CastleBranch Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I log into Castle Branch?
A: www.castlebranch.com

Q: Who do I call if I have questions about my Castle Branch?
A: If you have questions about your Castle Branch, you can contact Castle Branch Student Support at (888) 723-4263 or visit www.castlebranch.com/contact-us. Or contact Castle Branch Liaison Barb Cupp by phone (515) 643-6715 or email.

Q: What if I don't have a Social Security number?
A: When purchasing CastleBranch, those without a Social Security number can use all 1's (111-11-1111) to complete the form.

Q: Where do I send my adult and child abuse forms?
A: Scan it and upload it back into your account.

Q: When should I expect my Background Check results to be complete?
A: Please note that turnaround time will vary based on the specific items in your order. The review process can take up to 45 days to complete if there is a criminal conviction found on our report.

Q: How often do I need to renew my Mandatory Reporter Certificate?
A: Students who have completed the Mandatory Reporter Certificate and uploaded the document within Castle Branch should not need to renew this certification for 5 years.  If Castle Branch is giving a renewal date after 1 year you will need to contact the program chair for your program or Barb Cupp our Castle Branch specialist to review and possibly override the document so the correct renewal date can be added.

Q: What is the CPR class I need to take?
A: The CPR class required for Mercy College of Health Sciences is American Heart Association Certified Basic Life Support for the Health Care Professional.  This class could be abbreviated AHA BLS for HCP.  Please do not sign up for any courses that do not have all the components listed above.  The reason this class is the one Mercy College requires is because it is the one that all healthcare providers at our clinical sites used also take.  In an emergency situation it would be necessary to have a cohesive group of people performing duties and using vocabulary that everyone is familiar with.  This allows our students to be prepared if needed in this situation. 

Q: Where do I find out the CPR class schedule?
A: Complete the skills potion of the training online by going to www.onlineaha.org and take the Healthcare Provider training course. Contact the Training Center to test your skills. The phone number for the Mercy College Training Center is (515) 643-7491.

Q. How do I register for a training center course or event?
A. Go to www.mchs.edu/mctc (Note:  Be sure to have your “pop-ups” enabled.)

  1. Click the red “View / Sign-Up for a Training Center Courses & Events" button.
  2. Search for the course you want to take using one of the following ways:
    1. You can search by name (ACLS, PALS, CPR-Skills, etc…)
    2. You can also search by the date range when you want to take the course.
    3. You can go to the tab “calendar view” to look for courses as well.
  3. Once you’ve found your course, click “Book Now.”
  4. Complete the billing information form (be sure to start with “Title”, then complete only the required information sections.  An email address is required.  (Mercy employees should use their Mercy e-mail address. Iowa Heart employees should use their Iowa Heart e-mail address).
    1. Booking information: Enter the number “1” for number of spaces.
    2. Discount Coupon (if applicable): Mercy and Iowa Heart employees, enter the word “staff” in the discount coupon section, or you will not be able to register for the class at no cost.
  5. Click on “Confirm Booking.”
  6. Complete the required “attendee” information.  Click on “Confirm Booking.”
  7. Review the information.  Click on “Place Booking.” 
  8. You should see a box that confirms your booking with an ID#.
  9. You’ll receive an email confirming your successful booking!
  10. Finally, enjoy your class!

Q: How do I get my eCard?
A: Each student who successfully completes a course is eligible to receive an eCard from his or her Instructor or Training Center Coordinator.

eCard Notification
After being assigned an eCard, students will receive an e-mail notification from the American Heart Association (AHA) with a link to claim their eCard online.

“Claiming” an eCard
From there, students will need to review their student profile page to update and confirm their contact information, set up a security question, agree to American Heart Association's standard Terms of Use, and complete a brief survey. They will then be able to view and print their eCard.

After “Claiming” the eCard
Students are able to access their eCard at any time once they have claimed the eCard by:

  • Go to www.heart.org/cpr/mycards (Please use the Google Chrome browser) to go to the "Student/Employer Search site"
  • Enter student name and e-mail associated with the eCard to view the student profile.
  • From this screen, you can view and print your eCard and update profile information.

Commonly Asked Medical Questions for Castle Branch

Q: I was told I need to come to the nurse’s office to fill out a TB Questionnaire, Why?
A: The purpose of the TB Questionnaire is to verify you are not having any current signs or symptoms of tuberculosis.  Since your chest x-ray will be good for 5 years we annually need to see you to make sure you are healthy and are not experiencing any problems related to tuberculosis.  Through clinical experiences and other environmental exposures you potentially could have come in contact with someone who had been carrying the disease, this is for precautions for you and those you care for in the clinical setting.  

