Student Services

Student Services

The Office of Admissions and Student Services1 exists to support students and enhance their quality of life and to facilitate their academic endeavors while in attendance at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine. The curriculum at LUCOM is rigorous and is designed to prepare students to become osteopathic physicians, placing demands on the student and the student’s family that often mandate outside assistance. The Office of Admissions and Student Services intentionally strives to execute retention activities to help meet the diverse emotional, spiritual, social, physical, financial, and academic needs of students. The Office of Admissions and Student Services maintains an open-door policy to guide and advise students on personal and spiritual matters.

Student Services is responsible to provide oversight for, collaborate with and coordinate student government and student organizations’ activities: social, community service and outreach events, educational presentations, symposiums, etc.

The Office of Admissions and Student Services works with the Office of the Dean to assign student advisors for the individual students to provide mentorship, role modeling, and general guidance during the student’s time at LUCOM.

Flames Pass

The Flames Pass is the official Liberty University ID card. It provides access to the college and its various educational and administrative areas such as the laboratories and library. In addition, it can provide access to pre-paid meal plans, Flames Cash, serve as student I.D. for sporting events and activities campus wide. The Flames Pass is valid as long as a student is actively enrolled and financially in good standing. During orientation, students will apply for their Flames Pass through the ID & Campus Services Office.

Parking Decals2

Any motor vehicle (including motorcycles, motorbikes, and mopeds) or bicycle operated or parked on property owned or controlled by Liberty University must display a valid Liberty University parking permit or pass. The type of permit or pass indicates the areas in which a vehicle may be parked. COM students will have an assigned parking lot on campus and any car parked in faculty or clinic parking is subject to a ticket or tow.

Students must register for their parking permits or passes with the Liberty University Police Department during orientation and annually by following the directions on the LUPD webpage. Students must abide by all parking rules and regulations as stated on the Liberty University Police Department webpage.

Liberty University Police Department (LUPD)2

The Liberty University Police Department (LUPD) provides 24-hour a day patrol, police, security, and emergency medical services to the campus, parking lots, residence halls, and other properties owned or controlled by the University.

LUPD officers are duly sworn with full law enforcement powers and responsibilities, identical to those of the local police or sheriff’s department in any local community.

LUPD reminds students that safety is a community responsibility. A truly safe campus can only be achieved through active participation of all persons who reside, work, study, or visit on campus.

LUPD Contact Information:

  • On-campus Emergency Services (Police, Fire, EMS): (434) 592-3911
  • Non-Emergency and Escort Service: (434) 592-7641

BankMobile Card3

The BankMobile card is issued to every Liberty University student and is the tool needed to select a refund preference to receive financial refunds. BankMobile is the banking partner that disburses refunds for the University. For new medical students, the card is sent to the mailing address on file with the University approximately three weeks prior to first day of orientation on campus. Financial check-in must be completed before the student will receive their card.

A student retains the same card during their time as a student at Liberty University. For returning students (those who were once a student at Liberty University) the original BankMobile card will still be active. If the student no longer has possession of the card, please contact ID & Campus Services to have another card ordered. Important: No refunds from a student account can be processed until the card is activated online and the refund method selected.

For more information, contact the LU ID & Campus Services Office.

Lockers

Students will be assigned a locker annually during the OMS-I and OMS-II years. They are available for usage from the first day of class the first semester until the last day of class at the end of each year. Students are to provide their own lock. The University or College are not responsible for theft or lost items from the lockers. The lock and the material in the locker must be removed within one week after the end of the each year or the lock will be cut and the material in the locker disposed of by the College.

Mental Health and Wellness4

Mental Health Policy

LUCOM is committed to providing mental health resources to its students across OMS I-IV. The COM offers access to mental health services (1.) through Liberty University Counseling & Psychological Services (LU CAPS), and (2.) to students within the United States 24/7 385 days a year through TimelyCare, and (3.) via resources at core and affiliated sites. Each of these entities abide by strict confidentiality practices and protection of students’ rights at all times. For contact information for these resources, please see below and the LUCOM Student Services webpage. Furthermore, the Safety, Health, and Wellness Committee’s charge includes developing and supporting policies, procedures, events, and recommendations that advance and promote LUCOM students’ mental health.

Mental Health Procedures

There are multiple ways to initiate mental health resources and support. LUCOM encourages students to reach out directly to the sourced mental health resources, or to their provider of choice. Additionally, students can contact LUCOM’s Academic Support and Success Center for academic and mental health resources. Furthermore, students can be referred by peers, faculty, or staff to LU CAPS for mental health resources and support.

