Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Effective Training: the COVID-19 Module

Students from the Charleston and AnMed Clinical campuses must review the assigned COVID-19 Module (PDF) created by MUSC Student Health that addresses the following:

  • COVID symptoms and monitoring guidelines
  • Mask and PPE guidelines
  • PPE donning and doffing videos

AnMed students must check in with Dr. Abercrombie (Campus Dean) for additional preparation that is required.


Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

MASKS  (based on MUSC Health Mask Guidance May 1, 2020)

Masks On Campus:

  • Students must wear masks while on campus.
  • Masks are mandated for use whenever individuals are likely to encounter others on campus and social distancing is not an option (e.g. elevators, moving through hallways, shuttle buses etc.).
  • Masks may be removed when social distancing is in place (e.g., two individuals seated in a room at a distance that is >6 feet apart).   
  • Isolation masks will be provided to students for all facilities. Students may wear the same isolation mask for several days as long as it is clean. Responsible use is encouraged.
  • If a student chooses to use a reusable, washable masks on campus (non-clinical areas only) they are responsible for washing it and maintaining the mask- see CDC guidance about cloth mask quality and cleaning. 

Masks In Clinical Settings:

All MUSC Health care team members, including clinical students, are required to wear appropriate masks while at work and consistently self-monitor. Clinical care team members are to only use MUSC-provided masks, not externally sourced or homemade masks. The type of mask required to be worn depends on the work setting. MUSC-provided masks include isolation masks, N95 respirators or surgical masks. Guidelines for each type of masks are outlined below.  

  • Isolation Masks:  Social distancing is difficult in health care settings. Universal use of isolation masks while at work may help reduce transmission of COVID-19 from individuals with mild or unrecognized COVID-19 symptoms.  Universal mask use will not prevent COVID-19 infection by inhalation of aerosols; however, it may reduce droplet spread.  Isolation masks should be worn while at work in all clinical or common areas of the hospital, except when required to wear the N95 respirator or surgical mask for patient care situations as defined below. Wearing of isolation masks should improve patients’ confidence in our commitment to ensuring a safe environment. Care team members must don a new isolation mask each day upon reporting to work and dispose of the mask in a trash bin at the conclusion of work.  Any mask which becomes soiled or wet with secretions during work should be disposed of and a new mask donned.
  • N95 Respirators are for care team members who are in the room of a symptomatic rule-out COVID-19 or any lab-confirmed COVID-19 patient. These masks are designed to reduce exposure to >95% airborne contaminants. To be effective they must be individually selected to fit the wearer's face and provide a good seal. A respirator should be worn when caring for COVID-19 patients, especially when performing aerosol generating procedures (bronchoscopy, intubation, etc.). STUDENTS ARE RESTRICTED FROM DIRECT CARE OF COVID-19 confirmed or suspected patients.
  • Surgical masks must be worn in the operating room, and should not be worn outside of the operating room areas.

If at any point a student cannot secure a mask from the hospital or clinical setting, they may obtain one from the COM Dean's office.

Report PPE shortages through the COM Student Concern Reporting system!


Additional PPE

Bouffant caps and non-rated yellow isolation gowns may also be utilized by students in the patient care setting as need in the course of daily clinical work.

In research laboratories and other circumstances which may make social distancing impossible, additional PPE or other measures may be required to minimize risk.