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Safety and Wellness

This page is dedicated to the Safety and Wellness resources available to students if they are necessary. Use the drawers on this page to explore the many Safety and Wellness resources.

Care in Student Emergencies

Purpose

To establish guidelines for faculty/staff assisting students in medical or psychiatric emergencies.

Introduction 

An emergency can occur on any day, at any time, in any location, including while in the classroom. Faculty and staff may be placed in a position to assist a student with an emergency. This document provides basic guidelines on how-to handle an emergency and what to expect.


What to Do in an Emergency

Unconscious person

The following steps should be taken:

  1. Determine if the person is unconscious or responsive by speaking to them or gently shaking them.
  2. Immediately contact University Police at 973-655-5222 or from an on campus phone by dialing extension 5222. The caller should give the following information to the University Police dispatcher:
    • Type of emergency – give as much information as possible regarding the nature of the emergency and whether the person is conscious or unconscious.
    • Name of building, facility, or area.
    • Location of emergency within building, facility, or area.
    • Phone number you are calling from, if asked.
    • Additional information requested by the University Police dispatcher.
  3. Remain on the phone with the University Police dispatcher, unless told to do otherwise. The phone should remain available should the dispatcher need to call back.
  4. If available, another person should be sent outside of the building to meet and direct EMS and University Police to the person.
  5. If you feel comfortable and able, place the person in the Recovery Position, which moves the person to their side, using their arm and leg for support. (See image below.)
  6. Once EMS and University Police have arrived, remain on scene to assist with any questions that EMS and University Police may have regarding the emergency.

Conscious person experiencing a medical emergency

The following steps should be taken:

  1. If a person is responsive, breathing, and able to speak, call University Police at 973-655- 5222 or from an on campus phone by dialing extension 5222.
    1. Try to keep the person as comfortable as possible until EMS or University Police arrive. Always speak in a calm and reassuring tone of voice.
    2. If the person can speak, ask them basic information such as their age, name, medical history, medications, and allergies. Always relay this information to the emergency responders as they arrive.
  2. Remain on the phone with the University Police dispatcher, unless told to do otherwise. Phone should remain available in case the dispatcher needs to call back.
  3. If available, another bystander should be sent outside of building to meet and direct EMS and University Police to the person.
  4. Once EMS and University Police have arrived, remain on scene to assist with any questions that EMS and University Police may have regarding the emergency.

Special Cases

Seizures

Seizures can look like staring spells while other seizures cause a person to fall, shake, and lose awareness of what is going on around them. Most seizures last a few minutes or less.

In cases of a person who is actively having a seizure, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Immediately call 973-655-5222 or from an on campus phone by dialing extension 5222 to request EMS. Follow the steps above for an unconscious person.
  2. Ease the person to the floor if they are in a chair or desk and clear the area around the person of all objects that could lead to injury (desk, chairs, etc.).
  3. Once on the floor, turn the person on to their side (see Recovery Position illustration below) to make breathing easier.
  4. Do not attempt to hold the person down or place anything in their mouth. This is dangerous to the person and can result in injury to both you and the person. You may place something soft and flat (such as a sweatshirt or jacket) under the persons head to prevent injuries to the head. Remove eye glasses and if possible, loosen any tight items, such as a tie, from around the person’s neck.
  5. Note how long the person was having a seizure for and report this to EMS staff when they arrive. Once the person has finished having a seizure, they may not immediately be able to communicate normally. They may be confused or still “out of it”. Speak to the person in a calm and reassuring voice. At this point, it is best to place the person in the Recovery Position, if able to and comfortable in doing so, and allow for the student to become more alert. Do not give the person anything to eat or drink.
  6. Recovery Position

Graphic demonstrating the 'recovery position'.

Allergic Reactions

A sudden, life threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can cause difficulty breathing, hives or rash, swelling of the tongue and face, swelling of the airway, etc. The person may have difficulty speaking. Most people with known serious allergies carry a medication with them known as Epinephrine. This is given as an injection in a single pre-loaded dose of medication know as an Epinephrine auto-injector- commonly known as an EpiPen©. Most people with serious allergies know when it is appropriate to use their epinephrine medication or can assist someone else in using it if they are unable to administer it on their own. 

In cases of a person who is having a severe allergic reaction, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Immediately call 973-655-5222 or from an on campus phone by dialing extension 5222 to request EMS. Follow the steps above for a conscious person if the person is alert and awake.
  2. Ask the person if they carry epinephrine auto-injector pen (commonly known as EpiPen®) and where it is located.
  3. If the person is able to administer the epinephrine pen on their own, allow them to do so. Should they be unable to use their epinephrine pen, but inform you that it is needed, and they need assistance with the epinephrine pen, there are instructions on the container that explain how to use it, if you feel comfortable.
  4. The epinephrine pen is given on the outside portion of the thigh at a 90-degree angle. Firmly press the epinephrine pen into the person’s thigh and hold it for 10 seconds to allow for the medication to be administered. When assisting with an epinephrine pen, be aware of which end the needle is located. Never place your hand around either end of an epinephrine pen, but rather hold it in the middle when assisting.
  5. If necessary, you can inject an epinephrine pen through clothing.
  6. Anyone who has received an epinephrine pen injection still needs to go to the hospital.

