Creighton University School of Dentistry’s primary obligation is the total education of its students. Implicit in the achievement of this goal will be the student’s conscientious attendance of classes, laboratories, and clinic sessions.

At the start of the semester, the directors of didactic and laboratory courses will publish the specific procedures concerning class attendance. It is the student’s responsibility to note these procedures and to follow them carefully. Junior and Senior students are required to have a minimum of 90 percent attendance at all scheduled clinic sessions, including those of each semester as well as those of the Summer Clinic. Failure to maintain this attendance figure may require the student to attend additional clinic sessions during the following summer and may result in a delayed graduation.

The Assistant/Associate Dean for Student Affairs determines authorized absences from didactic, laboratory and clinical courses and these are only granted in response to extenuating circumstances. Repeated, unexplained absenteeism may be considered by the Student Performance Committee and if it occurs for two consecutive weeks, the student will be considered as having withdrawn from the University. This is not to be considered, however, as revoking the regulation that requires the student to notify the Dean in person or in writing of his or her withdrawal. Refunds are made to the student on the basis of the date the student has formally notified the Dean in person or in writing of withdrawal.

Officially excused absences for University-sponsored affairs must be cleared with the Assistant / Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and the Assistant / Associate Dean for Student Affairs by the responsible faculty moderator.

A student who has been unavoidably absent and who can not make up the work of a course will be permitted to withdraw without penalty. The student will receive a grade of W and no credit. A student who is dropped from a course for unexcused absences will receive a grade of AF (absence failure). Once a grade of AF has been assigned, the student is not eligible to receive a W.

Policy on Excused Absences

  1. To receive an excused absence for an illness students MUST call or email Patti Churchill 402.280.2881 or pchurch@creighton.edu) the day they are ill unless they are medically compromised. Excused absences WILL NOT be granted if requests are made after the date of the illness.
  2. Students who are involved in patient care are also required to notify their team clerk.
  3. If the student will miss an exam, quiz, block assignment, etc. as a result of the absence, it is the responsibility of the student to call or email that instructor on the same day they are ill.
  4. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the involved faculty to make up any missed item in compliance with the instructor’s make-up policy as described in the faculty member’s syllabus.

Protocol to Obtain a Scheduled Excused Absence

  1. Participation in weddings, interviews, immediate family graduations and internships/externships are examples of acceptable reasons for excused absences. Family vacations or reunions ARE NOT and should be planned during designated break periods on the school calendar.
  2. A scheduled excused absence for these events MUST BE requested at least 2 WEEKS ahead of time.
  3. Applications for internships/externships are through the Director of Extramural Programs. Once approved for an internship/externship, the student will receive an excused absence for the designated time, but remains responsible for items 5-7.
  4. Students involved in patient care MUST contact the Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs requesting to be excused. The Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs will contact the Office of Student Affairs with his/her decision.
  5. If the student is assigned to a block rotation during the requested absence, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange a substitute and to make-up that assignment. Students must contact the department for approval of another student substitute covering their block assignment.
  6. Student MUST contact their instructor to inform them about the absence.
  7. If the student will miss an exam, quiz, block assignment, etc. as a result of the absence, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the involved faculty to make up any missed item in compliance with the instructor’s make-up policy as described in the faculty member’s syllabus.
  8. Excused absences WILL NOT be granted on dates immediately preceding or following long weekends or designated break periods on the school calendar. Exceptions to this provision will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances and must be cleared in advance by the Assistant/Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

The objective of the clinic experience is to provide students with the patient treatment experiences needed to become competent general dentists.  This experience comes from treating patients, or assisting other students who are treating patients, and learning from the attending faculty.  Missed clinic sessions represent lost opportunities to learn. 

Your goal should be to have as many patient care experiences as possible.  If you do not have an appointed patient, you should be available at all times to provide care to other patients, assist another student, or do laboratory work.  You must be available to treat emergency patients or Oral Diagnosis patients whose treatment has priority over assisting or lab work.  You should be present for the entire session, and not leave the area until 30 minutes before clinic ends.  If you complete patient care before the end of the session, clean your operatory, return all instruments, and assist another student or do lab work.  Daily attendance is monitored, and only excused absences (from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs) are allowed.

Daily Attendance
Students who do not have an appointed patient or are not on a block assignment, should report at the beginning of each clinic session to the staff member who coordinates daily clinic assignments (Lead PCC).  Students whose patients cancel or fail to keep their appointments should report as soon as they are informed of the opening (not later than 15 minutes after the beginning of clinic).  Failures to report in the designated time frame, i.e. at the start of clinic or as soon as the appointment failure is known, will result in a reported unexcused absence.

Clinical Assignments
The Lead PCC may assign students to areas in the clinic based upon patient needs. The first priority will be Acute Care, then Oral Diagnosis, or to treat a patient whose student is unavailable.   If there is not an immediate need in these areas, students may elect to assist their classmates, for which they will receive RVU credits (1 RVU for each hour).  If the student elects to perform Laboratory work, they will not receive credit for the clinic session, and they still will be expected to treat patients if the need arises.

