Learner Education During COVID-19

Last Updated: 2020-09-09

At Sinai Health, we are looking forward to greeting a new group of learners as they complete their training and become the health care providers of the future.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many changes to the health care system. We have made adjustments to adapt to COVID-19, including how we approach teaching and learning at our hospitals. Through everything, the safety of our learners, employees, and patients remains our highest priority.

To support learners, we have provided information below related to learning and placements during COVID-19.

What to expect while on placement during COVID-19 – Learner FAQs

Pre-Screening/Hospital Entrance Procedures

Will I be screened when entering the hospital? What are the restrictions?

Learners will be asked to confirm they meet the current screening requirements in order to enter our buildings. Please carefully read the screening questions here before you arrive. Contact Occupational Health and Safety if you have any concerns about being able to pass screening.

Occupational Health & Safety

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

We are currently screening for the symptoms listed here.

What should I do if I develop one of the symptoms of COVID-19?

Learners should notify their supervisor and school if they will be absent due to illness or other reasons. If a learner develops new symptoms of an infectious illness and has been working within the past 48 hours, they should call the SICK reporting line at Mount Sinai: 416-586-4800 x 7425 or at Bridgepoint: 416-461-8252 x 2803 or email [email protected] for COVID-19 related inquiries and updates or general occupational health inquiries. Learners requiring prolonged sick leave will need to notify their academic lead. Visit our Reporting Symptoms and Back to Work page for more information.

Personal Protective Equipment

What PPE will I be provided with?

As a part of onboarding, learners will be provided with a colour-coded badge sticker that allows the learner to collect a number of procedure masks (dependent on their role in the hospital) per day. These procedure masks must be worn at all times in clinical and shared areas of the hospital under our Universal Masking policy. Other PPE (gowns, gloves, face shields, respirators, etc.) are available on an as-needed basis for your role.

Can I take off my procedure mask when I am in the hospital?

Learners at Sinai Health must follow our Universal Masking Policy. This means that you will wear your extended wear procedure mask at all times in clinical and shared areas in the hospital. Masks may be removed for eating/drinking during break times in dedicated spaces where physical distancing can be maintained.

My N95 mask fit testing certificate has expired, what should I do?

A learner’s school should ensure clinical learners have a valid mask fit certificate that has been updated within the last 24 months prior to starting a clinical placement. Learners will be asked to input the date and their mask fit model upon registration at Sinai Health. If a learner who is confirmed for a placement at Bridgepoint or Mount Sinai Hospital has a valid mask fit certificate but their model is unavailable at their site, this will be flagged at registration and a refit test will be provided. Bridgepoint and Mount Sinai both have weekly drop-in mask fit sessions, with schedules posted on the Mount Sinai intranet and Bridgepoint portal (available from on-site computers.) The academic lead for your site/program will assist learners to find this information and book a session either before their start date or during the first days of their placement.

What PPE education and training will I be provided with?

During the first week of placement, learners will be invited to attend a mandatory infection prevention and control education session via Zoom. Following the session, supervisors will observe learners donning and doffing PPE at point of care and sign off on an orientation checklist. Learners will also have access to educational modules and videos on topics such as hand hygiene and donning and doffing PPE as part of orientation.

Staying Safe While on Placement

Will students be required to provide care to COVID-19 positive patients?

Pre-licensure learners will not be assigned to provide care to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 positive patients.

How can I stay safe and protect my colleagues on the unit?

Maintain physical distancing throughout your time in the hospital. Follow universal masking and wear your procedure mask at all times in clinical and common areas. Do not attend placement if you have any symptoms – no matter how mild.

What happens if the unit I am assigned to experiences a COVID-19 outbreak?

In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, Occupational Health and Safety and Infection Prevention and Control teams work together to provide recommendations. Decisions around whether a learner would stay on the unit, change to an alternate supervisor on a different unit, or transition to another model of learning will be made on a case-by-case basis with the support of the academic lead and the learner’s school.

What if I feel unsafe during an activity while on placement?

The safety of our staff and learners is our highest priority. Speak to your supervisor or academic lead immediately if you have a concern during placement.