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Staff Member Helps Revamp Management of CNM’s 1,200 Students Doing Clinical Rotations

July 2, 2014 -- Nichole Rogers has taken a load off many shoulders in the School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety.
Staff Member Helps Revamp Management of CNM’s 1,200 Students Doing Clinical Rotations

Jul 17, 2015

She is the school’s verification and compliance coordinator, and it’s her job to keep track of CNM’s 1,200 students who are doing clinical rotations in hospitals, ambulances, nursing homes and other medical-related facilities. She also works with the clinical partners to communicate student schedules and compliance status for their rotations.

“Nichole has really helped me,” said Charles Fatta, head of CNM’s Respiratory Therapy Program. “I no longer have to individually arrange for the students’ clinical rotations and keep track of them. It used to take many hours. Now I can concentrate on teaching.”

Rogers was hired into the new position in fall 2012 to handle all aspects of clinical rotations. Some of her responsibilities include ensuring that students have their vaccinations up to date; making sure they have taken the required drug tests; working with students to get a clinical rotation schedule that fits into their lives; and placing students in the appropriate clinical environments.

Before Rogers took the position, managing clinical rotations was done by 12 individual program clinical coordinators. With Rogers at the helm, the work is being performed by a three-member team.

Much of the work has been done manually, using various electronic forms. That is about to change. This fall, Rogers is going to automate the collection of all clinical rotations information using a data management system provided by Fisdap, a Minnesota-based company that sells software that tracks everything students are doing in their field and clinical internships, including procedures performed, hours logged and location of clinical rotations.

Fisdap has been used by CNM’s EMS program for several years and piloted in the Respiratory Therapy, Radiologic Technology and Nursing programs. Starting in the fall term, it will be used to track clinical rotations in all of the related School of Health, Wellness & Public Safety programs, including, Surgical Technology, Dental Assisting, Veterinary Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Nursing Assistant and more.

Data on each student doing clinical rotations will be stored on the computer program, making it easy for Rogers and her two staff members to access student information quickly. Some of the information can be shared with clinical sites to support the effectiveness of the partnerships.

“This is really important,” Rogers said. “Clinical rotations are a recruiting tool. We’ve had many students hired at the facilities where they did their rotations because they were doing a good job.”

Rogers said she is bringing about other changes to HWPS’s clinical rotation system. Also starting in the fall, she intends to make sure that each student knows his or her schedule for the next term at the end of the current term.

“Most of our students have jobs and are parents,” she said. “By giving them their schedules early, they can plan their lives. We’re all about student success, and if this one small thing can help them succeed, then we will do it.”

When Rogers first took the job, students were dropping out for simple reasons – like they didn’t know they needed to have a Caregivers Criminal History Screening, which involves a FBI finger printed background check. She worked with Enrollment Services to ensure that students receive an automatic email when they register for courses with a clinical component, letting them know about clinical requirements, like a drug screen, for example. This email is helping to inform students well before classes start so they can prepare or make a decision to enroll in another class.

A couple of weeks ago, Rogers held a meeting with representatives from all of the hospitals that students use for clinical rotations. They brainstormed about how HWPS programs can be improved and what they liked about them.

“We were excited about the feedback,” she said. “They said the compliance team was professional and polite and they had confidence that CNM students were always up-to-date with their requirements.”