Unexcused Absences
For each unexcused absence, 15 RVUs will be subtracted from the total earned, and a make-up clinic session will be required after 2 such absences.  Make-up sessions may be applied at the end of the semester, or during the semester to provide emergency coverage when school is not in session. The make-up sessions will be a two for one arrangement; for each missed session, two make-up sessions will be required.  The assignment to these sessions will be determined by the Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Operations.  Failure to maintain the attendance requirements may dictate the student to attend the following summer session, and graduation or advancement may be delayed.

After four (4) unexcused absences, the student will be referred to the Student Performance Committee for failure to follow Clinic policy.  The Associate Dean for Clinical Services may impose other measures as deemed appropriate.

Excused Absences
Attendance at Clinic is MANDATORY. As previously noted, the clinic experience provides the students with the patient treatment experiences needed to become competent general dentists.  The School of Dentistry is aware that there are occasions where students will not be able to attend (e.g. – illness, death in the family, externships, etc.). Excused absences can be obtained through the Assistant/Associate Dean for Student Services, and are limited to no more than 10% of all sessions, thus students are required to have a minimum 90 percent attendance for each semester.  Unexcused absences are not allowed.  Lacking an excused absence, attendance at, and during, all clinic sessions is mandatory.

Scheduled Absences
Policy to Obtain a Scheduled Excused Absence

  1. Participation in weddings, interviews, immediate family graduations and internships/externships are examples of acceptable reasons for excused absences.  Family vacations or reunions ARE NOT and should be planned during designated break periods on the school calendar.
  2. A scheduled excused absence for these events MUST BE requested at least 2 WEEKS ahead of time.
  3. Applications for internships/externships are through the Director of Extramural Programs.  Once approved for an internship/externship, the student will receive an excused absence for the designated time, but remains responsible for items 5-7.  Two weeks of internships/externships time will not be included in the 10% limit of excused absences.
  4. Students involved in patient care MUST contact the Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Operations requesting to be excused.  The Assistant/Associate Dean for Clinical Operations will contact the Office of Student Affairs with his/her decision.
  5.  Student Dental Care: Students will be excused from clinic for personal dental care. These excused absences will count toward the total number allowed for the year; 10% of all clinic sessions.
  6. If the student is assigned to a block rotation during the requested absence, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange a substitute and to make-up that assignment.  Students must contact the department for approval of another student substitute covering their block assignment.
  7. Student MUST contact their instructor to inform them about the absence.
  8. If the student will miss an exam, quiz, block assignment, etc. as a result of the absence, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the involved faculty to make up any missed item in compliance with the instructor’s make-up policy as described in the faculty member’s syllabus.
  9. Excused absences WILL NOT be granted on dates immediately preceding or following long weekends or designated break periods on the school calendar.  Exceptions to this provision will be granted only in extraordinary circumstances and must be cleared in advance by the Assistant/Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Unscheduled Absence (Illness or Death in the Family)
If a student is ill, the student should inform the office of the Associate Dean for Student Services (402 280- 2881) as soon as possible.  This office will contact the Director of Clinics to cancel and reschedule appointments.  When appropriate, the student should visit Student Health Services or other health care provider for treatment of illness or health problem.  Documentation form the student’s health care provider is not required for brief illnesses (2 days or less),  However, documentation may be required if a pattern of illness is reported.  For illnesses or absences exceeding two consecutive days, written documentation is required.

Policy to Obtain an Excused Absence Due to Illness or Death in the Family

  1. To receive an excused absence for an illness students MUST call or email Patti Churchill (280-2881 or pchurch@creighton.edu) the day they are ill unless they are medically compromised.  Excused absences WILL NOT be granted if requests are made after the date of the illness.
  2. Students who are involved in patient care are also required to notify their Team PCC (Patient Care Coordinator).
  3. If the student will miss an exam, quiz, block assignment, etc. as a result of the absence, it is the responsibility of the student to call or email that instructor on the same day they are ill. 
  4. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the involved faculty to make up any missed item in compliance with the instructor’s make-up policy as described in the faculty member’s syllabus.

Block Rotation Changes
Students are assigned to different block assignments throughout the year.  The Director of Clinics makes these assignments approximately one month prior to the start of a new clinic session.  Block assignments are entered on the student’s computer schedule so the student’s schedule is not over booked.  If a student wishes to change a block assignment, it is his/her responsibility to find another student who will switch assignments.  Forms to document requested block changes can be obtained from the Lead PCC.  Any changes must be approved by the chairperson of the department involved, and the approval form brought to the Lead PCC, who will make the appropriate changes in the computer system. Punctual attendance at all blocks is required.

PROFESSIONAL DRESS/APPEARANCE STANDARDS
Integral to any health care facility’s standards of excellence are the professional appearance and demeanor of every person contributing directly or indirectly to the care and management of patients.  The image that is presented with patients, colleagues, and visitors has a major influence on how one is perceived as a professional.  A professional appearance inspires confidence in one’s patients and associates.