The University of Saskatchewan Health Sciences’ programs employ a comprehensive and standardized approach to vaccination and serology testing requirements for students enrolled in their programs, based on best practice guidelines. These recommendations serve to protect students as well as staff and patients in health care facilities.
The recommendations and requirements cited below are mandatory and key elements in the preparation of students for clinical practice courses. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all immunization requirements have been met in a timely manner.In the event that a student believes they have good reason to refuse any of the required immunizations, this must be discussed in advance. If a student is unable to comply with the required immunizations, the ability to complete all of the MPT’s academic requirements may be in jeopardy and admission to the MPT may also be in jeopardy. This may mean that completion of the program is not possible or it may mean that a ‘waiver’ form must be signed in the event that alternatives are identified.
- Do not delay attending to these immunization requirements. Some processes related to immunizations take time. Completion of the immunization requirements is the responsibility of the student as well as any associated costs. Most immunizations are covered by your Provincial Health card, with one exception being the Two Step Tuberculin skin test, which will cost $80.
- Students enrolled in the MPT Program MUST provide official, signed evidence of immunization status on entry into the program.
- It is recommended that, when possible, the immunization profile is completed through the U of S Student Wellness Centre to be officially entered into their files. If immunizations and serology tests are completed elsewhere, these records should then be submitted to the U of S Student Wellness Centre for review and verification. When this is complete the student is provided with a signed copy of their completed record by the Student Wellness Centre, which then must be submitted by the student, electronically, to firstname.lastname@example.org on or by the day of orientation to the Master of Physical Therapy program.
- Hepatitis B immunizations, if not previously immunized, must at least show documentation that the series of immunizations has been started before entering the MPT program. There is approximately a 6 month time frame to receive the complete Hep. B immunizations series, and serology for proof of protection, and these may be completed after starting the program. The Hep B series of vaccinations must be done by March 1, during the first year of the program, in preparation for a clinical practice course.
- Students must also have all of blood tests done (titres) before entering the MPT, except for the serology for Hepatitis B which can only be completed after you have completed the full series of Hepatitis B vaccinations.
- Failure to show validation of a completed, required immunization profile at the time of orientation to the MPT may result in the student being unable to complete the requirements in any of clinical practice courses of the program, including the clinical practice course which occurs in the first three weeks of the MPT. Clinical facilities can, and at times do, refuse a student assignment to the facility for clinical practicum experience based on failure to comply with immunization requirements.
- The student immunization record will always be kept in a secure, confidential central records’ file and should be updated, as required, during the time in the program. The University of Saskatchewan Student Wellness Centre stores and reviews the immunization record for each student while in the Physical Therapy Program. Clinical facilities may require that a student present a record of their up-to-date immunizations, or that the School verify that the record is complete, before starting a clinical practicum. The Student Wellness Centre signed validation, provided to each student, should be kept on hand in the event that a health facility asks to see it.
- The health environment is constantly changing and in fact may vary with each health institution. It may be required to have additional immunizations, or immunity status testing, to upgrade the status and comply with University of Saskatchewan required vaccinations during the program. This is also necessary in order to meet standards required for some clinical placements. The costs associated with any additional immunizations or testing are normally the student’s responsibility.
Specific MPT Immunization Requirements
- Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td):
- Primary series of 3-5 doses, then a booster every 10 years
- Primary series and adults are encouraged to have a Td booster with the pertussis component once in their adult lifetime.
- Primary series, booster if travelling in endemic areas.
- Measles, mumps, rubella:
- Documented proof of vaccination with 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella OR by proof of immunity by serological evidence (bring in a copy).
- Tuberculin skin test (TST):
- Initial two step TST skin test, 1 to 4 weeks apart is required prior to client contact.
- If there is a history of a positive Tuberculin, a CXR is required.
- Hepatitis B:
- A series of two or three doses followed by an antibody check.
- If you have already received the series, lab evidence of immunity is required (bring in a copy).
- If the Hepatitis B Surface Antibody is non-immune (0 mIU/ml), a Hepatitis B surface antigen test must be done. If the antigen test is positive, consult your Health Care Provider.
- If the antigen test is negative, (and antibody non-immune); revaccination and reassessment for immunity must be done.
- Varicella (Chickenpox):
- Proof of two doses of varicella vaccination OR by Serological evidence of immunity (bring in a copy)
- It will be required to obtain a vaccination against influenza, a seasonal ‘flu shot’, each Fall, starting in the second year of the program.
On admission to the MPT program the student will be asked to sign a statement of compliance with the immunization requirements for the School, which will be kept in your confidential student file. This statement will be similar to the statement below. Please read this statement in advance to understand what it requires as students will be asked to sign a document with this statement on the day of orientation.
“I agree to comply with all the immunization requirements of the School of Rehabilitation Science Master of Physical Therapy program as outlined in the document above, unless there are ‘significant extenuating circumstances’. Any perceived ‘extenuating circumstances’ must immediately be reported to the School of Rehabilitation Science for investigation and consultation as to whether they can be accommodated. I understand that failure to comply with the immunization requirements will normally impact on my participation in clinical practice courses.”
Please call the School of Rehabilitation Science if you have questions about these requirements.
(Reviewed and revised November 1, 2019)