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H1N1 Policy for Students in Field Education 

We have been hearing a lot about the upcoming flu season on campus this semester. I would like students in field and field instructors to know that Rhode Island College Health Services keeps us updated via their webpage at  Here you will find important information to stay informed on preventing infectious illness and H1N1 flu, recognizing symptoms, and treating flu if you become sick. Links are also provided for additional information through the Rhode Island Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Despite our best prevention efforts, we recognize that the college-aged population is a vulnerable one and that some among us will inevitably become ill.   Below are guidelines for students in field placements.

  • Students in field placements should be provided with their agency’s policies and procedures with regard to the H1N1 virus. As always, students are expected to follow agency policies.
  • Students are required to make up time missed from the internship due to any illness, including H1N1 virus, in order to receive a “satisfactory” grade for the semester.  Upon return to field, students must meet with field instructors to make a plan for completing field hours.  Students must communicate that plan to their field seminar leaders.
  • Students are also expected to follow School of Social work policy and agency policies regarding notifying their field instructor(s), other agency staff, and clients in the event of their absence.
  • Students should report to field instructors if any clients are reporting or exhibiting symptoms of the H1N1 virus. Field instructors are requested to permit students to follow recommendations of The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and to reschedule appointments with clients who have flu symptoms.
  • Students who come to the agency with symptoms of the H1N1 virus or other flu-like illness should be sent home and not return to the agency until they have been symptom-  and fever-free for 24 hours.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

Mary McLaughlin, MSW
Director of Field Education                            
School of Social Work
Rhode Island College

1 Adapted from Boston University School of Social Work Field Education Department guidelines dated 9/15/09.

Page last updated: September 28, 2012