Students can find care through drop-in consultations, group meetings, or individual sessions through Liberty University Counseling & Psychological Services (LU CAPS). To make an appointment to see a counselor: LU CAPS offers same day access. To access services for the first time in the semester, a student should visit Counseling & Psychological Services during walk-in hours, which are between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. On Wednesday and Fridays, walk-in hours are between 12 p.m.-3 p.m. The student must come in during walk-in hours for their first appointment, and all subsequent appointments will be scheduled directly with the student’s counselor. Counseling & psychological services are free for the student. In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), the counseling and educational record of each student is considered confidential.

Furthermore, all LUCOM students have access to TimelyCare, a virtual health and well-being platform available 24/7 for LUCOM students. Services include on-demand support of common health issues, on-demand emotional support to talk about anything, scheduled medical appointments, scheduled counseling appointments (12 visits per year), health coaching, psychiatry appointments (available through referrals), self-care content, and basic needs support. Go to timelycare.com/LUCOM or download the TimelyCare app to access care. Log in using your Liberty email address. TimelyCare resources and services are free for all LUCOM students.

Finally, students completing core rotations, site coordinators will provide students with accessible mental health services in proximity to the site. Please refer to Accessible Mental Health Resources for additional information outlining accessible mental health services at core rotation sites. For affiliated, non-core rotation sites, please reach out to the site coordinator directly. LUCOM's core and affiliated clinical training sites may render care but are not responsible for the cost of such care. Students are financially responsible for any medical care they receive at a training site. A health professional providing health services, via a therapeutic relationship, must recuse him/herself from the academic assessment or promotion of the student receiving those services. 

Educational Resources for Mental Health

LUCOM will provide annual education on available mental health resources to all students and employees.

Clinical Resources for Mental Health

In order to provide access and equity of mental health services for all students throughout the continuum of preclinical and clinical education, LUCOM students have access to StudentLinc at 1-888-893-5462.  This unique telehealth access has been provided to enable access to 24-hour mental health services. Additionally, all LUCOM students across OMS-I through OMS-IV also have access to TimelyCare, providing free, 24/7 access to providers from anywhere in the United States.

If there are significant concerns due to fatigue or life balance (e.g. resulting from health issues, life events or others), a Leave of Absence (LOA) is available for students to take a break from academic requirements and return when issues have been addressed as outlined in the Leave of Absence Policy. LOAs can be requested through The Office of the Registrar.

Liberty University Resources

LU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Professional counselors are available to provide individual counseling, group counseling, and referrals as needed.

Green Hall, 1830
(434) 582-2651
caps@liberty.edu // https://www.lustudentcounseling.com/
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Closed Wednesdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.)
*For an emergency, contact LUPD at (434) 592-3911.

LU Office of Community Life

Green Hall, Room 1880
Office: (434) 582-2320
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m.-5 p.m.

LU Shepherd Office

Dorm M17, Ground Level
Office: (434) 592-5411
On Call/After Hours: (434) 582-4444
lushepherd@liberty.edu
Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m.-5 p.m.

Liberty University Police Department

Green Hall
Emergency: (434) 592-3911 (Services available 24/7)
Non-Emergency: (434) 592-7641
LUPD@liberty.edu
Monday – Friday
7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Local Resources

For students in Lynchburg, the following provides local mental health services that students may access confidential services during business hours:

Centra Piedmont Psychiatric Center

3300 Rivermont Avenue
Lynchburg, VA, 24503
(434) 200-5999
Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
*After hours, for an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department (Lynchburg General Hospital)

LUCOM Rotation Resources
For students completing core or required rotations at core rotation sites, site coordinators will provide students with accessible mental health services in proximity to the site. Please refer to Accessible Mental Health Resources for additional information outlining accessible mental health services.

Fatigue Mitigation4

The following policy relates to fatigue mitigation.

Fatigue Mitigation Policy

The accreditation standards for graduate medical education (GME) programs include restrictions on the duty hours of residents. Additionally, institutions are expected to promote a clinical learning environment in which duty hours are monitored and strategies exist to mitigate the effects of fatigue.

