How Will Studying From Home Impact Healthcare Students?

How Will Studying From Home Impact Healthcare Students?

With the alarmingly fast spread of Covid-19, every aspect of the life we knew changed. Almost every industry was put on hold with the only intention to contain the further spread of the virus. However, despite this temporary shutdown, new alternatives were created to bring a kind of order to the chaos surrounding the whole world.

This was also the case with education. Many universities around the United States and many overseas decided to shift their programs to online platforms. The decision was made in an attempt to save the students and staff from the risk of getting infected with the virus. While for some majors, this sudden change might seem relatively minor, for majors like hospitality and healthcare where students need hands-on experience to develop industry-related skills, the shift was a significant change. But how different and what impact will learning from home have for healthcare students specifically? Read on to find out.

Students Will See Little to No Change From Their Routine

A common tendency of medical students across the United States during the didactic years is to use outside resources and rewatch school lectures to prepare for the STEP examination. Thus, the cancellation of the classes won’t be that big of a change for their study schedule. There are many prevalent beliefs that learning from home isn’t the same as the in-person classes because there, students have the opportunity to give and receive immediate feedback on whatever they’re working on, and this is considered something hard to replicate online.

Still, this mandatory shutdown showed that students could do the activities they did before virtually with no problems— having small group meetings and maintaining study groups in an online forum. It seems that these activities can continue during the pandemic through teleconferences and webinars.

Students Can’t Attend Clinical Clerkships

The whole idea behind moving to online learning was to minimize the interaction between students and professors. This move would eventually lead to the virus being contained and the curve getting flattened while simultaneously reducing the risk of students getting exposed to the virus. Even though many students are willing to put themselves at risk, this decision was taken with their well-being in mind. These are only two of the reasons why clinical clerkships were canceled after the pandemic came knocking at the USA’s door. Another reason why the cancellation was a must is the lack of personal protective equipment. This step was taken to ensure the healthcare workers had enough equipment to protect themselves in the line of duty during the pandemic.

However, even though the students understand and maybe agree to a degree with the measures that were taken, this decision will undoubtedly impact their future careers. As we know, the bulk of the medical skills students acquire come from their practice in the hospital.

Medical Conferences Are Postponed

Due to the temporary lockdown because of the Coronavirus spread, medical conferences, too, were canceled. With the students moving back home, attending them isn’t possible. The conferences and the associated presentations medical students deliver are of great importance to students’ future. They use these conferences to build up their resumes and applications for residency. Now that they got canceled, students will have to find new ways to get the presentation and other related skills from other domains as well as find and engage in activities important enough to add to their resumes.

Students Might Not Be Able To Graduate

In these difficult times, the ideal solution would be for all medical students to contribute to the healthcare system. However, due to the measures taken to contain the spread of the virus, almost all of the students were sent home. Not only won’t they be of help, but they might also not be able to graduate on time. This is the problem nursing students are facing. California’s nursing students are required to obtain 75% of clinical hours in patient care to graduate. However, this requirement is now impossible to fulfill due to all non-essential personnel’s restrictions from the hospital.

That’s why nursing students released a petition, through which they asked the Board of Registered Nursing to find alternative solutions for them to fulfill graduation requirements. Also, in a letter directed to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the deans of several nursing schools asked for the state to lift the requirement temporarily and allow students to complete the requirements through simulations and other means.

The widespread of the virus Covid-19 brought difficulties to students all over the world. As students across the globe are trying to adapt to the new normality, it’s crucial to analyze the changes that are introduced in response to COVID-19 and their impact on medical education overall and the students’ career progression, personal and mental health.

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