Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to make an appointment to be seen in UHS?
UHS has walk in hours for students who are ill. They are 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. No appointment is needed. If a student needs to have a urine drug test for an away rotation, UHS asks that the student schedule an appointment by calling 215-955-6835. TB screens and flu vaccines are provided throughout the day and require NO appointment.
If I am referred to a specialist, how is the cost covered?
The UHS clinicians will discuss insurance coverage prior to referrals. The visit to a specialist will be charged through insurance and the outstanding balance is the responsibility of the student.
If I need to have my annual routine GYN exam, can I have this done in UHS?
UHS can evaluate acute GYN issues; however, our staff does not perform annual examinations and PAP smears. UHS can help facilitate an appointment with Jefferson OB/GYN Associates. UHS clinicians will provide birth control to students in coordination with the student’s OB/GYN who performs the annual exams.
I can't go to clinical because I’m sick and I need a doctor’s note. Can I get this in UHS?
UHS will evaluate and treat students who are ill and determine if a student may attend a clinical rotation using the Infection Control Policies as a guide. A note will be given to a student if the student is seen at the time of the illness. UHS cannot provide notes retrospectively if not involved in the care and treatment of the ill student.
My doctor has prescribed some medications to me and I feel sleepy. Can I go to my clinical?
It is important to consult a UHS clinician to discuss what medications the physician has prescribed. Any medication that causes drowsiness is not appropriate when involved in patient care. The UHS clinicians can assist and communicate with your program if it is determined that you cannot be in a clinical setting.
I think I was exposed to my patient’s body fluids. What can I do?
Don';t panic. Please review our detailed instructions regarding occupational exposure. UHS provides care for students who have been exposed to body fluids.
What are my annual health requirements as a Jefferson student?
All students in programs involving direct patient contact must undergo an annual tuberculosis screening and an annual influenza vaccination. Some programs require an annual physical examination. These annual requirements can be done in UHS without a fee. If the student opts to have these done elsewhere, the student must provide UHS with this information. For those students who started as of September, 2013, an annual renewal of the American Data Bank account is required. The renewal cost is included on the American Data Bank site.
My program just told me I need a drug test. What do I do?
If your program has placed you at an affiliate where this is required, you will be notified by the program. You should contact UHS at 215-955-6835 to schedule an appointment. We suggest you plan to make the appointment 2 weeks prior to your start date. There is no cost for the test if you are placed at this facility by your program.
Please arrive prepared to provide a specimen of at least 50 ml. “Shy bladders” require up to 3 hours for testing once the process has begun. UHS follows strict guidelines that may inconvenience the student.
My program advised me I need a summary of my annual requirements and I have to do this by a certain deadline. What can UHS do for me?
UHS is able to complete this summary for you if you are up to date with all your requirements. The summary includes a list of the annual health requirements and a drug test result if required and is signed by a UHS staff member. If all of your requirements have been met, UHS can send the information by email. Please allow time to complete this requirement.
I am a 4th year SKMC student and I have several health forms to complete for my rotations at outside institutions. What should I do?
Please see see our detailed information under Current Students.
I need copies of my immunization records. Can UHS provide these for me?
Students matriculating as of September, 2013, were required to subscribe to American Data Bank/Complio. A copy of the school-approved immunization summary is available to the students who can access the information as needed without the assistance of UHS. Students who matriculated prior to September, 2013, should contact UHS for copies, allowing 5 business days. It is important for a student to maintain the documentation that UHS has provided for the flu vaccine and for the TB screening.
Can I use a credit card in UHS or have my insurance billed for any services where I have to pay?
UHS only takes cash or checks. A receipt will be provided.
Why do my employees need to have their ID badge for the vaccination?
All employees are responsible for wearing ID badges and it must be verified that the person getting the vaccine is eligible as a Jefferson employee, student or volunteer. In addition, UHS will be using a hand held computer to scan the barcode on the ID badge. This device assists us with tracking and was very helpful in the success of last year’s flu tracking and compliance.
I am a JUP manager. Do all of my employees have to comply?
