Experiential Education Policies

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Intern Registration

Registration with the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (formerly Washington State Board of Pharmacy) is required to practice as a pharmacy intern in Washington State. No student may begin a practice-based learning experience (either paid or volunteer) without first registering as a student with the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (PQAC). Students are eligible to work as an intern on the first day of coursework, so entering students are encouraged to apply for their intern registrations prior to the start of Autumn Quarter of their first professional year. Beginning Autumn Quarter 2015, the entering first-year students (the Class of 2019) will begin the PharmD program on the PHARM 500 Early Start date of August 24, 2015. All students must register with the PQAC as an intern no later than the end of Autumn Quarter of their first professional year.

Information about internship registration can be obtained at the PQAC Pharmacy Intern web site.

Here is the main PQAC website.

Here is the link to the PQAC Pharmacy Laws page.

All students must keep their intern registration current for the duration of their enrollment in the PharmD Program. This includes time spent during APPEs outside the State of Washington as well as during a break between APPEs, and must be kept current through graduation. A student who is not currently enrolled and attending classes in the PharmD Program for any reason (e.g., approved leave, dismissed due to low scholarship, etc.) is not eligible to work as a pharmacy intern. The student and School (per the signed student release) will notify the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission and any other State Board that has granted the student a Pharmacy Intern registration that he or she is no longer an enrolled student. Failure to notify the Pharmacy Commission and continuing to work as an intern may result in disciplinary action by the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission.

Students should plan to use documents found on the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission web site to document at least 300 intern hours. The Experiential Education office will send information to the PQAC at the completion of student APPEs that will document completion of the remaining 1200 hours required for licensure as a pharmacist.

UW HIPAA Training and Bloodborne Pathogens Training

The UW HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) training must be completed at the beginning of the first professional year. This training in confidentiality of patient information will be facilitated by the Office of Professional Pharmacy Education through the Health Sciences HIPAA Compliance Office. Students will receive more information and a link to the training website during the Early Start portion of PHARM 500. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) federal regulations (29 CFR 1910.1030) and Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act (WISHA) regulations (WAC 296-823) require healthcare workers to receive annual training in bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious materials. As such, all students will be required to complete annual training in this area.

Required Immunizations and Screenings for Infectious Diseases

Both IPPE and APPE sites require all students to be current with immunizations and screenings for infectious diseases required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Students must be in compliance with Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) requirements at all times while enrolled in the PharmD Program. Students who fall out of compliance may be removed from their experiential site placements and/or have a hold placed on their registration. More specific information can be found on the HSIP website, as well as in Section G of this Handbook. Questions about HSIP should be directed to myshots@uw.edu

Drug Screening Policy

A significant number of clinical sites where students complete rotations require students to complete a drug screening.  As a result, the School has developed a drug screening process that helps students meet this requirement with minimal costs and maximum convenience. Under this new policy, implemented in 2018, all UW Doctor of Pharmacy students will need to complete a drug screen at least once during their enrollment in the program.

The drug screening process is managed by the Office of Professional Pharmacy Education through an outside vendor.  The process involves a 10-panel urinalysis, assessing the presence of the following substances:

  1. Amphetamines (including methamphetamine)
  2. Benzodiazepines
  3. Cannabinoids*
  4. Cocaine
  5. Fentanyl
  6. Heroin
  7. Methadone
  8. Oxycodone
  9. Other opiates/opioids
  10. Tramadol

*NOTE: Due to federal regulations, a positive drug screen for cannabinoids is not mitigated by Washington State law or medical marijuana authorization.

Students will be provided information regarding the need to complete drug screening in advance of each experiential course.  Changes in site requirements that involve drug screening will also be communicated to affected students as soon as possible after the School is made aware of them.  As with other compliance requirements, students are responsible for the cost of drug screening.

Upon receipt of a drug screen authorization (sent via email), students will have 72 hours to complete the drug-screening process.  If a student anticipates being unable to complete the screen during this time frame, the student should contact Experiential Education before the authorization expires.  Students who fail to complete a screen during the authorization window will be provided with a second authorization.  Failure to complete a screen on a second authorization will be considered refusal to participate.  Because drug screening is necessary to complete experiential coursework, students who refuse to participate in drug screening will be referred to the Academic & Professional Progress Committee.

Drug screens with positive results will be reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) employed by the outside drug screen vendor.  The MRO will make two attempts to contact a student to request information that may explain or mitigate a positive result.  The MRO will make a determination on positive results before submitting the final report to the student and the School. Screens with evidence of tampering will be reported as positive.  Students with positive drug screen results will be referred to the Washington Recovery Assistance Program for Pharmacy (WRAPP) per the School’s Policy on Substance Abuse and will experience delays in completing experiential coursework.

Students with additional questions regarding drug screening should contact the Office of Professional Pharmacy Education.

Guidelines for Practice Experiences

Please refer to the most recent copy of any Experiential Education course syllabus for the most current information on policies and procedures. Current syllabi can be found on the Experiential Education Course Listings page. Students will be required to sign that they agree to follow the guidelines for each IPPE experience and the APPE year.

First Aid/CPR Certification

Students are required to have current certification in first aid and adult and child CPR throughout their experiential education coursework. Certification must be through the American Heart Association at the Health Care Professional level. Students are responsible for the costs of training. A photocopy of the certificate must be given to the Experiential Education staff. The Office of Professional Pharmacy Education contracts with Cascade Healthcare Services to provide training in the first and third professional years of the program. Students unable or unwilling to attend a scheduled training session will need to make their own arrangements. American Heart Association classes can be scheduled through CPR Seattle and through Cascade Healthcare Services.

Cost of Treatment and Insurance Coverage

Students are responsible for their own health needs, health care costs, and health insurance coverage. Should an infectious exposure or other medical problem arise during a practice experience or other School-sponsored course or event, the cost of treatment is the responsibility of the student. The School does not provide insurance coverage to the student for medical costs associated with exposures.

However, should an exposure or other medical problem arise, please notify an Experiential Education staff member or faculty director immediately to obtain guidance on how to proceed.

Other Requirements

  • All students will complete a background check prior to entry into the program and on an annual basis.
  • Most health care system sites will have individual applications or forms that the student will need to fill out and submit independent of School requirements.
  • Some sites will have specific additional requirements for students such as completion of a urine drug test or additional HIPPA requirements. Costs associated with meeting these requirements will be the student’s responsibility.
  • Students will need to upload and maintain a resume on the OPPE website throughout the program.