Following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in March, Queen’s, in consultation with KHSC and Providence Care, decided to temporarily suspend student placements. Now, because of several factors, including a particularly low prevalence of the virus in the Kingston region, local teaching hospitals are now able to slowly reintroduce students from Queen’s into the clinical environment. “We have been keen to have students in the Faculty of Health Sciences return to their clinical placements. Not only do they play an important role in the delivery of healthcare at our hospitals, but they will be re-entering in a very unique context that presents incredible learning opportunities,” says Richard Reznick, dean of health sciences at Queen’s University.
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All students who are returning to complete their clinical placements and clerk-ships are required to self-quarantine in Kingston for two weeks prior to starting back at hospitals. While they are on-site at KHSC and Providence Care, students will follow staff safety policies and procedures, including completing training on current COVID-19-related protocol, adhering to the staff screening process, and conserving personal protective equipment.
Additionally, students will be required to self-monitor for symptoms throughout their programs. They must be symptom-free for two weeks in order to participate in any in-person activities.
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“Having the opportunity to complete my clinical placement means that I can work towards graduating on time, allowing me to use the nursing skills I’ve learned at Queen’s to compassionately care for patients and families,” says returning student Bayley Morgan, a nursing student set to graduate this year. “I am eager to join our heroic nurses and health care workers in supporting those affected by illness and injury, and in contributing to a safe and respectful practice environment.”
Queen’s says that while it may not be business-as-usual, the clinical environment will offer a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for students, many of whom are close to graduating and in search of permanent employment.