Mercer's Medical Centre | General Practice & Family Medicine

Mercer's Medical Centre

General Practice & Family Medicine

COVID Information for RCSI Students

The purpose of this document is to give you the necessary information about how COVID 19 testing and care will be managed by RCSI.

IF YOU ONLY HAVE MILD SYMPTOMS, for example, slight fever, cough or sore throat, please complete this form, which is emailed directly to Mercer’s. A clinician will then contact you within 24 hours.

Please fill in the form fully and double check the details, particularly your contact details, as we will be using this information for ongoing communications.

IF YOU HAVE SEVERE SYMPTOMS, such as very high fever and/or shortness of breath, or if your symptoms worsen while waiting for a test, then please ring Mercer’s directly on 01-4022300. If the Practice is closed, you should ring the Out of Hours medical service, DubDoc, on 01-4545607 who will advise you.

Please do not attend Mercer’s or DubDoc in person unless asked to do so by a doctor, as you risk passing on infection to other patients and staff.

Your COVID care will be coordinated by RCSI’s primary care facility, Mercer’s Medical Centre. There will be no charge for any aspect of COVID care.

COVID-19 is a new disease, and we are still discovering many things about it. The information below may change based on the guidance of our national Public Health body.

 

There are a few things you should note:

  • As with all tests, there is a small percentage of “false negatives”, ie: the test states that you do not have an infection when in fact you do. No test is 100% accurate.
  • If you have contracted COVID-19, it may be some days before it shows up in the test. For this reason, you cannot be given the all clear if you have ongoing symptoms, and you may be asked to re-attend for a second test.
  • COVID-19 is a notifiable disease. This means that any positive results are automatically reported to the Government Department of Public Health. The reason for this is to document disease outbreaks, and to arrange testing of contacts of known cases of the disease.
  • A close contact is defined as someone with whom you have spent more than 15 minutes (cumulatively over the past 24 hours) at a distance of less than two metres.

 

If you are unwell

If you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever;
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Sore throat;
  • Significant loss or change to sense of smell or taste;

then you might have COVID and will need medical advice, which you can get by contacting Mercer’s Medical Centre.

pathway for sx students

 

How to Contact Mercer’s

IF YOU ONLY HAVE MILD SYMPTOMS, for example, slight fever, cough or sore throat, please complete this form, which is emailed directly to Mercer’s. A clinician will then contact you within 24 hours.

Please fill in the form fully and double check the details, particularly your contact details, as we will be using this information for ongoing communications.

IF YOU HAVE SEVERE SYMPTOMS, such as very high fever and/or shortness of breath, then please ring Mercer’s directly on 01-4022300. If the Practice is closed, you should ring the Out of Hours medical service, DubDoc, on 01-4545607 who will advise you.

Please do not attend Mercer’s or DubDoc in person unless asked to do so by a doctor, as you risk passing on infection to other patients and staff.

 

Telephone/video consultation

One of the doctors or nurses from Mercer’s Medical Centre (RCSI’s primary care centre) will ring you to offer support, evaluate your symptoms, and advise you how best to manage things at this point.

The clinician will take a history over the phone and give advice about:

  • how to manage your illness at home;
  • how the test will be carried out;
  • the need to self-isolate including absence from College;
  • what to do if your symptoms get any worse.

Most patients can be very safely managed by this type of consultation. However, if you are very unwell, you may be asked to attend for a physical examination at a community assessment hub: https://www2.hse.ie/services/coronavirus-community-assessment-hubs/

 

Testing and Results

As part of your workup, the doctor will arrange for you to have a swab taken from your throat and nose to check for the presence of COVID-19 virus. This may be done in RCSI or you may be asked to attend a Health Services Executive (HSE) swab centre. You will receive a text message from the HSE confirming your result when it is available. Mercer’s should also receive a copy of this result. 

In the event of a positive test, you must undertake to cooperate fully with the medical advice given. College and/or Public Health will then need to trace and contact all your close contacts such as classmates, lecturers, flatmates, etc. For this reason you should make a list of your close contacts starting from 48 hours before your symptoms began.

While awaiting your result:

You should assume that the test might be positive until you receive a text message with the result. This means that you should isolate, and, if sharing accommodation, that your flatmates should be made aware of the situation. Here are two links to relevant information for those scenarios:

Patient information sheet for self-isolation at home:
https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/selfisolationathome/Self-isolation%20(2).pdf

Advice for people who share a home with someone who has symptoms of Coronavirus:
https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/selfisolationathome/Sharing%20home.pdf

 

How the swab result will affect you if you have symptoms:
swab results sx

 


If your symptoms worsen, please contact Mercer’s (014022300) or, if the Practice is closed, DubDoc Out of Hours service (014545607), so a doctor can further evaluate your status.

 

Ongoing support

Mercer’s will also inform the College of any positive results. This is for reasons of public health, ie to allow contact tracing, and also to arrange for you to receive a daily telephone call from our nurse-led support team to check how you are doing and give you as much support as possible, including coordinating your reintegration back into College.

It can sometimes be an anxious time waiting for results, particularly if you are unwell. However, there is a lot of support available, including the Student Welfare Officers and Mercer’s. There is also a very good psychological and counselling service available to you (details here https://www.mercersmedicalcentre.com/rcsi-students/). All of these services are free.

 

Useful Links

Most up to date and accurate site for advice on all things Covid:
https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

Treating coronavirus symptoms at home:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/treat-symptoms-at-home.html

Self-isolation advice:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/self-isolation.html

If you live with other people and you are self-isolating:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/self-isolation.html#live-with-others

Restricted movements and advice for close contacts:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/if-you-live-with-someone-who-has-coronavirus.html

When to get further medical help and hospital treatment:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/when-to-get-medical-help-and-hospital-treatment.html