This guide aims to provide program managers with a step-by-step approach to effectively respond when a participant falls ill during an experiential program. Prompt and appropriate actions are crucial to ensuring the participant’s well-being and minimizing the risk of further spread within the group. Please follow the outlined steps below to handle such situations with care and efficiency.
For up-to-date information on contagious illnesses, refer to reputable health department guidelines and local healthcare facilities.
Assessing the Situation
When a participant displays symptoms of illness, it is important to conduct an initial assessment to determine the appropriate course of action. Consider the following questions:
- What are the symptoms and their severity?
- Is the illness contagious, and if so, how easily is it transmitted?
- What is the potential risk to other participants?
- Does the participant require medical care or attention?
- What are the isolation and quarantine guidelines?
Immediate Steps to Take
Once the situation is assessed-
- Separate the participant from the group discreetly, if infection is suspected.
- Provide the participant with a well-fitted mask upon symptom onset or positive test result.
- Evaluate the need for medical care based on the participant’s condition. Contact local healthcare providers to seek professional advice and assistance.
- Maintain open communication and provide necessary support to the participant. If a student is hospitalized outside the United States, program administrators must open a case with International SOS using the information found here.
In case of emergency situations or warning signs, ensure immediate access to appropriate medical care. Coordinate closely with healthcare professionals to monitor the participant’s health and provide treatment.
Reference OGHS’s Medical Resources and International SOS (ISOS) Information here.
Follow the recommended duration for isolation or quarantine, as specified by health authorities. Make suitable arrangements for the participant’s accommodation and housing, ensuring they have a safe and separate space. Provide support and assistance to the isolated participant, including access to meals and academic continuity planning.
Maintain clear and timely communication throughout the process. Internally, ensure relevant staff members are informed about the participant’s illness and progress. Notify the Office of Global Health & Safety (OGHS) and the Program Manager via email, including the participant in the communication for transparency. Adhere to privacy and confidentiality considerations when sharing information.
Any medical event that impacts a participant’s ability to continue their program itenary and/or courses must be reported via Incident Report. Reference “Submit an Incident Report” at the top and bottom of this page.
Responding effectively when a participant falls ill is crucial to ensure their well-being and prevent further spread of contagious illnesses. By following the outlined steps, maintaining open communication, and accessing relevant resources, program managers can provide appropriate care and support to sick participants. Regular updates, follow-up, and adherence to health guidelines are essential to managing these situations successfully.
Please note that this guidance should be used as a reference, and specific program requirements and circumstances may warrant additional actions or adaptations.