The University of Toronto has been closely and continually monitoring the situation and taking action as necessary. We have relied on the advice of public health authorities and engaged regularly with other post-secondary institutions and sector organizations, as well as Toronto Public Health and other experts in public health. The most up to date information from the University of Toronto is available here: https://www.pharmacy.utoronto.ca/coronavirus.
We recognize the challenges facing all sites at this difficult time in health care and would like to sincerely thank you for your commitment to the experiential education of our students.
The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy confirms that all scheduled experiential rotations will continue as planned at this time. We realize the important and challenging role pharmacists in all sectors play during times like this, and we are confident that our students are well equipped to provide valuable contributions in supporting the response to COVID-19.
As the safety of our students, preceptors and sites is of paramount concern, we would like to remind sites of the importance of applying evidence-based infection control practices and ensuring that appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is made available to employees and students. Pharmacies should also undertake active screening (asking patients questions over the phone before they arrive at the pharmacy), as well as passive screening (using signage posted at the point of entry to the pharmacy), to allow patients to self-identify if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, cough, muscle aches and tiredness, difficulty breathing).
For more information please refer to the Ministry of Health’s, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance Documents for the Health Sector:
What we have communicated to Students:
Our students, as registered unlicensed learners, will uphold their professional obligation and comply with requirements related to infection prevention and control. We have communicated that they are not to put themselves and others at risk. They are not expected to be involved in the care of any patients with positive COVID-19 diagnosis. In addition, they are prohibited from assessing patients who:
- Feel feverish or have a documented fever
- Have a new or worsening cough or shortness of breath, or sore throat
- Have presented for assessment of a possible upper respiratory tract infection or pneumonia
We have also advised students that if they experience even mild upper respiratory symptoms, they are not to be present in the clinical learning environment. Students have been instructed to inform their preceptor as soon as possible and contact their assigned Course Coordinator and the Office of Experiential Education (OEE) at firstname.lastname@example.org, immediately. Under the new procedures implemented, students can now submit an unplanned self-isolation absence.
In preparation for their clinical experiential rotations and to ensure they are utilizing best practice, students have been advised to review the following resources:
- Proper Hand Hygiene Module to decrease the spread of infections in a healthcare environment. Created May 2013; Content approved by TAHSN.
Hand Hygiene Module (http://tiny.cc/tahsn2)
- Putting on Full Personal Protective Equipment (video) https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/videos/ipac-fullppe-on
- Taking off Full Personal Protective Equipment (video) https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/videos/ipac-fullppe-off
- Recommended Steps for Putting On and Taking Off Personal Protective Equipment (graphic) https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/rpap-recommeded-ppe-steps.pdf?la=en
During this time of heightened concern, we will do our utmost to support U of T learners and U of T preceptors and continue educational programs as best as possible while fulfilling our obligation to support safe practice in public health and safety.
For questions, please contact:
Sandra Bjelajac Mejia,
Interim Director, Professional Programs
Director Office of Experiential Education
Office of Experiential Education