All employees are strongly encouraged to have the vaccination even if they do not work directly with patients. Employees who are direct care providers must comply. The definition of a direct care provider is broad and it is written above and in the Influenza Vaccination Policy #200.82. For the employees who are not required to receive the vaccine based on the definition outlined in the policy, you will have to submit a departmental list of employees not required to receive the flu vaccine to UHS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What will happen if my employee refuses to comply?
Non-compliant employees will be placed on unpaid leave as of December 1st. Non-compliance after 2 weeks will result in termination in accordance with the Influenza Vaccination Policy #200.82.
What should I do if my employee has fears about the vaccine?
Encourage your employees to visit reliable websites, e.g., www.cdc.gov/flu, to learn more. The UHS/HM providers are happy to discuss an individual’s fears and answer questions.
What should my employee do if he has been vaccinated at his doctor's office?
Those vaccinated outside of UHS/Healthmark must provide adequate proof of vaccination from their provider. This will include the original paperwork with documentation of the date of administration, manufacturer, lot number and expiration date. UHS/HealthMark will review the provided information to determine if it is acceptable.
What is the best method for my employees to get their information to UHS/Healthmark?
Please instruct your employee forward the original information to UHS/Healthmark via interoffice mail (833 Chestnut Street, Suite 205). We will also accept a scanned copy sent via email to email@example.com. We suggest employees keep a copy of the form. It is the individual’s responsibility to provide documentation and managers should not collect and submit documentation an employee’s behalf.
How will I know if my employees have been vaccinated?
In early November, compliance reports will be distributed. Reports prior to November 1st may be requested by contacting Allicia Screven, Administrative Coordinator.
What is the deadline for a request for exemption?
October 30th is the deadline for submission as written on the forms.
Should I wait for the December 1st deadline?
We strongly encourage departments to set an earlier departmental deadline to assist with planning and to ensure timely compliance. A recommended target date for 100% compliance is November 15th.
When was the policy changed to require the flu vaccine?
TJUH updated the Influenza Vaccination Policy #200.82 in 2010 and announced in September 2010 to all employees that the policy would mandate vaccination beginning with the 2011-2012 season. This is the 5th year of mandatory vaccination.
Which employees have to comply with the policy?
- All TJUH/MHD employees regardless of job category
- All TJU/JUP employees who provide direct patient care
- All active members of the TJUH medical and professional staff
- All Jefferson students working in areas providing direct patient care
- All TJUH volunteers
- All TJU/JUP volunteers working in areas providing direct patient care
- All contract employees working in TJUH departments or providing direct patient care in TJU/JUP departments
- All healthcare industry representatives
- All visiting non-Jefferson students working in areas providing direct patient care
What is the definition of direct care provider?
According to the CDC, the definition is as follows:
"Direct care provider – all healthcare personnel including all paid and unpaid persons working in healthcare settings who have the potential for exposure to patients with influenza, infectious materials, including body substances, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, or contaminated environmental surfaces. This category includes, but is not limited to physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students, contractual staff not employed by Jefferson and persons, i.e. clerical, dietary, housekeeping, maintenance, not directly involved in patient care, but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from healthcare personnel."
Will UHS vaccinate contract staff or healthcare industry representatives (HCIRs)?
No. Contract employees are expected to provide documentation of an annual influenza vaccination to their host department. Vaccination is not provided by UHS. HCIR’s are expected to provide documentation of their vaccination to RepTrax or they will risk restriction from the clinical areas. The original paperwork from the physician’s office or the pharmacy must be submitted. The documentation must include the manufacturer, lot number, expiration date and a signature of the vaccinator in order to be accepted.
What is the deadline for compliance?
All employees must be vaccinated through UHS/Healthmark or provide adequate documentation (which requires the manufacturer, lot#, and expiration date with a provider signature) of vaccination elsewhere, or have a Jefferson approved exemption by December 1st. Requests for exemption forms must be submitted by October 30th.
What happens if I don't comply?
Non-compliant employees will be placed on an unpaid suspension as of December 1st and face termination in two weeks if still non-compliant.
Where can I read the policy?
The Influenza Vaccination Policy #200.82 is available on the TJUH Intranet under Policies and Procedures.