Picture of an epinephrine auto injector

Note: This is an Epinephrine Auto-Injector- commonly known as an EpiPen©. There may be a different name on the container (EpiPen©, Epinephrine Pen, Auvi-Q, AdrenaClick, Allerject)


Psychiatric Emergency

A psychiatric emergency is an acute disturbance of behavior, thought or mood of a patient which if untreated may lead to harm, either to the individual or to others in the environment. This may be in the form of a panic attack, severe depressive episode, anxiety attacks, suicidal ideation, delusions and hallucinations, self-harm, harm to others, etc. Not all psychological issues are emergencies. Emergency responders have mental health emergency training to handle these situations.

In situations where a suspected psychiatric emergency exists, the following steps should be taken:

  1. If a person is responsive, breathing, and able to speak, call University Police at 973-655- 5222 or from an on campus phone by dialing extension 5222.
  2. Try to keep the person as comfortable as possible until EMS or University Police arrive. Always speak in a calm and reassuring tone of voice. If the person does not want to further explain a situation, do not try to force someone to talk.
  3. If the person can speak, ask them basic information about their demographics, medical history, medications, and allergies. Always relay this information to the emergency responders when they arrive.

Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

If you encounter an individual who displays symptoms of drug or alcohol use such as: confusion, slurred speech, passing out, hallucinating, incoherent, or agitated/belligerent behavior the following steps should be taken:

  1. Call University Police at 973-655- 5222 or from an on campus phone by dialing extension 5222.
  2. If the student is unconscious, follow the steps for Unconscious Person on page 1
  3. If possible, ease the person to the floor if they are in a chair or desk and place the student in the Recovery Position (page 2).

Non-Emergency Student Mental Health Concerns

In situations where a student is having a non-emergency mental health concern, you may refer the student to the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office. CAPS can be reached during regular business hours at 973-655-5211 to discuss concerns, set up appointments, and learn about available services. They are located in Russ Hall.


Campus Training

On campus training in CPR, AED, and first aid is available in varying formats, e.g., in-class, hybrid. University departments can also request individualized workshops based on unique departmental needs and/or compliance requirements.  Workshops are provided at no cost to MSU departments.


For More Information

Jacqueline Lawrence, Managing Director, EMS

Tel: 973-655-7836   E-mail: lawrencejac@montclair.edu

February 2019

Counseling and Psychological Services

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)  provides free and confidential counseling and psychological services for the campus community. CAPS services are offered to both undergraduate and graduate students with the goal of enhancing well being and academic performance through resolution of conflict and the development of new skills. CAPS helps students make the most of their academic education, prevent further problems and assists them in developing to their fullest potential by learning new skills and resolving conflicts that may limit their performance.

The staff is sensitive and responsive to the broad range of diversity within our student population including but not limited to gender, race, culture, ability, age and sexual orientation. We offer:

  • Telephone screening to assess needs and initiate services.
  • Intake assessment and referral to on campus and community resources.
  • Individual, couple, and group counseling.
  • Alcohol and other drug use disorder assessment, treatment, and referrals.
  • Preventive outreach programming designed to improve mental health and enhance personal and academic skills development.
  • Consultation to students, faculty and staff.
  • Emergency response to psychological crises 24 hours a day.

Let’s Talk

“Let’s Talk”  walk-in consultation hours increase access to support for students who may be reluctant to seek help directly at CAPS. If you are concerned about a student and think it might be helpful, please let them know of this resource and walk them over to one of our sites. No appointment is needed. All of 7 sites are open to all students.  For the schedule and more information on “Let’s Talk” please view the Let’s Talk website.

How can Counseling and Psychological Services help you as a faculty and staff member?

CAPS offers resources to faculty and staff to help identify students at risk and connect them with appropriate resources.   If you have a question about a student or believe a student is at risk please call CAPS to consult with a staff member. The staff member will help you to identify the appropriate resources for the student.

If this is an urgent concern please contact CAPS and inform the receptionist that there is an urgent situation requiring immediate attention. If it is after office hours please contact University Police at 973-655-5222.

CAPS services are confidential and voluntary.  Faculty and staff who refer students to CAPS should know that CAPS may only confirm that a student has made an appointment at CAPS if the student has signed consent for that information to be disclosed.

CAPS also provides consultation and referrals to community resources for faculty and staff interested in personal concerns.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to review the CAPS Faculty/Staff Brochure on the CAPS home page at www.montclair.edu/caps

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Emergency Medical Services is operated by the University Police Department. Student emergency medical technicians are in service throughout the year and provide timely response to medical  emergencies. As with all emergencies, contact University Police for ambulance and medical assistance at ext. 5222 on campus and 973-655-5222 on your personal phone.