As LUCOM prepares student doctors to enter into GME, the COM is committed to promoting medical education, safety and well-being in a supportive educational environment and ensuring students appear appropriately rested and appear mentally and physically fit for educational and clinical responsibilities. This policy is established to proactively provide education and resources that assist in the prevention and mitigation of stress and fatigue, as well as promote strategies for lifelong approaches to health and wellness as a component of professional responsibility. The policy addresses fatigue at a level causing cognitive and/or motor impairment that is defined as weariness or exhaustion from exertion and stress, possibly manifesting in physical and/or mental symptoms causing impairment in functioning. 

This policy provides guidance on methods and available resources that aim to:

  • Ensure that students receive education on fatigue, sleep deprivation, burnout, and other issues related to physical and psychological well-being.
  • Ensure that students receive education on fatigue management and mitigation strategies, other mechanisms to promote well-being, and available mental health resources for stress management and strategies or overall life balance.
  • Promote medical student understanding of duty hours on clerkship rotations, duty hour restrictions, the rationale behind them, and the importance of adherence. (Please refer to Clinical Rotations Policies and Procedures)

Fatigue Mitigation Procedure

Any concerns regarding fatigue, health and wellness including perceived symptoms (stress, anxiety, depression, exhaustion etc.) of self or others, may be reported to LUCOM administration. Appropriate steps will be taken to investigate the concern confidentially and identify appropriate strategies to address the concern. Additionally, students will receive training on fatigue mitigation and corresponding strategies in addition to educational and clinical resources that address fatigue mitigation and health and wellness, as referenced in subsequent sections.

Educational Resources to Address Fatigue Mitigation

LUCOM will provide annual education available for all faculty members, students, and staff on recognizing the signs of fatigue and sleep deprivation, and information on alertness management as well as self-care and life balance.
The annual education will consist of providing education on fatigue, sleep deprivation, burnout, and other issues related to physical and psychological well-being through the use of synchronous educational activities provided by qualified health professionals and/or asynchronous educational resources that include, but are not limited to, the use of the LIFE Curriculum.

Clinical Resources to Address Fatigue Mitigation

The preclinical academic schedule and attendance policies allow for flexible time for study, life balance and rest if needed. This also allows flexible time for faculty and staff to balance various responsibilities with the goal of reducing stress and fatigue; and LUCOM provides a limited number of confidential counseling services each year for students. Services are provided by outside mental health providers and are completely anonymous to LUCOM. Students can contact LU CAPS for a referral to local counseling services.

Physical Health Services5

Physical Health Policy

Students may seek diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health services at the provider of their choice. The following information is provided as a resource to assist students in seeking health care services that are available as students enrolled at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine. For contact information for these resources, please see below and the LUCOM Student Services webpage . Furthermore, the Safety, Health, and Wellness Committee’s charge includes developing and supporting policies, procedures, events, and recommendations that advance and promote LUCOM students’ physical health.

Physical Health Procedures

Students may schedule an appointment at the Liberty University Student Health Center (LUSHC). During the academic year, appointments can only be scheduled in person for the current day. During the summer, students may schedule an appointment via phone. Students can visit the Student Health Center an unlimited amount of times. Seeing the same provider when there are multiple visits for ongoing medical issues ensures continuity of care. General office visits are appropriate for most conditions, but LUSHC providers will make appropriate referrals to outside specialists.

Furthermore, all LUCOM students also have access to TimelyCare, a virtual health and well-being platform available 24/7 for LUCOM students. Services include on-demand support for common health issues, on-demand emotional support to talk about anything, scheduled medical appointments, scheduled counseling appointments (12 visits per year), health coaching, psychiatry appointments (available through referrals), self-care content, and basic needs support. Go to timelycare.com/LUCOM or download the TimelyCare app to access care. Log in using your Liberty email address. TimelyCare resources and services are free for all LUCOM students.

As it is the policy of LUCOM that students may seek diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health services at the provider of their choice, students may access walk-in care at local clinics or hospitals. For students in the clinical years, site coordinators will provide students with accessible physical health services in proximity to the site. Please also refer to Physical Health Resources for additional information outlining accessible physical health services.

Physical Health Educational Resources

LUCOM will provide annual education on available physical health resources to all students and employees. Physical Health Clinical Resources
All students have access to the Liberty University Student Health Center on Liberty University’s campus.

LU Student Health and Wellness Center services are designed to promote the current and future well-being of our student-patients through the provision of nationally recognized healthcare. The LUSHC offers services that are cost-effective and responsive to student needs so as to reduce the impact of illness and other health concerns which may interfere with student success.

On campus healthcare services are provided as a convenience for students and staff. Payment for services rendered is the patient's responsibility. If preferred, the student may contact any other health provider of their choice.