Where are the forms to complete if I want to request a medical or religious objection?
The forms may be found as attachments to the policy on the Intranet or may be obtained through the UHS website.
What if I do not have one of the listed medical contraindications?
Each request for a medical exemption will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the employee health office. Additional questions may be directed to your physician and additional documentation may be requested. UHS/Healthmark will use the established guidelines for accepted medical contraindications. You will receive notification of the outcome of the evaluation.
What if I am on a leave of absence during the fall?
You may choose to be vaccinated while on leave and forward adequate documentation (which requires the manufacturer, lot#, and expiration date with a provider signature) of vaccination to UHS/Healthmark. If you choose to do this, we ask that you clearly write your name and your role at Jefferson, i.e. employee, on the form. You will not be suspended while on a medical leave of absence. Before your clearance to return to work, you must either undergo vaccination in UHS/Healthmark or provide adequate documentation of your vaccination received elsewhere.
I am a physician; can I sign my own exemption form?
No. Physicians may not sign their own medical exemptions forms. The original form signed by the treating physician must be submitted for evaluation. You will be notified as to whether your form has been approved or denied. If you have a religious objection, the form must be sent to the VP of Human Resources for evaluation. UHS will be notified for tracking purposes if the exemption has been approved.
What do I need to bring with me when I choose to be vaccinated?
It is required that everyone presents a valid Jefferson ID badge. UHS will use a new device to scan the barcode of valid Jefferson ID badges. Also, please wear clothing that will allow vaccination in your upper arm, i.e., loose sleeves or short sleeves.
What if I get the vaccine at my doctor’s office or a retail pharmacy?
If you opt to receive your vaccine outside of UHS or Healthmark, you must provide adequate proof of vaccination to UHS or Healthmark. The original paperwork from the physician’s office or the pharmacy must be submitted and the documentation must include the date of administration, manufacturer, lot number, expiration date and a signature of the vaccinator in order to be accepted.
What will happen if I have lost the documentation of my vaccination done elsewhere and I am unable to get the proof of vaccination?
You will have to undergo another vaccination.
Can I fax in my exemption request form?
No. The original, signed form must be delivered to the office designated at the top of the form by the Wednesday, October 31st deadline.
Am I compliant once I submit my request for exemption?
No. Do not assume that each request submitted will be accepted and approved. Each request will be reviewed on a case by case basis. In many cases there is a request for additional information. When a request has been approved or denied, the employee health office will notify individuals for medical requests and HR will notify individuals for religious requests. HR will notify the employee health office of religious exemption approvals/denials in order to track compliance.
How long do I have to keep my documentation of the vaccine?
University Health Services will provide a card for documentation and strongly recommends the card be kept throughout the influenza season in case documentation is requested, e.g., outside affiliate hospital. Requests for additional copies of flu vaccine documentation may be an additional charge of $10 per copy.
What type of vaccine is being given this year?
At Jefferson, the quadrivalent vaccine is being given. It protects against four subtypes of influenza: an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus, a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
There are egg-free vaccines ordered through UHS. A nasal spray is also available, but the decision to use the nasal spray will be determined by the UHS staff. UHS does not carry high dose or intradermal vaccines.
Can I get the vaccine if I am pregnant?
Yes, absolutely. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all individuals over 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. Women who are pregnant or are going to be pregnant during the flu season should receive the flu vaccine to protect their own health and the health of their babies.
What if I am breast feeding my baby?
The recommendations remain the same. Breast feeding is not a contraindication for vaccination. Adults in close contact with babies less than 6 months of age are strongly encouraged to get the vaccine to protect the babies.
Is the vaccine 100 percent effective?
The flu vaccine is not 100% effective. Some years the match to the circulating virus is better than others. Washing hands, wearing masks when near coughing patients and asking patients to don a mask if coughing are all important measures to prevent influenza.
How long does the vaccine take to work?
Generally, the vaccine provides protection within two weeks of administration.
Is the influenza vaccine safe?
Each year the safety profile of the influenza vaccine has been tracked and reported through the CDC. It is a safe vaccine.
Where can I get the vaccine?
