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COVID-19 Notice to Prospective Students

It is important for all students considering nursing or an allied program to know the following: 

All health sciences students at Tacoma Community College must successfully complete clinical course work in healthcare settings (“clinical placement”) as a part of their program’s educational instruction.

Students engaged in a clinical placement face the risk of exposure to potentially infectious material and diseases. Specifically, there is inherent risk in working with populations that are known, or suspected, COVID-19 positive, and as such, a risk of acquiring COVID-19 infection. Subject to the narrow exceptions described below, TCC requires that all students and faculty obtain the full dosage of COVID-19 Vaccine to significantly reduce the risk of infection and/or severity of illness. In addition, healthcare partners are requiring students to be fully vaccinated prior to participation in a clinical placement at their sites and students will need to provide documentation of vaccination records upon request. These healthcare partners may or may not provide the same exceptions recognized by TCC.

Pursuant to recent Proclamations issued by Governor Jay Inslee, on-site contractors and volunteers, along with public and private health care and long-term care workers, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, 2021. Per the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission: Nursing and Allied Health students are considered “healthcare workers”.

Individuals included in the proclamation's mandate must receive the final dose of their vaccination no later than October 4 so as to be fully vaccinated two weeks later on October 18 to comply with the Proclamation.

All students entering the program will need to complete and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or to submit a waiver.  

The mandate allows for two types of exemptions:

Health Care Providers and Workers for State Agencies are not required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if they are entitled under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), or any other applicable law to a disability-related reasonable accommodation or a sincerely held religious belief accommodation to the requirements of this order. Nothing herein precludes individuals or entities for which Health Care Providers work as employees, contractors, or volunteers and State Agencies from providing disability-related reasonable accommodations and religious accommodations to the requirements of this order as required by the laws noted above. As provided in the ADA, Title VII, and the WLAD, individuals or entities for which Health Care Providers work as employees, contractors, or volunteers and State Agencies are not required to provide such accommodations if they would cause undue hardship.

Medical:

To the extent permitted by law, before providing a disability-related reasonable accommodation to the requirements of this order, individuals or entities for which Health Care Providers work as employees, contractors, or volunteers and State Agencies must obtain from the individual requesting the accommodation documentation from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional authorized to practice in the State of Washington stating that the individual has a disability that necessitates an accommodation and the probable duration of the need for the accommodation.

Religious:

To the extent permitted by law, before providing a sincerely held religious belief accommodation to the requirements of this Order, individuals or entities for which Health Care Providers work as employees, contractors, or volunteers and State Agencies must document that the request for an accommodation has been made and the document must include a statement regarding the way in which the requirements of this order conflict with the religious observance, practice, or belief of the individual.

 

Successful completion of the course of study depends upon student participation in the clinical experience.  All students are required to execute TCC’s COVID-19 Acknowledgment and Assumption of the Risk Form before participating in a clinical placement.

If a student would like to proceed with an exemption request, please submit their exemption request to Julie Benson at jbenson@tacomacc.edu. All exemption requests will be moved forward to the clinical sites for their review.  Healthcare partners may require a student to request an exemption following its own procedures or using its own form, and their decision of acceptance or denial of the exemption for clinical placement at their facility will be final.  The college is under no obligation to identify alternative sites that will accept a student’s vaccination exemption request.

 

The program recognizes this can be very stressful for some students. The college has strong support services, including Counseling that maybe helpful for students as they work through this mandate. Please do not hesitate to contact the program with any questions.