Services Offered Include: Women’s Health, Upper Respiratory, Allergy & Immunization, X-Ray, and Labs. Please contact or visit the Liberty University Student Health Center for a detailed description of provided services.

Liberty University Student Health Center
Commons 3
1606 Regents Parkway
Phone: (434) 338-7774
Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
(Open until 6:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday during Liberty University's main campus semester)

Local Resources

Centra Lynchburg General Hospital

1901 Tate Springs Road
Lynchburg, VA 24501
Phone (434) 200-3000
Monday- Sunday: Open 24 hours
If students need non-emergency medical care after hours, there are a number of CVFP immediate care facilities that can be utilized.

Walk-In-Care Immediate Care Wards Road

14005 S. Wards Road, Ste. A
Lynchburg, Virginia 24501
(434) 239-0132
Monday-Sunday
8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Walk-In-Care Candlers Mtn.

2832 Candlers Mountain Road
Lynchburg, VA 24502
(434) 473-7700
Monday-Friday: 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.

LUCOM Rotation Resources

For students completing core or required rotations at core rotation sites, site coordinators will provide students with accessible physical health services in proximity to the site. Please refer to Physical Health Resources for additional information outlining accessible physical health services.

For students completing away rotations, site coordinators will provide students with accessible physical health services in proximity to the site.

Incident/Exposure Policy6

Universal Precautions

Universal precautions is a concept which is common to all clinical settings. It assumes that any body fluids that you may be exposed to are infectious with entities such as HIV, Hepatitis, or other pathogens. It assumes that possible exposures could transmit the host’s infection to the health care worker or student. By assuming that all patients have dangerous infections and all body fluids may be able to transmit dangerous infections, we take universal precautions to prevent such transmissions.

Universal precautions shall be practiced in the care of all patients.

Gloves should be worn:

  • When touching blood, other body fluids, mucous membranes, or non-intact skin of all patients
  • When handling items or surfaces soiled with blood or body fluids to which universal precautions apply
  • For performing phlebotomy.
  • In situations where the health care worker judges that hand contamination with blood or body fluids or mucous membranes may occur.
  • For performing finger and/or heel sticks on infants and children.

Masks and protective eyewear or face shields should be worn by health care workers to prevent exposure of mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes during procedures that are likely to generate droplets of blood or body fluids requiring universal precautions. Gowns or aprons should be worn during procedures that are likely to generate splashes of blood or body fluids requiring universal precautions.

All health care workers should take precautions to prevent injuries caused by needles, scalpels, and other sharp instruments or devices during procedures; when cleaning used instruments; during disposal of used needles; and when handling sharp instruments after procedures. To prevent needle stick injuries, needles should not be recapped by hand, purposely bent or broken by hand, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand. After they are used, disposable syringes and needles, scalpel blades, and other sharp items should be placed in puncture-resistant containers for disposal. The puncture- resistant containers should be located as close as practical to the use area. All reusable needles should be placed in a puncture-resistant container for transport to the reprocessing area.

Exposure to Hazardous Body Fluids and Accidental Needle Stick7

Occupational exposure to blood borne pathogens may occur during preclinical labs as well as patient care activities. It is critical that LUCOM students understand the actions they need to take to protect themselves if such an exposure happens. To assist students in this process, LUCOM has developed the Incident/Exposure Report Form located on the LUCOM website under Academic Documents. Any student who sustains a needle stick or other potential exposure to blood or body fluids should immediately wash the affected area with soap and water. If the exposure involves the eyes or mucous membranes, they should be immediately flushed with copious amounts of water. Following irrigation of the affected area, the exposure should be immediately reported to the appropriate clinical/faculty supervisor. As supervisory faculty will vary based on the setting, students should refer to the Incident/Exposure Report Form which will provide additional guidance. Finally, all students involved in an occupational exposure must seek medical attention to ensure that appropriate medical care relating to the exposure is provided. This medical follow up is time sensitive and must occur within 2 hours if the exposure involves blood or other body fluids. The LUCOM Incident/Exposure Report Form provides students step-by-step guidance through these processes, including the acceptable medical care follow up for an incident or exposure. Please note that students must complete the Incident/Exposure Report Form and return it to the Office of Clinical Education within one business day of the exposure or incident.