UHS and Healthmark will vaccinate employees, students and volunteers free of charge or you may get the vaccine from your physician or pharmacy. Documentation of vaccination received through another office (even if it is a Jefferson office) must be submitted to UHS in order to be in compliance. The original paperwork from the physician’s office or the pharmacy must be submitted and the documentation must include the date of administration, manufacturer, lot number, expiration date and a signature of the vaccinator in order to be accepted.
When will the vaccine be available?
Vaccination begins as soon as supplies have been received. A schedule of times and dates when UHS will sponsor vaccination events in Gibbon and JHN are provided on UHS website once supplies arrive. In addition, a Flu Announcement is also posted on the website and outlines when Healthmark will vaccinate on the Methodist Hospital campus.
Who will administer the vaccine?
UHS/Healthmark staff will vaccinate with the help of additional staff. The vaccine will be administered in UHS and, at specific times, in the 10th Street side of the Atrium and at JHN (Please see the website for specific times). UHS/HM will also be vaccinating at the Benefits Fair in Center City and at MHD. Healthmark providers will vaccinate on the Methodist Hospital campus.
May I get the vaccine on the Center City campus if I work on the Methodist Hospital campus?
Yes. Employees may get the vaccine at either site.
What should I do if I have side effects from the vaccine?
If you experience symptoms related to the administration of the influenza vaccination, please report to UHS or to the physician who administered the vaccination. UHS will evaluate the symptoms and will report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) if the symptoms are felt to be related.
Where can I get reliable information about the flu vaccine?
I don't think I should get the vaccine since I have medical problems. What should I do?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends universal vaccination for all individuals over 6 months of age. Certain common medical problems place an individual at increased risk of complications from influenza and the vaccination is even more strongly recommended. A request for medical exemption may be made by using the appropriate form and having your treating physician complete the form. It will be evaluated on a case by case basis through UHS.
Why are there so many requirements for medical records?
The program you are entering has worked with UHS to determine the requirements for its students. If you are entering a program involving patient care, it is important to protect yourself and your patients from vaccine preventable diseases and to be screened annually for tuberculosis. There are requirements for all employees and students here at Jefferson as approved through our Infection Control Committee. In addition to these policies, Jefferson has to consider the requirements of the hospitals where students are placed for clinical experiences.
It is STRONGLY recommended that a student begin the process SIX weeks prior to matriculation.
What happens if I didn't complete my requirements as required?
As you can read in all of the UHS information for matriculating students, there is a deadline of 30 days prior to the first day of class to complete your medical records. Your information will need to be uploaded to American Data Bank/Complio, reviewed by the ADB staff and then approved by the UHS staff. Incomplete records on the first day of class will be communicated to the student’s program and to the Registrar’s Office. Access to Blackboard will be blocked until the student has completed all records.
What is a titer?
A titer is a blood test to determine the level of antibodies to a disease such as measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. A reactive titer indicates that a person is immune.
My doctor says I had chicken pox and I don't need anything more. Is that correct?
No. The requirement to document immunity to varicella (chicken pox) is EITHER two doses of vaccine given 28 days apart OR a reactive antibody titer. A history of disease is NOT acceptable.
My doctor says he thinks I had measles as a child and that I don't need to do anything else. Is that enough?
No. The history of disease is not sufficient.
My measles/mumps antibody is non-reactive and my doctor says I need more vaccines. How many do I need?
If your physician can document TWO doses of MMR given after the first birthday, even though they were given before the blood test, we can accept this documentation in accordance with the guidelines of the November 25, 2011 MMWR, Immunization of Health Care Personnel, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), that states good evidence of two vaccines “supersedes” the negative titer.
My rubella antibody is non-reactive and my doctor says I need more vaccines. How many do I need?
If your physician can document one dose of MMR, even though it was given before the blood test, we can accept this documentation in accordance with the guidelines in the November 25, 2011 MMWR, Immunization of Health Care Personnel, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that states that good evidence of one vaccine “supersedes” the negative titer.
I had the hepatitis B vaccines as a child and my hepatitis B surface antibody is negative. What should I do?
