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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education

COVID-19 MD Student Resources

Policies, guidelines and resources you need to train safely and responsibly.

MD Student with patient

Return to Clinical Activities Guidelines

Health-related COVID guidelines

algorithm for student symptoms and/or exposure SARS-CoV2 Inpatient Testing Algorithm

Need specific information? Hotlines are open to respond.

  • For campus concerns, contact Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine's confidential, monitored hotline at 312-503-3437.
  • For information on potential exposure and testing options, call the NM COVID-19 Hotline at 312-47-COVID (312-472-6843) and follow the prompts.

Northwestern Medicine Guidelines

Northwestern Medicine offers a number of resources for training in clinical spaces through their Physician Forum.

PPE FAQS FOR NM WORKFORCEClinical FAQs for NM WorkforceVisit the NM Physician Forum Site

FAQs for Students

 What should I do if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

  • Call the COVID-19 hotline 47.COVID and inform Dr. Sanguino.
  • Action taken will be based on the level of exposure or presence of symptoms.

 How is COVID-19 spread?

  • COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person in respiratory droplets from someone who is infected.
  • The respiratory droplets are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, clears their throat, or talks.
  • Respiratory droplets carry the virus and can land in the mouths or noses and possibly be inhaled into the lungs of people nearby.
  • The respiratory droplets can survive on surfaces for up to 2-3 days. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people without symptoms (either prior to the development of symptoms or through asymptomatic cases).

 What measures are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at Northwestern Medicine (NM) clinical facilities?

  • Universal masking: In order to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and maintain a safe environment, NM has implemented universal masking for all students, staff, and patients regardless of symptoms. You will be asked to wear a mask upon entering and for the duration of your time in NM clinical facilities. Masks will be provided if needed.
  • Students and staff will be asked about symptoms upon entering clinical facilities.
  • NM is restricting visitors at all inpatient and outpatient sites.

 What can I do to lower my risk of exposure to COVID-19?

  • Maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) whenever possible including when eating lunch at work.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching surfaces and your face.
  • Wear appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment).

 Can I go to work if I have been exposed to COVID-19?

  • If you are asymptomatic and were exposed at work, call the COVID-19 hotline. You can continue to work with self-monitoring or electronic monitoring as directed by the COVID-19 hotline RN as long as you are not symptomatic.
  • If you are asymptomatic and were exposed at home, call the COVID-19 hotline. You may be directed to remain home from work for a minimum of 14 days.
  • If you are symptomatic call the COVID-19 hotline for guidance. Do not report to work.

 When would I be enrolled in the electronic daily temperature and symptom monitoring system?

  • If a student is in contact with a patient with COVID-19 for > 30 min with both the student and patient unmasked OR if a student is involved in any contact in which an aerosol generating procedure was performed (please see definition on flowsheet) and student was not wearing N95 and eye protection, then the student will be enrolled in electronic symptom and temperature monitoring system.
  • If the COVID-19 triage RN determines you should be enrolled in the electronic temperature and monitoring program you will receive an email notification with instructions on the program.

 What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, chest pain, myalgias, fatigue, headache, GI symptoms (e.g. nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea), and new loss of taste or smell.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 can vary in severity and some with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic.
  • It can take 2-14 days from the time of exposure to become symptomatic.

 What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

  • If you have severe symptoms including high fever, severe cough, lethargy, shortness of breath, chest pain, or bluish lips call 911 or go to the Emergency Department.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms which are not severe call the COVID-19 hotline for guidance.
  • Do not go to work if you have symptoms of COVID-19.

 Should I go to work if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 do not report to work.
  • Call the COVID-19 hotline for guidance.

 If I was off work for COVID-19 or symptoms how do I determine when to go back to work?

  • If you are off work due to symptoms of COVID-19 and your symptoms are improving or have resolved call the COVID-19 hotline.
  • The Covid-19 hotline RN will have corporate health contact you to determine when you have clearance to go back to work.

 How do I get tested for COVID-19?

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 call the COVID-19 hotline.
  • If the COVID-19 triage RN determines testing is indicated they will provide a referral to a testing site.
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