COVID-19 Response Resources for Student Education

 

The following resources are provided for guidance during the pandemic.

 Tabs

 Orders & Guidance

Provincial Health Officer (PHO)  - Orders

All the PHO Orders, Notice and Guidance can be found on the Office of the Provincial Health Officer page.  
Key documents for student education are:

Provincial Guidance

​Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Vaccination  


Up-to-date information on BC's COVID-19 immunizations is found here:

 Guidelines & Placement Requirements

Provincial guidelines 

In response to the pandemic, the Ministry of Health has published the following:

Student practice in BC is guided by 22 Practice Education Guidelines (PEG)s. These PEGs support the
safety of patients, staff, students and faculty.  All the exist​​ing PEGs​ continue to be applicable, in addition to the requirements for COVID-19.​

​Additional requirements for COVID-19

Screening: PSIs should ensure students/ faculty are aware of current self-assessment requirements, and onsite pre-screening requirements of any single site facilities implicated in the Public Health Officer's (PHO's) Order. 
Mask use in health-care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic: All students must wear medical ​​grade mask while in health care facilities, including in common areas and break rooms unless eating or drinking. Details are provided in the Ministry of Healh Policy Communique ​Mask Use in Health Care Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic​.  

Point-of-Care-Risk Assessment​ (PCRA): The PCRA is a routine practice which should be conducted before every patient/client/resident (hereafter ‘patient’) interaction by a health-care worker (HCW) to assess the likelihood of exposing themselves and/or others to infectious agents. This assessment informs the selection of appropriate actions and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to minimize the risk of exposure. 

Infection Prevention and Control for all Health Authorities: IPC practices are outlined in this policy from the Ministry of Health​.

Illness Occurring During a Practice Education Shift
  • ​If students or faculty should  develop COVID-19 like symptoms while on-site, they must leave the practice setting immediately and follow the current guidelines for testing, care and follow-up.  
  • Students/faculty that test positive for COVID-19  should  follow the  provincial guidance on BCCDC’s  “If you have COVID-19​” webpage.   
Dress Code:  Students/faculty should plan to have a change of clothes and shoes to travel to and from the placement site and clothes to work in. They must wash placement clothes daily between shifts.

Respecting Personal Space: Where possible during students' practice education, education or work experience, students and faculty should respect the personal space of others.

Student Assignment: The HCO/PSI may adjust the care area or patient assignment to best match the learning objectives; promote patient/ staff/ student safety; and as appropriate to preserve PPE supplies.  
  • When appropriate, students may provide care to presumptive-positive patients or patients with confirmed COVID-19, when the required competencies, supervision and IPC practices are in place. 
Local Policy/ Guidelines:  PSIs and HCOs should share any site/ program specific guidance related to the COVID-19 response prior to the start of the student practice education placement - health authority cont​acts​​

Provincial and organization requirements

Review the remainder of the pre-placement preparations:

 Planning & Coordination

​Principles

While Post Secondary Instutions (PSI) and Health Care Organizations (HCO) continue to wo​rk together to support student practice education, during the COVID-19 outbreak different approaches may be needed and are evolving.  To help facilitate that, the following Principles​ have been adopted.

Short-term decision making considerations

The decision-making process must comply with any direction given by the Public Health Officer (PHO) and/or Medical Health Officers (MHOs). In monitoring the status of COVID-19 in B.C., the PHO may provide specific Orders for the health and education sectors or general guidance to the public that also applies to student practice education settings. MHOs may provide additional Orders/guidance for their region of responsibility.​

Both PSIs and HCOs have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their people. As the circumstances of the pandemic evolve, either or both sectors may assess the care and learning environment and decide that practice education rotations need to be suspended, delayed or modified from the original request.  Communication between sectors is critical to minimize impact on both systems.

Any adjustment to the practice education preparation of students will have significant impacts on the future availability of the health system workforce. 

Longer term delays/suspensions of student practice education requirements

PSIs: PSIs considering cancelling a program cohort or practice education placement should work with Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training (AEST) and their HCO partners to explore alternatives before a final decision is made. To ensure that the decision is informed by an appropriate assessment of risk, consultation with the local MHO is highly recommended (Append​ix 4: PSI Health Program Delay Process​).

HCOs: HCOs considering cancelling or significantly reducing placements should work with their senior leaders, Ministry of Health​, other HCOs and their PSI partners to explore alternatives to mitigate impacts on student progression before a final decision is made.

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