-emergencies you may call the local law enforcement agency.

In addition to the above, all concerns must be reported directly to the Program Director.

What do I do if I have concerns about the wellbeing of another non-UNC Chapel Hill student/Faculty/Staff/Preceptor/Visitor/etc.?

UNC Main Campus

  • If you are reporting a situation involving an imminent threat of harm to self or others, please call 911 to connect with the local law enforcement agency.
  • For a crisis requiring an emergency or first responder response, please contact 911 to connect with the local law enforcement agency.
  • For non-emergencies you may call the local law enforcement agency.

Non-UNC Main Campus Locations

  • If you are reporting a situation involving an imminent threat of harm to self or others, please call 911 to connect with the local law enforcement agency.
  • For a crisis requiring an emergency or first responder response, please contact 911 to connect with the local law enforcement agency.
  • For non-emergencies you may call the local law enforcement agency.

In addition to the above, all concerns must be reported directly to the Program Director.

Additional Questions

I have additional questions not addressed here. What do I do?

Refer to your student handbook (which can be found on on the Student page of this website and on eMedley) for more information. If your question is still not answered, contact the Clinical Team or your Academic Advisor.