UJ emergency medical care students receive practical training in transporting patients with contagious infections

UJs emergency medical care (EMC) students have been receiving “hands-on” experience in transporting patients with possible viral haemorrhagic fever from an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to a receiving facility within a simulated environment.

The Department of Emergency Medical Care within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has a clinical simulation laboratory which allows health sciences students access to state-of-the-art equipment during high fidelity simulated cases.

“At the start of the COVID pandemic, the Department identified the need to improve teaching around the care and transport of highly infectious patients within curriculum of the four-year bachelor’s degree programme,” said Connor Hartnady, an academic within the Department of Emergency Medical Care. “Transport of a highly infectious patient can be a high-risk low-frequency event, so simulated experiences such as these allow for a controlled learning experience for both staff and students,” Hartnady added.

The teaching took place at UJ’s clinical simulation facility. The facility provides a life-like experience where students got to plan for the patient transfer, select and correctly use the appropriate personal protective equipment, and manage the patient in an isolation chamber up until the point of handover at the receiving facility. The simulation ended with the students having to show how they would decontaminate themselves and their equipment.” Hartnady explained how he uses Glogerm™ (a product that glows under UV light) to track secondary contamination during the process and this allowed the students to see the importance of proper decontamination procedures.

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