Health Science students return to clinical settings

Students will not be working with COVID-19 patients

Students who return to Kingston from out of town are being asked to complete 14 days of self-isolation before returning to their placements.
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Approximately 200 students from the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) are returning to their clinical placements as of June 1 at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), or alternative in-person clerkships. 

While students from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Rehab Therapy were initially exempted from the suspension of undergraduate courses on March 16, the University later suspended clinical learning activities on March 18.

However, the low prevalence of COVID-19 in the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) region has opened the doors for local teaching hospitals and clinics to reintroduce students from the FHS into their clinical placements. 

The FHS has outlined the necessary guidelines students must take to re-enter their positions safely.  

“[W]e are taking precautions to not having our students knowingly work specifically with patients who are suffering from [the] COVID-19 infection,” Richard Reznick, dean of the FHS, wrote in a statement to The Journal

Students who return to Kingston from outside the region will be asked to complete 14 days of self-isolation before entering laboratories, teaching hospitals, or clinical settings. After re-entering their placements, students will be obliged to follow the guidelines of their respective hospitals and clinics. 

Following self-isolation, students must be symptom-free for two weeks to participate in any in-person activities. 

When clinical placements were initially suspended in March, students expressed concern about what would happen to those who were unable to return in the summer to complete placements.

Reznick said the FHS has not encountered this problem as students return.

“If it were to have occurred, undoubtedly we would have accommodated the student on a case by case basis,” Reznick wrote.

statement released by the University on May 28 outlined that students will follow staff safety policies and procedures by completing training on current COVID-19-related protocol, adhering to the staff screening process, and conserving personal protective equipment (PPE). 

The FHS has worked closely with KFL&A Public Health to ensure students will be properly reintroduced into the system in a way that prioritizes their safety. 

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