Q: Why does Castle Branch continue to reject my vaccination records?
A: Make sure when you upload your vaccination records you have dates for each vaccination required for you program.  It needs to be signed by a healthcare professional and have a heading on the document from the healthcare provider office you retained the records from. Many times one of these components may be missing.  If you are still unsure why your document in being rejected please email the Student Health Services Office including your name and phone number.

Q: Why does Castle Branch continue to reject my TB test?
A: Make sure when you upload the document it contains a date and time for the injections given, and a date and time and signature for each time it was read.  Make sure the date falls within the one year time frame for your requirements.  If you are uploading a 2 step TB test be sure the two tests are within 11 months of each other for them to be accepted as a 2 step.  Please make sure there is a heading from the healthcare provider’s office at the top of you form stating where you had the test done.  If you are still unsure why your document in being rejected please email the Student Health Services Office including your name and phone number.

Q: What is the purpose of a 2 step TB test?
A: A 2 step TB test is required of students to begin their program to prove you do not have active TB.  The initial skin test could have a false negative when you are initially tested.  The second test done 1 week to 11 months apart is to ensure you are in fact negative for TB.  These standards are developed from the CDC website and used widely to test those working in the healthcare community.  Once you have had the 2 step TB test the 1 injection and 1 reading 48-72 hours later will be what is required for renewal.  

Q: What if I don’t know when I had my vaccinations for MMR?
A: If you are unsure of dates for your MMR vaccinations, you will need to have a titer drawn to determine if you have appropriate immunity to work in a healthcare setting. If you titer comes back positive, this means you have immunity and will just upload the titer results in to Castle Branch  If your titer comes back negative, you would need to complete the series of vaccinations to bring your immunity up so you can work in the healthcare setting.  For adults receiving MMR vaccinations you would complete the first vaccine as soon as possible and then the following vaccine would be done 28 days after the first one.  According to the CDC if you will be working in a health care setting it is recommended to get both vaccinations allow for adequate immunity. 

Q: If I had Varicella as a child would I need to get the vaccinations?
A: Maybe, if you had varicella as a child and can have an approximate date documented on a form from you healthcare provider and a signature from your healthcare provider then no vaccinations would be necessary.  If you are not sure please see the question below.

Q: If I have had Varicella as a child but I don’t know when and/ or I have no medical documentation about it, what do I need to do?
A: You would start by getting a titer done for the varicella virus.  If the titer would come back positive you would have immunity.  The titer documentation would be uploaded into Castle Branch and you would not need to get vaccinated as this would prove you had immunity.  If your titer came back non-equivocal or negative you would need to start the vaccination series.  The first vaccination should be done as soon as possible and the second vaccination would be done 4 weeks from the first.  According to the CDC those working in the healthcare setting should have both vaccinations to give appropriate immunity. 

Q: What is a titer and why do you require one if I don’t know the dates of my vaccinations?
A: For our purposes using it for Castle Branch and documentation, a titer is checking your blood to know your specific level of antibodies to a particular disease.  The antibody level in your blood tells the healthcare provider if your body can fight the infection on its own with the antibodies it already has, or if a vaccination would be required to boost your antibody level and allowing you to fight disease.

Q: My titer is negative or non-equivocal for Varicella how many vaccinations do I need to have?
A: If your titer came back non-equivocal or negative you would need to start the vaccination series.  The first vaccination should be done as soon as possible and the second vaccination would be done 4 weeks from the first.  According to the CDC those working in the healthcare setting should have both vaccinations to give appropriate immunity. 

Q: How far apart do my Hepatitis B vaccinations need to be?
A: Hepatitis B series is 3 vaccinations done at different specified times.  If you have not previously had the Hepatitis B vaccination series you would begin the first vaccination as soon as possible.  The second vaccination would be given 4 weeks from the initial vaccination.  The third vaccination should be given at least 4 months from the first vaccination or 3 months from the second vaccination. 

Q: Does Mercy College provide flu shots to their students?
A: Yes, all students are welcome to receive a flu shot.  Flu vaccinations are free.  We offer the flu shot and the flu mist as options for our students. Flu clinics are typically held in the month of October but will sometimes take place early November. 

Q: What if I don’t want to get a flu shot?
A: Unless you have a religious or medically documented reason for refusing to get the flu shot you will need to have one to attend clinicals.  Please remember that the flu shot is necessary to give yourself protection but also to protect the visitors, patients, and staff you will be working with in the hospital.