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Student Health Services


Clinical Chaperone Policy

Student Health Services (SHS) is committed to a culture of safety, dignity,
respect and patient privacy. Sensitive examinations are times when these values are especially important to uphold.

SHS seeks to provide a safe and empowering experience during sensitive examinations by
engaging patients in the informed consent
process and offering clinical chaperones. Our goal is to ensure that patients are informed, active partners in their healthcare.

  • What is a sensitive examination?

    We define a sensitive examination as a physical examination of body parts that are typically covered by undergarments such as underwear and bra. These body parts include genitals, pubic and pelvic region,
buttocks and anal/rectal region, and breasts. Additionally, since every patient has a different history and a different experience with their body, you may define other body parts as sensitive. How you
define your sensitive body parts also may vary from day to day. We encourage you to let us know if you have specific needs or concerns about any physical examination of your body. We can always make time to discuss this with you in more detail.

  • What is a clinical chaperone?

    A clinical chaperone is a member of the SHS staff who has specific training in providing support for a safe, respectful and dignified interaction between provider and patient during a sensitive
examination. The chaperone serves to observe both the patient and examiner and assists as needed. You can and should request a clinical chaperone any time you feel it would improve your sense of safety and respect at Redfern Health Center. Your provider also can request a clinical chaperone if they feel it would support the safety, dignity and respect of the interaction.

    Of note, patient visitors/family members and clinical learners are not appropriate chaperones.

  • What is informed consent?

    As with all aspects of your health care, you have a right to control what does and does not happen with your body during your visit to Redfern Health Center.
If your provider determines that a sensitive
examination is necessary to best evaluate your
health concerns, they will obtain informed consent from you prior to the exam.
This conversation will include information about why your provider feels this examination is clinically necessary, what the exam will involve, and a discussion about the use of a
clinical chaperone. You will have a chance to
ask questions.
Remember, this conversation is designed to give you information to make a good decision about your own health. The choice is always yours. You can always decline the examination or change your mind about your decision at any point.

  • What can I expect from a clinical chaperone during a sensitive exam?

    Clinical chaperones will typically come into the room for the sensitive examination only, unless you
prefer a different arrangement. They will stand in a place where they can actively support both you and your provider without impacting your right to privacy any more than is strictly necessary. They are also available to assist either you or your provider if asked to do so. Once your exam is complete, they
will usually leave the exam room with your provider to allow you to get dressed in private.

  • Can I request a chaperone with a specific identity?

    It is vitally important to us that you feel comfortable with, protected by and respected by the clinical
chaperone. If you have specific needs regarding the identity (gender or otherwise) of your clinical
chaperone, please let us know and we will do everything we can to accommodate that need. If we
cannot accommodate your needs due to staffing, we will work with you to find a mutually acceptable alternative plan.

  • Other SHS commitments during sensitive examinations
    • We will always give you privacy to undress and dress.
    • We will provide drapes, gowns and shorts that allow you adequate cover for yourbody during an examination.
    • We will uncover only the parts of yourbody that need to be examined and keep them uncovered for the shortest time necessary to allow for appropriate examination.
    • We will foster a culture of responsibility and accountability within Redfern Health Center, to include clear reporting mechanisms should anyone suspect unsafe or unprofessional behavior.
    • We will continue to monitor research and best practices regarding sensitive examinations, chaperone use and respectful clinical care. We will adjust and improve our policies and practices as needed.
    • We will listen to you when you have questions, voice concerns or provide feedback.

Advance Directives

In South Carolina, if you are 18 years of age, you have the right to make you own health care decisions. This right includes the ability to decide what medical care or treatment to accept, reject or discontinue. The best way to make your wishes known is to discuss them with your family and health care providers and execute an Advance Directive.

Upon request, Student Health Services will provide information relating to the execution and use of advance directives in South Carolina. SHS will not honor advance directives but will accept copies executed by patients and will make all such copies a part of the patient’s permanent medical record.

  • Living Will

    A Living Will tells the doctor what to do if you are permanently unconscious or if you are terminally ill and close to death. A Living Will states what treatment you do not want.

  • Health Care Power of Attorney

    A medical, or durable, power of attorney names an agent of your choosing to make decisions about your health care. A health care power of attorney states what treatment you do want, as well as what you do not want when you are unable to communicate.

    South Carolina Health Care Power of Attorney

  • Five Wishes

    The Five Wishes is an easy to use legal document that lets your family and doctors know which person you want to make health care decisions for you when you can’t make them; the kind of medical treatment you want or do not want; how comfortable you want to be treated and what you want your loved ones to know.

    If you have questions about signing Advance Directives, talk with your doctor, minister, priest, rabbi or other health or religious professional. It is advisable to consult/discuss Advance Directive forms with a lawyer before signing.

Student Health Services
Student Health Services | Redfern Health Center, 735 McMillan Road, Clemson, SC 29634