Health Promotion
  • Coordinator: Dr. Marie Cascarano
  • Location:  Student Center Annex Room 226
  • Telephone: 973-655-7397
  • Health Promotion Website

Health Promotion is a subset of the Department of Campus Recreation that develops prevention initiatives to address health issues that are pertinent to the Montclair State University campus community.  These include, but are not limited to, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, nutrition, eating disorders, body image awareness, safer sex practices, sexuality, stress management, and mental health issues. The goal is to eliminate health disparities in student populations; increase culturally competent health promotion services; utilize best practices in public health and disease prevention; describe the relationships between health status, student retention, and academic success; while utilizing theoretical and evidence-based public health methods.  Another major component of Health Promotions is the Drop-In Center which houses the Peer Advocacy Program.  Specially trained student advocates provide outreach, programming, conversation, and referral services.

How can Health Promotion help you as a faculty member?

  • Health Promotion is available to provide information, referrals and programs to students, faculty and staff.
  • Health Promotion serves as on-campus site for Service Learning, Co-Operative Learning and Fieldwork experiences related to academic coursework.
MSU Cares

MSU Cares connects students with on-campus resources if they are feeling alone, not feeling well, feeling stressed, feeling afraid, having trouble in class or just need to talk. Visit the MSU Cares website.

Support Tools

What did the world do before there were apps? Below are just a few helpful apps available to you to keep you informed, connected and assisted.

View MSU Cares Support Tools

University Police

The University Police Department is a full service police department serving New Jersey’s second largest University.  The University Police Department is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the year, by police officers trained by State of New Jersey accredited police academies.  The University Police Department is dedicated to providing a safe community where all students, faculty, and staff can learn, work and live.  The University Police Department provides continuous patrol and law enforcement services to the entire campus environment and provides mutual aid to other local, State and Federal law enforcement.  Police Headquarters is located on College Avenue, next to the Red Hawk Parking Deck.  The police substation, which houses the Detective Bureau and  Records, is located at Abbott and Costello Hall at the Village at Little Falls.

How can University Police help you as a faculty and staff member?

In exactly the same fashion as all police departments in the State of New Jersey, the University Police can provide timely and appropriate response to emergency calls and reports of criminal activity.  Community members are strongly encouraged to contact University Police headquarters at ext. 5222 on campus and 973-655-5222 on your personal phone to report any emergencies or suspicious and criminal activity.  University Police Officers can present and be guest speakers in many disciplines including: criminal justice systems, crime prevention, self defense, and emergency management.  The University Police Department can be an important link to on campus issues affecting faculty and staff and serves as a confidential resource for faculty and staff concerns over suspicious activity or behavior on campus.  All faculty and staff members are invited as community members to participate and utilize University Police programming in such areas as self-defense and homeland security.

RAVE Text Alert System

Rave Alert is the primary mobile communications tool at Montclair State University that notifies the campus community in emergency situations as well as other vital scenarios that might impact the campus. For more information about RAVE, visit the RAVE website.

Red Hawk Pantry

To combat the reality and struggle of food insecurity for our students, Student Development and Campus Life has established the Red Hawk Pantry. On April 18, 2016, the on-campus food pantry opened for the first time and continues to serve the needs of our students. To assess these needs, a survey was sent to all students prior to the opening of the pantry. Of the nearly 200 Montclair State students surveyed, 10% expressed food insecurity on a daily basis, while 15% expressed a need on weekly basis and 12% on a monthly basis.

In July of 2016, the University launched a fundraising campaign to help sustain the pantry and allow it to become self-sustaining and continue to serve the needs of our students. Gifts to the campaign help the Red Hawk Pantry to offer more hours, stock more supplies and expand its services to students.

Available at the Red Hawk Pantry

The following items are available to all Montclair State students:

  • Food items
  • Health/personal care products
  • Household/kitchen supplies

For more information about the pantry and for upcoming pantry dates, please visit the Red Hawk Pantry website.

University Health Center

The University Health Center is a comprehensive ambulatory health care facility serving all registered students.  Onsite comprehensive services are provided by Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses and Physicians. An appointment is needed unless it is a medical emergency.  Charges for office visits and most over-the-counter medications are free and all records are confidential. Some charges for diagnostics and procedures may occur.

Services offered at the UHC include:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury
  • On-site prescription medications
  • On-site laboratory and ECG testing
  • Nebulizer treatments
  • Assistance with chronic illness management
  • Referral for specialists, mental health and disability care
  • Gynecological care
  • On-site contraception
  • On-site STI and HIV testing; emergency contraception
  • Employment and sports physicals
  • Immunizations and flu shots
  • Sexual Assault Response Team Forensic/Medical Care
  • GLBT preventive health screening and consultation
  • Medical advisement for international travel and study abroad

How can UHC help you as a faculty and staff member?

The University Health Center’s mission is to provide health services that support and encourage academic success. Staff serve as a resource for faculty to consult on student or public health concerns, collaborate on health related programming, and provide classroom presentations.

Class Excuses

UHC views class attendance as a vital component to student retention and academic success. As adults, it is the student’s responsibility to work with professors to make up assignments or exams missed due to illness. Class excuses are only provided under extenuating circumstances and limited to students treated at the University Health Center. Students seen by an outside clinician must seek documentation from that provider.