As discussed above and on the LUCOM Incident/Exposure Report Form, timely medical follow up is essential. When reviewing the acceptable medical follow up options on the Incident/Exposure Report Form, it is important for all students to recognize that they are not employees of any hospital, clinic or practice where they are rotating and thus they are not covered under workman’s compensation or the policies of the institution if they suffer an accident or injury. All LUCOM students are required to carry medical insurance to cover the expense of such an unlikely event and provide coverage for the laboratory testing and prophylactic medications that may be required. Students are responsible for all costs whether covered by their personal insurance or not. This includes copayments.

Medical care evaluation after an incident or exposure must occur in a professional setting as described in the Incident/Exposure Report Form and involves the establishment of a formal doctor-patient relationship and generation of a medical record that can be utilized by the student and their physician in any subsequent or follow up care that is required. This is protected health information and should not be submitted or reported to LUCOM.

Students are reminded that they are individually responsible for any charges that may occur as a result of evaluation and treatment. Some institutions will provide initial screening and treatment for students that are exposed on their campuses. In addition, institutional policy at hospitals and medical clinics may provide for testing of source patient blood to include rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing. However, regardless of whether an institution provides this source testing, students are still required to obtain medical care consultation within the time frame described in the Incident/Exposure Report Form. Students are reminded that HIV drug prophylaxis, when indicated, is time sensitive in a high-risk exposure.

Other Health Care Related Exposures or Injuries

In the course of clinical education, students are sometimes exposed to infectious diseases that require evaluation and/or treatment. An example of this is Pertussis, but there are others. If the exposure happens to an employee of the institution, Employee Health handles these situations. As students are not employees but visiting students, the local employee health office will not be able to assist in most cases. If a student becomes aware that they have been exposed to an infectious disease requiring further evaluation or treatment, they are required to fill out the Incident/Exposure Report Form. In so doing, they are required to immediately inform their clinical/faculty supervisor. They must contact the Office of Clinical Education and submit the Incident/Exposure Report Form within one business day. Students are required to seek timely medical care. If it is an emergency, they must be seen at the emergency department. If it is not an emergency, the student may be seen at the LU Student Health Clinic, by their personal physician, an urgent care center, or a walk-in clinic within 24 hours of becoming aware of the potential exposure. Occupational Health or Employee Health at a local clinical site can also be a potential resource. In the course of clinical education, students occasionally are injured. This may be the result of an accident or of workplace violence. If a student is injured, they are required to fill out the Incident/Exposure Report Form. In so doing, they are required to immediately inform their clinical/faculty supervisor. They must contact the Office of Clinical Education and submit the Incident/Exposure Report Form within one business day. They are also required to seek timely medical care. If it is an emergency, they must be seen at the emergency department. If it is not an emergency, the student may be seen by their personal physician, an urgent care center, or a walk in clinic within 24 hours. If the injury is the result of workplace violence, the student is strongly encouraged to be seen in the emergency department. The student is also to follow the direction of officials from the hosting institution.

Students are reminded that they are individually responsible for any charges that may occur as a result of evaluation and treatment.

General Safety, Health, and Wellness

Students must follow the policies and procedures for exposure to infectious and environmental hazards and procedures for care and treatment after such exposures as outlined by the COM. Students receive education on these matters and general safety practices within the clinical environment through modules on topics such as, but not limited to, OSHA and Bloodborne Pathogens.
In addition, students in the clinical years (OMS III and OMS IV) must also follow the policies and procedures for safety, health, and wellness as outlined by the distributed sites. OMS III students will receive safety and well-being policies and procedures as a part of their site orientation, which students will attest to receiving. OMS IV students will be responsible for acquiring the safety and well-being policies and procedures of their respective rotation sites and will be required to submit an attestation of understanding of this responsibility in their fourth year.
LUCOM is committed to supporting students’ well-being, including while rotating at COM-affiliated teaching education sites. In the event of a known, natural disaster or emergency, LUCOM will identify what students are at the impacted location and contact both the student and the site to check on their wellness and offer support to help meet the immediate needs of the student(s).

Additional Information

More information may be found on the LUCOM Student Services webpage.


1

9.8 Mental Health Services, 9.9 Physical Health Services

2

4.2 Security and Public Safety

3

9.7 Financial Aid and Debt Management Counseling

4

5.3 Safety, Health, and Wellness, 9.8 Mental Health Services

5

5.3 Safety, Health, and Wellness, 9.9 Physical Health Services

6

4.2 Security and Public Safety, 5.3 Safety, Health, and Wellness

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9.11 Health Insurance

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