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Novel Coronavirus FAQ for NOSM UME Students

What infection control measures can I follow to reduce the risk of transmission or becoming infected with 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

  • You must always practice consistent hand hygiene
  • Use an appropriate consistent technique for properly gowning, gloving and mask fitting, as well as removal when leaving a patient care encounter
  • Use the N95 respirator/mask as per the hospital policy
  • Always use the correct N95 mask as per your mask fitting

I have been in China within the last two weeks. What should I do?

You must stay home and not participate in any activities of the program for at least 14 days after your arrival back in Canada. Activities of the program include mandatory classroom and clinical activities, electives, and non-mandatory activities such as SEEs and conferences. This also includes any assessment activities. You should let John Friesen know (jfriesen@nosm.ca) you will be absent from activities.

I have developed a respiratory tract infection e.g. sore throat, shortness of breath. What should I do?

If you are experiencing these types of symptoms and you recently returned from China or may have been exposed to the Novel Coronavirus, you should seek medical attention, stay home and not participate in any activities for the program until your illness ends, or if told you are not infected with the coronavirus by your healthcare provider. You should let John Friesen know (jfriesen@nosm.ca) you will be absent from activities.

I am told by my clinical teacher/preceptor or another healthcare worker that the patient I am to interact with has a presumed or confirmed coronavirus infection. What should I do?

Public Health Ontario has outlined all aspects of patient care, prevention of transmission, investigation and management for 2019-nCoV on their website.

For all students in any year of the program, you should not participate in any assessment, treatment or follow-up care of a patient who has any declared risk of being infected with the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Such patient encounters are above your level of expertise at this stage of your medical training.

You are asked not to participate in any aspect of the care of any patient who falls into the following categories of patient care exposure:

  1. Person under Investigation for 2019-nCoV
  2. Probable Case for 2019-nCoV
  3. Presumptive Confirmed Case for 2019-nCoV
  4. Confirmed Case for 2019-nCoV

During my patient contact, if I identify a patient who fits the categories (1-4) as outlined above, what should I do?

You should immediately stop your engagement with the patient and contact your preceptor.  Please let your preceptor, and the appropriate Phase Director (Phase 1: bross@nosm.ca; Phase 2: pistvan@nosm.ca; Phase 3: ltoner@nosm.ca) know if this occurs.

If there are patients in our care team who may have a risk of 2019-nCoV, can I still continue in clinical learning?

You are allowed to and expected to participate in all clinical learning of patients excepting a patient who fits in one of the categories of 2019-nCoV exposure. You would continue as a member of the health team in all aspects of clinical learning except for the patients identified at risk or infected with 2019-nCoV.

I want to volunteer to provide care to patients who fits the categories (1-4) above. Can I do this?

When you are not acting as a medical student you are not covered by the school’s liability insurance or WSIB coverage and hence are putting yourself at risk. No Clinical-SEE will be approved for engaging in such activities. If you do choose to volunteer, be sure to always follow the clinic/hospital’s rules and directions..

Neither I, nor the patient I am to interact with, fits the categories (1-4) above but I think the situation in the hospital is a risk to my safety. What should I do?

First, please discuss the matter with your preceptor. If the safety risk cannot be resolved you may withdraw from the clinical environment. You should then contact the appropriate Phase Director and discuss the matter with them (Phase 1: bross@nosm.ca; Phase 2: pistvan@nosm.ca; Phase 3: ltoner@nosm.ca).

I have or will miss a lot of school due to this situation. What should I do?

You should contact the appropriate Phase Director and discuss the matter with them (Phase 1: bross@nosm.ca; Phase 2: pistvan@nosm.ca; Phase 3: ltoner@nosm.ca). We will always attempt to find ways for you to make-up missed sessions and activities in a way that will not delay your progression in the program.

I have been told by my clinical site that I must leave or that I cannot attend. What should I do?

Please let the appropriate Phase Director(Phase 1: bross@nosm.ca; Phase 2: pistvan@nosm.ca; Phase 3: ltoner@nosm.ca) know if this occurs. If this occurs, please return to your housing until further directions. If you are on an ICE placement, do not attempt to return home to Sudbury or Thunder Bay. Follow the instructions from the clinic/hospital and try to limit your contact with others.