10% of individuals need additional doses of vaccine after the initial 3 dose series. UHS has been seeing young adults, appropriately vaccinated as children; enter the healthcare field with a negative titer despite the three dose series as an infant. The current recommendation is to receive a 4th dose and repeat the titer 4-6 weeks after the 4th dose. If the test is reactive, nothing further needs to be done. If non-reactive, the 5th and 6th doses should be administered and one final test is performed. A reactive result documents immunity. A non-reactive titer after six total doses indicates the student is a “non-responder”. UHS will address the additional laboratory testing that needs to be done on a case by case basis.
Do I need to get the meningococcal vaccine?
If you live in on campus housing, you must consider the vaccine and EITHER document that you have received a dose of vaccine OR sign a declination available in the forms on this tab. The meningococcal vaccine is not currently required for all healthcare workers. Students entering the Biosciences majors may need to consider this vaccine due to future clinical rotations in the Microbiology Department. These students should consider this vaccination and may be seen in UHS to discuss the options.
What is Quantiferon Gold or a TSpot test?
These tests are known as interferon gamma release assays (IGRA) and are blood tests that screen for active or latent tuberculosis. This is the required test for all students entering a program at Jefferson. A copy of the lab result must be included with the medical records.
I had a PPD and now American Data Bank says it's the wrong test. What do I do?
A Quantiferon Gold assay or a TSpot must be done and the result must be provided to UHS.
I have a positive Quantiferon Gold/TSpot test. Is there anything else I need to do?
A report of a normal chest x-ray done within 6 months of matriculation must be submitted.
I have an indeterminate Quantiferon Gold assay. What should I do?The student should contact UHS to discuss this and receive instructions regarding this result.
I come from another country and there are often positive TB tests for people from my country. What should I do?
BCG, a TB vaccine, is used in countries outside of the US. This vaccine can cause a falsely positive skin test reaction. It does not impact the blood test, IGRA. The blood test is required.
I had a positive skin test/IGRA result and was treated for latent/active TB. Can I get another test?
If a student was treated in the past, a chest x-ray within six months of matriculation must be submitted at the time of matriculation. The student must provide the information regarding the medications taken and the length of time that the medications were prescribed.
I am a current employee. Do I need to do anything since UHS already has my records?
Current employees must report to UHS and update their records to the current standards required by their academic program. Prior to the visit, it is recommended that the student/employee copy pages 2 and 3 of the pre-matriculation forms complete them and bring them when meeting with the UHS staff. Updates of vaccines and/or TB screening are done without charge for current employees.
Can I fax information to UHS rather than upload to American Data Bank/Complio?
All supporting information needs to uploaded to ADB/Complio. Do not fax or email information to UHS unless specifically instructed to do so by a UHS staff member.
I put everything on American Data Bank/Complio. Why do I still have a hold on my account?
Once the information is uploaded to ADB/Complio, it is reviewed. If the provided information is not adequate, detailed instructions are provided in the student's ADB/Complio account by either an ADB reviewer or the UHS staff. Common issues include wrong test (PPD rather than the IGRA, hepatitis B surface antigen rather than the hepatitis B surface antibody, IgM antibody titers rather than the IgG), not entering the dates into the slots provided, no follow up of negative tests, missing color vision/vision information, incomplete health histories). Please be sure to read the requirements as listed on the cover letter and as indicated on the forms.
I have some medical problems that I am afraid to disclose. Should I worry?
The student medical records are kept in the UHS office and are not disclosed to any person/department outside of UHS. A student signs that the provided information is true, acknowledging that misinformation is grounds for dismissal. If there is a concern regarding the student's personal health, it is recommended that the student contact the Medical Director of UHS to discuss.
I didn't get a color vision screen. What can I do?
UHS can provide this service to the student free of charge. This service can be provided within 30 days of matriculation.
I can't afford to have this done. What are my options?
We recommend that you attempt to investigate the best options with your providers. We do not recommend that you wait until the last minute. UHS can provide certain services to students for a fee. A list of the fees for service is available by calling UHS at 215-955-6494. Students can receive services within 30 days of matriculation; however, there is a greater risk of non-compliance by the deadline is the student opts for this.