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.

If you are concerned that you might have been in contact with someone with Covid and are wondering what to do next, please read this link. You should be able to decide whether you were a CASUAL contact or a CLOSE contact. 

This is only a guide but CASUAL contact can mean:

  • spending less than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person, indoor or outdoor
  • being in the same room as an infected person for less than 2 hours
  • being on public transport or an airplane with an infected person but not sitting near them
  • Spending more than 2 hours in an indoor space with a person who has coronavirus will sometimes count as casual contact. This could be an office or a classroom. But it will depend on the size of the room and other factors. Public health teams who risk asses or contact tracers will let you know if you are at risk during contact tracing.

This is only a guide but CLOSE contact can mean:

  • spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of someone who has coronavirus, indoor or outdoor
  • living in the same house or shared accommodation as someone who has coronavirus
  • sitting within 2 seats of someone who has coronavirus on public transport or an airplane
  • Spending more than 2 hours in an indoor space with someone who has coronavirus will sometimes count as close or casual contact. This could be an office or a classroom. But it will depend on the size of the room and other factors. Public health doctors or contact tracers will let you know if you are at risk during contact tracing and public health risk assessments.
  • If you are in contact with someone who has been in contact with someone else who has Covid, then you personally are NOT a close contact.

 

 

NATIONAL COVID TRACKER APP

All students MUST download Ireland’s national Covid tracker app. This will alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid and will allow Public Health to contact you and advise you as to what you should do. You can find out more information and how to download it here, and details on how it works here.

 

It is very important to note that ALL RCSI student are classified as healthcare workers, and for reasons of public safety, the conditions attached to healthcare workers are more stringent than for the general public. This is laid out in this document.

 

In particular, in relation to CASUAL CONTACTS, the advice is as follows:  

 7.1.1.Casual contacts should undergo passive follow-up where they self-monitor for

symptoms.

You must do this by completing the daily health log on Moodle. 

7.2.1.No restriction on movement, interactions with others or work is advised

 

In relation to CLOSE CONTACTS, the advice is

6.1.1.Close contacts of a confirmed case may not remain at work and should restrict movements and undergo active follow-up.

6.1.10. If they remain asymptomatic throughout the monitoring period, they may return to work after 14 days.

In a nutshell, this means that if you are identified as being a close contact with a Covid positive individual, then you will not be allowed to attend ANY / ALL RCSI SITES for a period of 14 days from your last contact with that person.

It is extremely important that you minimise your risk of becoming a close contact by strictly following the advice in relation to limiting your contacts and social distancing. Please note that repeated 14 day exclusions from clinical placements is likely to have an impact on your ability to achieve the learning outcomes and progress on time. 

 

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.

Pathways 10 09

 

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.

 

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. You will usually be asked to attend a Health Services Executive (HSE) swab centre. If you do not have your own car, you should get to the HSE testing centre by walking or cycling and avoid using public transport. If it is really not possible for you to do this because you are too unwell or for some other good reason, then please contact covidcontroladmin@rcsi.ie for further advice.

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

Advice for people who share a home with someone who has symptoms of Coronavirus:

 

How the swab result will affect you:

 RCSI student covid testing pathway 22.9.20

Restrict your movements - see this link

Self-isolate - see this link

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 to allow for contact tracing, and also to arrange for you to receive a regular 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. 

Mercer's will notify Public Health of your diagnosis, as Covid is a notifiable disease. This means that you will also be contacted by Public Health to check on your wellbeing and for contact tracing purposes. 

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