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Director Resources: Medical and Safety Incidents

Medical and Safety incidents involving studying off-campus...

If a student has any sort of medical or safety incident while on your off-campus program, they must fill out a brief incident report form.

When medical emergencies occur...
Program directors should always have access to their copies of the students’ health forms listing allergies, other medical conditions, insurance policy information, etc.

Calvin’s waiver for off-campus programs grants Calvin or any of its agents full authority to:

  • take whatever action they feel is warranted regarding the student's health and safety
  • arrange medical treatment for the student at the student's expense and,
  • if deemed necessary by the program leader and local authorities, arrange for the student to be flown back to GR, or if medically warranted, the student's home, or designated medical facility, at the student's own expense, for further medical treatment.

1. It gives Calvin (normally the program director) the authority to seek the appropriate medical treatment.  At a minimum that would mean that the director has some knowledge of where Western level care can be gotten in a given location.  It is incumbent on the program director to find out what medical centers and hospitals provide the best medical care.  (Program directors resident in their respective countries undoubtedly already know where to seek treatment.)

2. After securing the appropriate medical treatment for the student, the director of the program must contact the Director of Off-Campus Programs.  In the case of a serious or life-threatening injury or illness, the contact should be made day or night, as soon as possible.  For less serious situations, a call or e-mail during office hours is sufficient.  The Off-Campus Director may make the judgment that a higher-level person at the college must be brought into the loop.  If so, the Provost will be contacted, day or night.  It is crucial in this situation that there be only one spokesperson for the college, should there be media interest in the case.

3. The program director will call the parents to discuss the situation with them.  Once they are in the loop they should be kept within the discussion, but they will not have the final word re treatment, since that is in the hands of the director and the local medical authorities.  The persons on the scene are best equipped to make appropriate medical decisions.  

Keep a record of parental contacts, recording date and substance of conversation.

Miscellaneous medical treatment

If at all possible, students should pay for their own medical treatment at the time it is given unless the injury is due to negligence on the part of program staff or hirees.  If the student does not have the funds to pay for his/her care, Calvin will pay for it and add it to the student’s tuition account on campus.  The student should sign an agreement to pay those medical expenses, to avoid any later question of financial responsibility.

Be sure to take into account what insurance companies require in terms of prior approval before treatment or evacuation.  Without prior approval for non-emergency treatment or evacuation, students may not be able to collect from their insurers.  (In emergency situations, treatment should come first, of course.)

Help student collect receipts for expenses so that documentation is available for future reimbursement claims.


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