An increasing number of confirmed cases, complete national lockdowns, and emphasis on social distancing have been the highlights of 2020 so far. The outbreak of COVID-19 has alarmed people worldwide, making the healthcare workers in the frontline of this struggle. The need to diagnose, isolate, and provide better patient care has become the need of the hour. At the same time, acquiring knowledge about the pandemic and ways to improve healthcare delivery is a high priority for the healthcare professionals. This demanding responsibility can only be met with COVID-19 based online courses which have been developed by many leading healthcare associations and education providers. Let us try to understand how these learning resources will be beneficial for medical professionals worldwide.
- Minimize risks for the patients: Training programmes can aid healthcare professionals contain the disease from spreading. Not only will this help bring down the number of COVID-19 positive cases, but also enable the recovery of the affected individuals. Every healthcare worker, especially the newly hired ones, must undergo these training courses to gain a strong insight related to the protocols and guidelines needed to prevent the spread of infection. Hence a skilled workforce can lessen the threat effectively.
- Identify the high-risk patients: Although the symptoms for this disease may seem like the common cold, however, a well-trained healthcare worker will be able to distinguish between them. COVID-19 online courses are a great way to help clinicians to recommend testing for a wider group of symptomatic patients. They will be able to use their judgement to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms in lines with coronavirus and whether they should be tested. They will also be able to determine whether the affected individual needs to be immediately hospitalized or kept under strict self-quarantine measures at his/her home.
- Determine the possibility of community transmission: COVID-19 infections rapidly spread from the affected individuals to the locality. Hence one needs to be aware of the epidemiologic factors such as the occurrence of local community transmission of the infection in a particular jurisdiction and maintain complete supervision to prevent the situation from worsening. Online courses on the pandemic empower medical professionals with such knowledge. They will be able to effectively test individuals in the surrounding community of rapidly increasing hospital cases to decrease community spread and ensure the safety of essential workers.
- Stay up to date with additional information: As of now, the information related to this pandemic and its transmission is based on preliminary data and similar strains of viruses. Every medical professional handling the COVID-19 patients will be aware of how it spreads from person to person and its other routes of transmission such as via surface and while handling tests and postmortem procedures. However, newer information related to recommendations for biosafety and infection control practices is coming into light every day. An engaging and immersive coronavirus learning resource will be able to keep the healthcare professionals updated with these nuggets of information from time to time.
- Offer superior clinical care: The number of patients suffering from this infection are increasing daily and therefore there is a need to guide the clinicians who are caring for people with confirmed infections. Information pertaining to incubation period, signs and symptoms, asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, medications, reinfections, etc. can be delivered effectively through a COVID19 dedicated online training programme.
Proper training and upskilling of every healthcare personnel is the need of the hour that can save many lives. With this aim, iPC Health has designed a structured COVID-19 programme which includes:
- HIC 6: Infection outbreak
- HIC 2: HIC Implementation Protocol
- COP4: Community Emergency services
Professionals undertaking these online courses will be able to stay empowered and focused amidst this dire situation. At the end of the day, strengthening the healthcare workforce is our best chance to defeat this global pandemic.